Sunday, 30 June 2013

THE MULL OF GALLOWAY AND DRUMMORE



The Mull of Galloway is not only the most southerly point of the Rhinns Of Galloway, it is also the most southerly place in Scotland.  Visitors can enjoy extensive views of the Solway Firth and even the Isle Of Man.  When I was in Peel recently on a visit to the Isle Of Man I could make out what I was pretty sure was the southern end of the Rhinns Of Galloway.  As befits such a geographical distinction, it has a suitably handsome, whitewashed lighthouse, known as Stevenson Tower, since it was built by the prolific builder of lighthouses, Robert Stevenson.  The lighthouse, which is 26 metres high, came into operation in 1830.  It is open to visitors, who can visit an exhibition in the Engine Room and, when open, can access the tower.  Aside from lighthouse enthusiasts, the Mull Of Galloway is a magnet for birdwatchers, being an RSPB site.  Gullemots, kittiwakes, peregrine falcons, puffins and gannets are the species to watch out for, and in summer they are joined by basking butterflies. 

While the Mull Of Galloway is the most southerly point in Scotland, the village of Drummore is the most southerly Scottish village.  The harbour started out in the 1800s as a point of departure for the locally produced lime, and for imported coal, but it later turned to defence use when the Ministry of Defence took it over with the establishment of West Freugh and Luce Bay bombing ranges.  RAF West Freugh was an armament training camp just before World War II but after war broke out the training activities were expanded, including the use of a bombing range.  The MOD have since moved out, leaving the harbour to more pleasurable pursuits.  Drummore is a popular small resort, thanks in part to the nice sandy beach in Drummore Bay.  Out at sea there are a number of small rocky islands called The Scars which are managed by the RSPB and host colonies of gannets during the breeding season.  

Map of the area. 

File:Mull of Galloway lighthouse - geograph.org.uk - 592045.jpg
©
  2005 Derek Ball, via Wikimedia Commons

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