Mull of Kintyre Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

3.7
FIETS
1.3 mi
DISTANCE
893 ft
GAINED
13.5 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

This climb is absolutely extraordinary - a bit to get to, but well worth the trouble.  It is ranked #3 hardest in Scotland and #10 UK as well as a Top 10 most Epic Scottish hill climb. 

Visit our Top UK and also our Top Scottish hill climbs pages for photos, summaries and statistics for their respective top hill climbs.  For EPIC, visit our Top 10 Most Epic UK and also our Top 10 Most Epic Scottish hill climbs pages.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
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CLIMB SUMMARY

sharp U shaped turn in roadway at steep gradient

Cycling Mull of Kintyre, Scotland

Ride 1.3 miles gaining 1,024’ at 13.5% average grade.

Mull of Kintyre is the southernmost tip of Kintyre Peninsula in a very, very remote part of Scotland - it’s a chore to get to, but well worth the trip.  Mull of Kintyre was made wildly famous by Paul McCartney and Wings’ song by the same name which was the band's biggest hit in Britain.  Paul McCartney has owned High Park Farm, 20 miles north of our start, since 1966.

photo collage shows foggy overcast views along the climb; green pasturelands and steep gradients along the ride

We didn’t travel to this secluded location on a lark (the climb is 11 hours from London).  Mull of Kintyre is ranked #9 in all of the United Kingdom.  It was also on Simon Warren’s Top 10 Most Epic Bike Climbs of Scotland (#3, after Bealach Na Ba and The Lecht).  Before our second trip to the UK to document climbs there and in Ireland for two months (we spent 45 days in just the UK in 2018), Simon provided us his lists of Top 10 Most Epic and Top 10 Hardest bike climbs in England, Wales, Scotland and the UK. Mull of Kintyre made both the Scottish Top 10 Epic and Hardest and UK Most Epic lists.

photo collage shows foggy views of the Mull of Kentyre lighthouse

Start the climb at the Mull of Kintyre historic lighthouse - the second ever commissioned in Ireland.

Climb report by PJAMM Cycling’s Brad Butterfield who has spent 3.5 months cycling and documenting the United Kingdom’s hardest and most epic bike climbs:

The Mull of Kintyre climb is one of the most remarkable climbs that I have ever done, unquestionably. Situated on the southernmost point of a remote peninsula, the Mull was once used as an access point to Scotland by early humans. Now, a lighthouse stands on the rocky outcrop overlooking the coastline. The road itself is marked as “not for public use.” But, I don’t think you’ll have any issues riding the road on a bicycle. It is a steep “road” which more resembles a walking path. The pavement quality matches the surrounding landscape - rough and rugged. On a clear day, these views are unmatched and simply astounding. There are a few slots for parking at the summit of the climb just before you reach the gate denoting the ride as private.

photo collage shows aerial drone view of the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse from the coastline

Historic lighthouse and start of this challenging but very fun climb.

aerial drone view shows roadway snaking up green rocky pastureland

We understand why Paul McCartney wrote longingly about Mull of Kintyre.

Mull of Kintyre

Oh, mist rolling in from the sea

My desire is always to be here

Oh, Mull of Kintyre

Far have I traveled and much have I seen

Dark distant mountains with valleys of green

Past painted deserts the sunset's on fire

As he carries me home to the Mull of Kintyre

Mull of Kintyre

Oh, mist rolling in from the sea

My desire is always to be here

Oh, Mull of Kintyre

Sweep through the heather like deer in the glen

Carry me back to the days I knew then

Nights when we sang like a heavenly choir

Of the life and the time of the Mull of Kintyre

photo collage shows views along first part of climb: green grass, rocky pastureland, foggy coastline

Views along the first part of the climb.

There are four pockets of 20%+ grade along this climb, and the steepest quarter-mile of 17% is at the beginning of the climb.

photo collage show three hairpin turns at the start of the climb; as seen from drone

Three hairpins begin about a quarter-mile from the start and average 15% over 1/10th of a mile.

photo collage shows bike parked next to sign reading "end of public road turn here," coastal deer in greenery on hillside; steep hairpin turn

While the sign stops vehicle traffic, it seemed acceptable to ride this road on a bike.  There were 104 Strava rides logged for this segment as of August 2022 and Simon Warren includes this climb in his X-List

coastal country road with sign reading "cattle grid"

Climb finish.

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