We were very excited the first week of our holiday to discover that the Tall Ships were coming to Campbeltown. We read the Tall Ships literature with great interest and reading the event programme Tuesday the 12th July seemed to be the evening to sojourn into town. To see the Tall Ships and to hear the pipe parade and other events.
As a family we are very good at intending to go to things but not going at the last moment especially me being a bit of a home bird. So my husband and I decided that we were not going to do this on this occasion. Again it was a very warm day on the Costa Kintyre which we spent down on our beach. But we headed up early and after a tea of freshly caught local Scallops and black pudding we headed into Campbeltown.
When we got there the place looked more like a Ghost town not the mecca for Tall Ships that we had expected. There were some tourists like ourselves aimlessly wandering around looking for some action. But that was it apart from one solitary tall ship. We stayed for a while down by the pier looking at fishing boats before deciding to go back home as there was no sign of the promised pipe band.
As we made our way out-of-town a police car was blocking the road it occurred to us this was either a rammy in a pub or the promised Pipe Band. It was indeed the latter so we got out of the car and with locals and the small group of tourists listened to the Kintyre School pipe band. Who were excellent and although the event lacked buzz they did make up for it with their music.
But I have to admit we did make our way back to our house very disappointed in the event. And as someone who has worked with the tourism industry for twenty plus years I saw it as a missed opportunity for Kintyre Tourism. As they had arranged a week of events locally I am sure that local tourism businesses were expecting more than the handful of tourists and the solitary Tall Ship that there was. My husband found out on Google that the ships were by passing Campbeltown for Islay. Having been to Islay I could see the attraction. But I wondered why the organisers had obviously created a hype locally and then not asked some of the ships to come to Campbeltown. Especially as it seemed to us during the time we were in Kintyre that it could do with a boost to its tourism industry. As it was really quiet and although I love that even I wanted to share this beautiful part of the world with more people. It was a missed opportunity and it made me sad that Campbeltown had not been allowed to properly benefit from this great event. 2011 has seen yet again tourism struggle like any business sector and I suspect this could have been a welcome boost to the Kintyre tourism industry.
We made our way home and took a glass of wine out to enjoy the view that I wish I could bottle. When we saw over the horizon? Yes you have guessed it a Tall Ship which was for the next few hours followed by more and more Tall Ships as they sailed down to Islay. For us it was our own exclusive look at these great ships. We really enjoyed it and it was a special night in our wee place in Kintyre. But I still think the organisers and crews of the Tall Ships missed out. Kintyre is a very wonderful and magic place and they didn’t get the chance to find that out.
So my blogs on Kintyre are my wee contribution to tourism in Kintyre. I hope that it encourages you to visit this very special part of the world. And to see why it captivated my heart.