When you’ve solely obtained time to go to 1 island in Scotland, make it Mull. Mull, within the Interior Hebrides, is without doubt one of the most lovely locations we’ve ever been – it’s dwelling to sea eagles, Highland cows and dolphins – and a few of Scotland’s most spectacular surroundings. Go to Mull for the UK’s most vibrant harbour and gorgeous empty seashores. Mull is without doubt one of the best islands to get to from mainland Scotland, and for those who spend 5 days right here, you possibly can simply go to 4 islands with out feeling rushed.
Consuming contemporary scallop and chips from a takeaway van, climbing mountains and visiting the well-known abbey on the isle of Iona are simply among the fabulous issues to do in Mull. Learn on for the entire information…
Issues to do in Mull
Stroll alongside the sands of Calgary Bay
The Canadian Metropolis of Calgary is called after this gorgeous seashore on the north west coast of Mull. Calgary Bay is a picture-perfect Hebridean seashore with its huge stretch of white sand and shallow crystal clear water. Cease off on the glorious café for selfmade desserts and sandwiches then take the sculpture path by the woods to get to the seashore.
Hidden among the many oak, hazel, willow and birch bushes you’ll discover sculpture, a zipper wire and excellent views over the bay from the highest. There’s an ice-cream shack, Robin’s Boat, proper by the seashore, which sells domestically made ice-cream. Make sure to strive the whisky marmalade flavour.
For a extra distant seashore stroll, drive to Langamull on the north coast between Calgary and Dervaig. The seashore here’s a nice 30-minute stroll from the Forestry Enterprise automobile park. The hidden coves among the many rocks, machair grasses and grazing sheep all mix to offer it the texture of a secret seashore and it makes a terrific spot for a picnic. In your stroll again, take a detour to see the ruined village of Kildavie.
Sail throughout to the island of Iona
The isle of Iona was shrouded in mist once we sailed throughout one heat August morning. As our boat approached land we began to make out the shapes of boats within the harbour, a few buildings on the quayside and one of many big stone Celtic crosses for which Iona is so well-known.
Guests typically describe a pervading sense of peace and spirituality once they go to Iona for the primary time. The complete island is barely three miles lengthy and a mile large, there’s no visitors and solely about 150 folks residing right here. Day-trippers take the 10-minute ferry experience throughout from Mull to discover the well-known abbey, the medieval Road of the Lifeless and absorb the environment of this very particular place.
Iona has been a spot of pilgrimage for hundreds of years and a go to right here is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Mull. The monastery right here was based within the Sixth Century by St Columba, a monk exiled from Eire. It’s often known as the cradle of Christianity in Scotland and Iona’s sacred burial floor is alleged to include the graves of 60 kings together with Macbeth.
Take the ferry throughout to Iona from Fionnphort on the south west coast of Mull. Iona Abbey is open day by day from 9.30am till 5.30pm from April till the tip of September. It’s open from Monday to Saturday, 10am till 4pm all through the remainder of the 12 months. Adults, £9.50; kids, £5.50; beneath 5s, free.
Feast on the unbelievable seafood
Our most memorable meal on Mull was the scallop and chips we had sat on the jetty in Tobermory, watching the solar set over the harbour. Mull is known for its scrumptious seafood, all caught contemporary within the clear waters of its 300-mile shoreline. The Fisherman’s Pier fish and chip van at Tobermory van serves fish and chips, lemon sole sandwiches and scallops freshly caught that day – and so they style unbelievable.
For an additional nice Tobermory eating expertise, e-book a desk at Café Fish on the waterfront. The award-winning restaurant right here serves langoustines and lobster caught by the restaurant’s personal boat. Café Fish is well-known for its smoked fish and seafood platters – costs are fairly excessive and so they solely settle for money.
You’ll discover a extra relaxed environment at Am Birlinn, a family-friendly restaurant in a phenomenal modern constructing close to Calgary. All the things on the menu, from the seafood stew to the seabass and langoustines, is scrumptious. There’s even an outdoor play space for youngsters.
Drive the West Coast Highway
Journey in Mull is gradual and all the higher for it. Slim, one-way roads wend their manner across the island, previous lochs and seashores, mountains and harbours. Your highway forward could possibly be blocked by sheep, Highland cows, tractors and even otters – nevertheless it’s value it for the views are extraordinary and none are extra lovely than the west coast drive from Calgary to the south of the island.
The views throughout Loch na Keal are out of this world. All one of the best of the Scottish panorama is right here: a patchwork of grass, rocks and purple heather, the mountains and sea within the distance and the nonetheless blue waters of the loch. We stopped our automobile quite a few instances as a result of we couldn’t resist taking images. It’s some of the stunningly lovely drives I’ve ever carried out. I’d put it proper up there with the coastal highway in California, the highway that goes by the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales and the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Fall in love with the Highland cows
I by no means obtained bored with seeing the lovable shaggy-haired coos as we drove across the island. They had been typically blocking the highway forward or watching us from beneath their furry fringes from the edges of the lane.
The Highland cows’ shaggy hair helps them tolerate the chilly, moist Scottish winter. They’re often very docile nevertheless it’s finest to not strategy them once they’re with their calves as they’re recognized for being protecting – and so they do have very giant horns.
When you’re eager to identify Highland cows on Mull, take the highway from Calgary to the Ulva ferry on the north west of the island – we at all times noticed them alongside that stretch.
Mull is a superb place to see all kinds of wildlife. The island is known for its sea eagles. These white-tailed eagles are Britain’s largest chook of prey. You can too spot bottlenose dolphin, minke and killer whales, basking sharks and harbour porpoises within the waters across the island.
Discover Fingal’s Cave and the island of Staffa
Observe within the footsteps of Queen Victoria, Sir Walter Scott and John Keats and go to the extraordinary Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa, an uninhabited island six miles off the coast of Mull.
Fingal’s Cave is the Scottish equal of the Large’s Causeway in Northern Eire – it’s made out of polygonal basalt columns and black hexagonally-shaped rocks. Guests can stroll into the doorway of the cave and take heed to the sound of the water towards the rock, a sound that impressed Mendelssohn to compose his Hebrides Overture.
Go to Staffa within the puffin breeding season from the tip of April till the start of August and you may rise up near the 1000’s of puffins that burrow alongside the clifftops right here. Most individuals go to Fingal’s Cave as a part of an extended journey to the Treshnish Islands. Lunga is without doubt one of the finest locations in Scotland to see puffins within the wild.
Turus Mara runs small boat journeys to go to Fingal’s Cave and Staffa from the Ulva ferry dock on Mull. Through the puffin breeding season from April till early August you’ll spend an hour on Staffa and two hours on Lunga. Test the web site for extra particulars. The boat journeys can e-book up weeks prematurely in the summertime months so e-book as early as you possibly can.
Discover out extra about exploring Fingal’s Cave by studying Fingal’s Cave, the Large’s Causeway of Scotland.
Climb up Ben Extra
When you’ve at all times wished to bag a munro then Mull’s a very good place to begin. A munro is a Scottish mountain over 3,000 ft excessive and Ben Extra is the one munro within the Hebrides outdoors of Skye. Essentially the most simple route up the mountain is from Dhiseig. It’s a 9.5 kilometre route up and again once more and takes round 5 hours.
It’s a hill stroll relatively than a difficult climb so this route is appropriate for newbies in addition to extra seasoned climbers. On a very good day you’ll take pleasure in fantastic views throughout the island and over the ocean to a number of the opposite Hebridean islands.
Check out the Stroll Highlands web site for an in depth information to climbing Ben Extra.
Make a journey to Tobermory
Tobermory is the rationale I used to be so determined to go to Mull. It’s one of many prettiest and most vibrant harbours within the UK. Brilliant crimson, yellow, blue and pink buildings line the quayside, their colors reflecting within the water. Lobster pots and fish nets are stacked up on the jetty and fishing boats bob about within the sea.
Households will immediately recognise it because the setting for the youngsters’s tv sequence, Balamory. There are a number of good eating places overlooking the harbour and retailers promoting pottery and handmade cleaning soap in addition to a bakery and a tearoom. From Tobermory you possibly can go on wildlife watching excursions to identify whales, dolphins and basking sharks. The island’s distillery simply up from the harbour, was based in 1798 and presents excursions and tastings of its vary of single malts.
Check out the ten Most Vibrant Locations within the World for extra vibrant journey inspiration.
Go to the Glass Barn
This glass-sided barn is without doubt one of the most lovely cafés in Scotland. It’s principally a giant greenhouse crammed with crops, with vines protecting the partitions and ceiling. It’s completely attractive and its setting on a household farm simply north of Tobermory makes it a must-visit for selfmade cake and scrumptious lunches. The small store inside sells cheese that’s made on the farm utilizing conventional strategies.
The Glass Barn Café is open day by day from Sunday to Thursday, 10am till 4pm.
Go for a stroll on the island of Ulva
There are some good walks throughout this little island off the west coast of Mull. Ulva is barely 500 yards away from the mainland so anybody wishing to cross simply hails the ferry and a motorboat will take you over to Ulva. When you’re fortunate you may even see dolphins enjoying within the distance.
Ulva is a community-owned island. There aren’t any automobiles and many wildlife. Puffins nest on the coast and crimson deer and mountain hares make their dwelling on the island in addition to seals, otters and rabbits. Strolling paths crisscross the island by woodland, moorland and heather-covered hills. Regardless of the wall-marked trails we managed the double whammy of getting misplaced and shedding a shoe in a muddy lavatory on our journey to Ulva – however don’t let that put you off!
Victorian explorer, David Livingstone’s grandparents lived on a croft on Ulva and you may go to a thatched cottage which has been restored as a tiny museum. The Boathouse, the pub on the touchdown pier, serves good meals and there are many nice picnic spots across the island.
Learn how to get to Mull
Caledonian MacBrayne runs common ferries to Craignure from Oban on the mainland. It takes 45 minutes. There are additionally ferries from Lochaline to Fishnish and from Kilchoan to Tobermory. The port of Oban is a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Glasgow. We flew to Glasgow from London and picked up a rent automobile from the airport. There are additionally good rail and highway connections to Glasgow.
The place to remain on Mull
There may be a variety of lodging choices on Mull from rooms in guesthouses and lodges to campsites and self-catering cottages. Make sure to e-book effectively prematurely for the height summer time months.
We actually loved our keep in Willowbank, a just lately renovated two-bedroom cottage within the fairly village of Dervaig on the north of the island. There’s a good-sized kitchen and eating space and just a little backyard to be able to have meals outdoors in good climate. It made a perfect base for exploring all of the issues to do in Mull and we appreciated the stunning touches like contemporary flowers and selfmade bread and jam. The proprietor of the cottage has a superb Instagram account the place she shares information and ideas of issues to do in Mull.
When you’re in Scotland: Why not discover one other island (or extra) whilst you’re there? We mixed our journey to Mull with per week on the tiny island of Tiree, one other island within the Interior Hebrides. Check out Tiree, the Hawaii of the North to seek out out all about it. You can too discover a information to Edinburgh, our favorite Scottish metropolis.