I’m going to get the bad news out of the way first. I’d been wanting to visit the Isle of Mull for ages, having been told by lots of people how stunning it was. On reflection, September probably wasn’t the best time to go and I know I didn’t see the island at its finest – plus it was rather a whistle-stop 24-hr tour - but I’m afraid I wasn’t hugely impressed. I know, I know, I’m sorry, but I wasn’t.
In Mull’s defense, the weather was okay when we arrived, but went downhill and was downright rotten on the second day. And, crucially, if I hadn’t already seen so much of the Highland west coast, I probably would have thought Mull was beautiful. But the truth is, bar the south-west corner of the island, I think there are far more stunning landscapes and gorgeous beaches on the mainland.
And the roads. Apart from the stretch of sensible A-road from Craignure to Tobermory, it’s single track, which means you’re constantly pulling into passing places and/or having to stop and reverse. It frustrated the heck out of me and September is quiet, so goodness knows what it’s like in tourist season. Hurrumph.
Right, that’s the rubbish and disclaimers out of the way – on to the good points!
Loch an Ellen & Loch Airde Glais / Looking north to the Ardmeanach peninsula
The beach at Fionnphort is a very nice spot with a lovely view over the short stretch of water to Iona Abbey. Plenty of room to run about and lots for a little nose to sniff among the rocks.
If I’d had more time, I’d have hopped over to the island, but we had a schedule to keep, so pressed on and made our way across to Tobermory, stopping for a couple of pics along the way:
Looking towards Inch Kenneth & Ulva
Loch na Keal ...with Eorsa in the distance
Upper falls at Aros Park from Alainn viewpoint
Tobermory was fine, although there’s not much there. I’m sure that when the sun’s shining, the ‘Balamory’ effect of the coloured houses and shops is quite something, but it was a bit muted for us. I bought some yummy bits in Tobermory Chocolates and had a quick scoot around the whisky distillery shop, then set off westwards again.
We spent the night at the lovely Killoran Luxury Guest House, which is just outside Dervaig on the north coast, and run by a very nice couple, Craig & Tash. Craig does the cheffing and I can heartily recommend that, after you take advantage of one of Tash’s cocktails up in the guest lounge, you go for the 3-course set dinner. I had a cheese souffle, seas bass with chorizo and a chocolate fondant with shortbread. Flipping delicious.
Whippet Snippet… Killoran House welcomes dogs, although Ledi did sulk a bit at not being allowed to sleep on the bed. Poor thing, he’s so hard done-by.
Next morning we woke up to mist and drizzle, which gradually turned into full-on rain. I had planned to explore more of the south-west coast and inland, but the visibility was rotten, so we only managed to tick off Calgary Bay (not very special in the murk, I’m afraid) and the Eas Fors waterfall (quite a torrent!)
Eas Fors waterfall
We'll definitely go back and give Mull another chance when the weather's better and Ledi can inspect more of the terrain. It's certainly got potential ;)
Obi Wan Ledi, when we got home!
Getting there: Take the ferry from Oban to Craignure.
Sat Nav: Oban ferry terminal: PA34 4DB
Terrain: Pretty easy on the feet, but worth popping on some walking boots for scampering off-road.
Nearest facilities: Dotted all across the island, but more substantial facilities seemed to be mainly around Craignure and Tobermory. I’d highly recommend you treat yourself to a night at the dog-friendly Killoran House.
All maps in the blog are from Google Maps