I wrote about the Isle of Mull earlier this year and what we've done on our previous trips there - Duart Castle, of course, the isles of Iona and Staffa, and pony trekking, to name a few - so I will try not to be too redundant.
We keep returning to Mull because, although many islanders rely on tourism during the non-winter months and the island is well-visited then, there are still fewer people than on Skye and the mainland. I liked Edinburgh, but there were just way too many people there for our taste. Tobermory can get pretty crowded because it is a tiny town with one main street of shops, but we spend most our time out walking anyway. It's not that we don't like people, but...well, maybe that's part of it. We just really like our peace and quiet and value time alone.
Be aware that on the other side of every bend and curve in the road there could be
So...once you get the hang of driving on Mull, what can you see and do? In order to not reinvent the wheel, I thought I'd provide a few links I've found to what others have already written followed by photos of what we've done.
Holiday Mull's extensive website offers tips on driving as well as links to wildlife tours, self-guided walks, accommodations, places to eat, and things to do.
The Scotland Info Guide site offers similar information with less flash and flare. Helpful for the basics.
Check out the Round & About Mull & Iona diary for scheduled events during your visit!
This blog post by a country hopping couple lists ideas for things you should do on the island with pictures. I'd add to their list a boat trip to Staffa, combined with the boat ride to Iona.
The Walk Highlands website offers helpful information on various walks you can take around the islands. The site shows you how difficult each walk is, how many km/miles it is, and roughly how long it will take you.
What We Did
Although we are not shoppers, I do enjoy stepping into the quaint little shops, and I always find something to buy. Don't miss the bakery, the chocolate shop, the book shop, or the soap shop.
|I believe the whisky distillery offers tours, though we haven't done this yet.|
|Stop in here if only because it smells so wonderful!|
Isle of Mull soaps make for nice gifts to take home.
|I love handmade pottery, and we have several pieces from Mull.|
|Aros Hall, next to the big church (which is a cafe and shop, not a church).|
This is where the Producers' Market is held on Mondays.
A tip for when you find the bookstore (on the north arm of the harbor): check out the local interest books. There are some unforgettable collections of stories, tales, and legends about Mull collected and written by islanders as well as several great books describing walks to take on the island. If you didn't bring any Ordinance Survey maps with you, pick up one or two of those as well.
|This is our Scotland shelf. Of the 24 books, 10 of them are about Mull.|
Hikes / Walks
This is the main reason we come to Mull. We are by no means serious hikers, which means unless you have a physical disability or serious injury, if we can do it, you can do it. This is where the hiking books come in really handy. You can decide how far you want to walk on any given day, how much up-and-down you can handle, and choose a walk that fits. We've done the Ardmore Shore walk, been to 's Airde Beinn (the crater loch), walked much of Glengorm's land in the north, and this time added a few new walks.
It's during our walks that we really get to explore the island and forget about everything but where we are.
|Speinne Mor, the hill we didn't quite climb. I know it looks like a little bitty bump,|
but the walk was more strenuous than we were prepared for.
It didn't help that we kept losing the darn trail, which was described as
"clear and easy to follow".
|the Mishnish lochs|
|waterfall on the Aros Park walk from Tobermory|
|Lochan a'Ghurrabain, Aros Park walk|
This beach is a popular site during the summer months on a fine weather day. We tend to go for a drive on days when it's raining, and it's rare that the rain doesn't let up for at least a bit. So we like to stop here and stroll on the beautiful white sands. There's also a walk from here called "Art in Nature" where you'll apparently see sculptures along the way.
|The waves leave artistic patterns in the sand.|
Loch Na Keal is another place to stop, and especially to hike along. If you're knowledgeable about the tides, you can get to McKinnon's Cave - and you can read about the legend in one of the local books about the island!
We stopped for a
restroom coffee break in Salen, and something helpful to know is that there are public restrooms here in case, as happened with us, the restaurant is closed and the coffee shop's restrooms are out of order and being seen to by the local plumber.
Not far from Salen are the ruins of Aros Castle, and that is a nice short walk through some bracken, along the shoreline, and around the ruins.
There is much more that awaits us!
Hiking on the isle of Ulva
Exploring more of central and southern Mull
Attending a performance at the Mull Theatre, "the smallest professional theatre in the world"
Attending a ceilidh
Meeting Iain Thomson, Mull's "singing shepherd," and hearing him sing live at a pub or ceilidh
Do you have a holiday destination that you love returning to over and over again?