Otters normally keep well away from humans, but if you are lucky, and not too noisy you may see one of these playful creatures messing around in the seaweed – or like this one, basking in the sun. Ok, it’s not a very good picture but that really is an Otter in the middle of the view. This was taken at Kilninian (Port an t-sruthain). We have seen Otters at Croig, Langamull (and Mink here), the cliffs just past Calgary, here at Kilninian and Croggan on the East coast. We imagine that they could be found anywhere on Mull which is quiet, remote and has seaweed cover.
Subsidised Travel to Mull for All
The Scottish government are subsidising travel to Mull with their RET scheme.
The cost of travel for islanders to the mainland was getting out of hand and also affecting the tourism trade, making people holidaying think twice. The RET scheme subsidises everyone’s ferry fares drastically. By our estimate the discount is around 60% for foot passengers and vehicles, which you will hopefully agree is pretty significant. The best thing is you don’t have to jump through any hoops to take advantage of this, the travel prices on the CalMac site already include the RET subsidy.
Check the Mull fares on https://www.calmac.co.uk/ret/about, with Oban / Craignure probably being the route most visitors to Tigh-na-acha will want to take.
Thank to the Scottish government for this gesture, it has made everyone on the islands a bit happier, though consider booking your ferry a bit earlier than normal because they may be a bit busier.
Iona Abbey, Isle of Mull
Iona Abbey was originally built in around 563AD from wood, wattle and daub by St Columba and his followers after they fled Ireland. Later in 1200AD the Columban Monastery was transformed into a Benedictine Abbey. The Abbey and grounds house one of the most comprehensive collections of Christian carved stones in Scotland.
Throughout the history of Iona, the isle, monastery were pillaged by viking invaders.
Walk around the beautifully kept Nunnery and Abbey cloisters. Visit the Abbey church itself and you can feel the history washing over you.
Restaurants in Tobermory
Fresh fish & chips cooked to order in Tobermory
The FISH & CHIP VAN on the Fishermans Pier in Tobermory is owned by Jeanette in partnership with her friend Jane.
The ladies use only the best fish which is supplied on a daily basis. One of their specialities is fresh king scallops ‘’seared’’ to order while you wait. In fact everything on the menu is cooked to order and the wait of a few minutes is a small price to pay for such fresh quality food. Your freshly cooked meal can be devoured in a setting that is second to none, in the heart of Tobermory overlooking it’s famous bay.
The Fisherman’s Pier FISH & CHIP VAN was honoured with a prestigious “Les Routiers” award and, being the first establishment of its kind to be included, the European food bible had to create a category especially for it. The guide insists it does not include premises which are just fashionable, they have to be “chic” and “with the best food.” If you think that’s good read what Prince Charles thought.
The FISH & CHIP VAN attracts customers from all over the world, many arriving by yacht. It has a strong local clientèle as well as visitors from all over the UK. The van is open all year round so next time you’re on Mull why not visit us for an “al fresco” meal on the seafront? Sorry but reservations cannot be taken for seating at the Clock Tower or on the lobster/prawn creels on the Pier !
Iona is a lovely peaceful place and just seems more refined somehow than the rest of Mull. If you do manage to get to the Abbey and have some time, try to visit the rest of the Island. Iona is a stones throw off the South West corner of Mull and some say that it gets the very best of Mull’s weather, probably when the wind is south westerly that is true. If you have time, strike out for the South and West coast where you will find yet more beaches and coves. Some say that from the West coast on a good day you can see Ireland, though we remain unconvinced.
The roads on Mull
The roads on Mull are mostly single track with passing spaces so keep your wits about you. This road goes from Dervaig to Torloisk and is not well travelled as most tourists take the coast road past Calgary Bay. You may see grass growing down the middle of some roads. The waterfall and views over Ulva make this route worth taking once in a while. Getting used to driving on single track roads can take a while but just keep a note of where the last passing place was and slow down whilst going round blind corners. Once you have the hang of it the roads are a lot of fun, hence the Mull Rally which takes place on public roads over a weekend in October.
Fishing on Mull – River Bellart
The 3 mile beat from Dervaig, past the Old Byrne until it emerges from the forest area is a lovely place to fish. The river meanders through peat flats and into the bay at Dervaig.
Use a spoon, fly or fresh worms to catch silver seatrout or salmon.
From £5 per day, all the information from Tackle and Books in Tobermory, 01688 302336 or email@example.com
The Breeze on Mull
The breeze on Mull is in the main probably a bit stronger than most other places. Although most of the pictures you will see of Mull show lovely blue skies and relatively calm conditions, it is not always like this. Between Spring and October you should have mainly good weather, but like the weather anywhere in Britain there are no guarantees. Without all the buildings and trees there is less to break up the wind. So, be prepared and take wind cheaters and some warm, windproof clothes to be on the safe side.
Ruined Houses – Clearances
Ruined Houses are another sight you will find dotted all over Mull, some seemingly on their own, but many in small communities, probably crofters using the land to generate income. The main reason for these buildings being left was down to the Highland Clearances which took place between 1770 and 1850. This was a cruel time and the landowners realising that they could make more money by leasing their land to a single sheep farmer simply kicked people out of their houses, normally with significant force. The strange ash that fell over the highlands in 1846 caused the potato famine which was the nail in the coffin for many people quite literally. During this time tens of thousands of people in the Western Isles were displaced, died or emigrated to America, Canada and even as far away as Australia. This ruin is just north of Tobermory overlooking Bloody Bay.
The Lighthouse walk
The Lighthouse Walk is a nice easy excursion from Tobermory Harbour. Head towards the Calmac ferry port and take the path heading up hill into the trees. You can just keep on this path for an hour or so, until you reach the lighthouse. On the way you should have fantastic views of Ardnamurchan. On the way back you could try walking back over the golf course for some lovely views down the Sound of Mull. Watch out for stray golf balls though.