Boats and other sea-going vessels that moor in Tobermory harbour are just as colourful and interesting as the shops, houses and inns that give the front it’s identity. All kinds of vessel can be seen in the harbour. The CalMac passenger ferry can be seen chugging up and down the sound of Mull on its long journey to Barra. Moored in the bay you will see two and three mast Schooners, Luxury yachts, the odd Ketch and most other type of boat you can think of. If you frequent the bars along the sea front you will no doubt pick up on many discussions of a nautical nature.
The Western Isles Hotel
The Western Isles Hotel is a great place to go after a day exploring the Island. We love to take a stroll down the hill, stopping off for a couple at the Western Isles where the atmosphere is relaxing and the views from the Conservatory Bar over the harbour stunning. When ready, keep on down the hill turn left at the bottom and pop into the Mishnish where there is live folk music most nights of the week. Perhaps finish the evening off with a meal Upstairs, or in one of the many excellent restaurants along the sea front.
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.
Fishing on Mull – Loch Frisa
Going a little further afield from Tobermory, about a 20 minute drive from Tigh-na-acha on the Dervaig Road. This loch is the largest and deepest freshwater loch on Mull being 8km by 800m and 60m deep. Brown Trout of 5lb+, Salmon average 6lb and Sea Trout 2lb can be taken from the loch and the River Aros which flows from Loch Frisa.
Permits from £4 per day available from Tackle & Books in Tobermory – 01688 302336 or email@example.com
Calgary Bay is a popular sandy beach, around 40 minutes drive from Tobermory. Around half a mile wide with easy parking and easy access to the beach, it is a good place for all. Walk up the track on the right hand side of the bay to the granite pier for an alternative view of the bay.
Visit the tea rooms and art gallery for refreshments.
There is also a very enjoyable guided walk starting from the tea rooms which is great for kids and adults alike. Called the Art in Nature Sculpture trail, you are taken through the forest past some fantastic nature inspired sculptures, many integrated into the woodland itself.
Rainbows on Mull
Rainbows on Mull are not unusual. Due to the breezy conditions on Mull the weather can be a little more changeable than some other places in the world. Yes, it does rain and sometimes it can persist it down for days. We relish the rainy days, it gives us a chance to catch up with our reading, visit Browns to pick a nice malt whiskey to keep us amused, or spend a little more time sampling the 80′ in the Mishnish. With this in mind there are some board games and puzzles in the cupboard in the lounge and some books, but it would be wise to pack a waterproof and something to keep you entertained whilst exploring Mull is out of the question.
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.
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.
Sandy Coves can be found all around the coast of Mull, these are normally very secluded. This is one of the reasons we love Mull so much. You can make a picnic lunch, go out for the day, find a lovely sandy beach and not see anyone else. Some of our favourite places in the North of Mull are past Croig (Port na Ba), Langamull (Port Langamull), Kilninian (Port an t-sruthain). Then on the South coast between Ardalanish and the now deserted township of Shiaba there are many caves and sandy coves, like this one at Uisken.
Tobermory Golf Club
The Tobermory Golf Club is just a 10 minute walk from Tigh-na-acha, the Tobermory Golf Club is a challenging 9 hole course sculpted from the side of the hill rising behind Tobermory Harbour.
Don’t let the fact that this is 9 holes put you off, this is a challenging course. the first hole presents you with a heather covered hill you must play over, only a marker showing you the direction of the hole. The course gets better, every hole is a new adventure. Situated high above Tobermory harbour the amazing views down the Sound of Mull, Morvern, Ardnamurchan and the mountains of the islands of Rum and Eigg
Voted “Best 9 hole golf course in Scotland” in The Scotsman 16/01/2008, some accolade indeed.
From the club website “Where man and nature conspired to create the perfect golf course. This 9 hole course is a gem set on the beautiful isle of Mull. Beware, the scenery can seriously affect your game.”
One of the beauties, of a course like Tobermory, is that there is no booking system. The course is available for play just about any time. Green fees are £20 per day for adults. Visitors are always welcome.
See http://www.tobermorygolfclub.com/ for more details.