The Isle of Mull is a place to get away from it all; a place to explore, to stop in the 21st century and pause for a moment or two. Mull will refresh you, will give you time to put your life in perspective and create a few memories and a longing to go back. Turn you mobile phone off, lift your head high and take in the views!
The island offers mountains, beaches, rivers and turquoise vistas out to sea, it has castles to visit and castle to sleep in. Best of all, sunsets to cherish and, if you are up early enough, a sunrise to give you energy and inspiration to explore this wonderful island on the West Coast of Scotland.
Mull is famously home to white-tailed sea eagles and golden eagles, as well as otters, red deer, seals and porpoise. You can book a boat trip in search of whales and dolphins, and visit the nearby islands of Staffa (famous for its stunning geology) and Lunga (if you want to see thousands of puffins).
Check out Mull Eagle Watch, which is running from two sites, both on Community Forest Land. The first site is at Tiroran, with the second site at West Ardhu, where a pair of sea eagles, Hope and Star, have made their nest in the community forest owned by North West Mull Community Woodland.
Booking is essential through the Visit Scotland office in Craignure, by calling 01680 812556. The cost is £8 adults/£4 children and £20 for a family ticket (2A/2C).
Located at the south west tip of Mull, this is a gateway to a truly enchanting place - the Isle of Iona.
Iona has been a centre of Christian worship for almost 1500 years. The original monastery was founded by St. Columba, who landed on Iona in AD 563, but was destroyed in Viking raids in the ninth and tenth centuries.
Just a ten minute ferry crossing will transport you to this tranquil little island, known as the 'Cradle of Christianity'. It was also the burial place of early Scottish kings. The later thirteenth century abbey lay derelict after the Reformation, and was only restored in the early 20th century. The abbey building is now administered by Historic Scotland, and there is a charge for tourist entry.
The Capital of Mull
The coloured houses along Tobermory’s seafront make it one of Scotland’s most easily recognised destinations. As Mull’s ‘capital’, this cheerful and tranquil little town offers plenty of places to eat, drink and potter. The shops lining the main street are filled with locally handmade products, with plenty of places to stop, have a creamed tea or enjoy a lovely meal and watch the world go by. In the harbour, working fishing boats can be seen alongside yachts and visiting ships. Tobermory is also the home of two single malts, so for whisky drinkers, the distillery is a must! Tobermory Distillery is in the town and you can explore the Oban Distillery as you go on or off the island.
Do I stay on the island or off it? We have both options for you. To match these three great places to visit, there are three great castles to spend the night in...or longer, which I would heartily recommend doing, if you can.
On the island you have Glengorm Castle, with great views over the ocean. Book this at least a year in advance for dates from May – September; it is a very popular castle and the perfect spot for sunset or a sunrise!
On the mainland, about 10 minutes from Oban, you can stay at the charming Barcaldine Castle, again offering lovely views over the sea and great access to Glencoe as you head further north. Again book this property at least 6 months in advance; it is another very popular castle and offers great service.
Just a short ferry trip from Tobermory you get great views over to Mull at Mingary Castle, an outstanding restoration, right on the edge of the Ardnamurchan peninsula, near Kilchoan. The restoration is breath-taking, but the service and food make this a 'must' to add to any bucket list.
All I have to add now is...go and get a trip to Mull in your diary!