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Travel Advice for Guests

Travel information  |  FAQs answered | Bookings for 2020

Travel to the Island
Calmac have now confirmed their summer timetable from Oban to Craignure between 15th July 2020 to 18th October 2020 (you can also see the Lochaline to Fishnisher timetable here).   The capacity of the boats has increased for this period, coinciding with the timings of the Scottish Government’s route map, which guides the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Bookings are now available for the duration of the timetable, which means guests can book in advance on the service, as usual.  The Lochaline to Fishnish service is also running, as usual, on a turn up and go basis.

When is my balance due and will it be collected automatically?
This season we are not requesting balance payments on their usual due date (six weeks before travel).  Instead, we will request your balance payment two weeks before your arrival date.   You will receive an email from us at this point with a link for making payment online via our secure facility.

New Bookings for 2020 and 2021
For any new bookings in 2020, we are now requesting deposit payments as normal when you make a reservation with us.  We have limited availabillity this year.   The balance payment becomes payable two weeks before arrival.  For bookings in 2021, our terms and conditions of hire apply.  A deposit of 30% of the rental fee is requested within five days of you making a reservation and the balance is due six weeks before arrival.

Cancellations
If you are unable to travel to Mull due to a local government lockdown, we would offer you a transfer of dates in the first instance and, if that wasn’t agreeable, we would request that the owner refund you in full (and would return our commission element of the fee you paid in full).  If however, you decide not to travel for any other reason, our usual cancellation policy would apply.  That means we will only be able to refund the amount you have paid towards your booking (less an administration fee of £30), if we are able to re-book the accommodation for your period of hire (at the same rate).

Cleaning Protocols
The new cleaning protocols have been passed onto all our property owners and their housekeepers, to allow them to make preparations for receiving guests.  As the booking Agent for the holiday cottages on our website, we can’t dictate what is put in place at each property – that is for each owner/housekeeper to decide, but we have put together a general document which we send out to all guests, pre-arrival, to help keep everyone informed and safe and will give you contact details for the property caretaker/owner, should you have any specific questions.

A Final Note
Please note we are doing our best in the rapidly changing landscape, to adapt to new policies, and keep guests and our owners informed as best we can at every step.  We much appreciate your support and look forward to welcoming guests to the island again, when it is safe for us to do so.

Thank you.
Isle of Mull Cottages

How to Have a More Eco-Friendly Holiday on Mull

An island with mountains, lochs and undulating coastline, Mull is a must-visit for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and beach goers. If you want to do your bit to have a more eco-friendly holiday on Mull and preserve the island’s special landscapes, traditions and culture, try these simple tips.

Leave the car at the cottage and walk to Mull's most scenic spots for a more eco-friendly holiday on Mull

Greener travel

Mull has miles and miles of walking tracks, from challenging hill climbs to more leisurely forestry tracks and beach walks. Exploring by foot or bike instantly cuts your carbon footprint, with the bonus of having more time to watch for wildlife and take in the views. Find more inspiration for walking routes on Mull.

For longer journeys, why not make use of the island’s well-connected bus service? Even one journey here or there can help achieve a more eco-friendly holiday on Mull.

You could also book a holiday cottage within walking distance of your must-see attractions. Try Canna overlooking the harbour in Tobermory, Calgary Bay Cottage right beside the beach or Ploughman’s Cottage for epic walks to Shiaba and Kilvickeon Beach.

Dragonsfly Rest, a holiday cottage on Mull with eco-friendly initiatives

Eco-friendly holiday cottages

We’ve got lots of eco-friendly holiday cottages on Mull, but that doesn’t mean going back to basics for a week.

Pet friendly Carnanamish in Tobermory is a contemporary holiday home for eight with stunning sea views. The sustainable measures here are built in to the fabric of the building. For example, the large windows make the most of solar gain, while the air exchange heat pump offers eco-friendly heating.

Likewise, pet friendly Dragonsfly Rest on the Ross of Mull combines a wood burning stove with solar panels to keep the cottage cosy, with temperature controls on each radiator providing all the modern conveniences too.

Highland cow beside Shepherd's Light cottage on Mull

Local produce

Guests often ask us about the best places to do your food shopping on Mull. This can be a great way to plan a more eco-friendly holiday on Mull too. We are fortunate to have a wide range of local producers and purveyors to choose from, ranging from the Tobermory Fish Company to Tobermory Bakery, Inverlussa Shellfish to Isle of Mull Cheese.

There’s also the opportunity to stock up from local growers and producers at the regular Producer’s Markets. These take place in Tobermory, Craignure, Pennyghael and Dervaig. Many also sell direct from the farm, so you can indulge in fresh vegetables from Glengorm Gardens, Hebridean hogget and Highland beef from Ardalanish and pork from the Greenleaves Croft in Ardtun.

The Crofter’s Kitchen and Garden at Kintra is also well worth a visit for local produce and eggs in season. And for those who wish to enjoy the local bounty without cooking themselves, place an order with the Lochbuie Larder. Creators of homemade ready meals, many featuring ingredients from the Lochbuie estate, these are a favourite among our guests.

Book your holiday cottage and start planning your visit to Mull today.

50 Great Things to Do on the Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull is one of the easiest islands to reach in the Hebrides, with regular ferries arriving on the island from Oban, Kilchoan and Lochaline on the Scottish mainland. It’s also one of the most exciting to explore, with mountain glens, shell-sand beaches and the vibrant town of Tobermory all to be enjoyed. We’re here to help get you started with 50 of the best things to do on the Isle of Mull. Off we go!

White tailed sea eagle flying over the loch on the Isle of Mull

Wildlife

  1. Encounter the white-tailed sea eagles
    Explore the coastline for a lucky glimpse as eagles visit their feeding grounds, or book a guided tour with a ranger at Mull Eagle Watch.
  2. Scan the shoreline for otters
    These often-elusive creatures could test your patience, but when it pays off, the chance to see otters in the wild is well worth the wait.
  3. Watch golden eagles soar over the hills
    The more mountainous parts of the island, like dramatic Glen More, are a good place to look.
  4. Look out for deer
    A regular sight, red deer outnumber people on the Isle of Mull by three to one! Fallow deer can also be found in a few parts of the island.
  5. Take a wildlife tour 
    A brilliant way to begin the week, giving you plenty of tips and places to visit during the rest of your holiday.
  6. Meet the puffins on the Treshnish Isles
    From April to July, land on Lunga to experience these ground-nesting birds close up. Boat trips depart from Tobermory and Ulva Ferry.
  7. Go whale watching off Mull’s north coast
    With the chance to see minke whales in the waters around Mull, this boat trip is a must. You could also spot basking sharks and harbour porpoise, too.
  8. Spot dolphins from a boat trip to Staffa
    It’s not uncommon for a playful pod of dolphins to accompany your boat as it sails towards Staffa and Fingal’s Cave.
  9. Look for the corncake on Iona
    There are around 40 pairs of nesting corncrake on the Isle of Iona, reached via passenger ferry from Fionnphort on Mull.
  10. Visit the aquarium
    Pay a visit to Tobermory’s catch-and-release aquarium located in the harbour building at the end of the colourful Main Street.

Dramatic cliffs and coastal walk on the Ardmeanach Peninsula, Isle of Mull

Walking

  1. Walk to Carsaig Arches
    One of the most ambitious walks on the island, cross challenging terrain to reach one of Mull’s greatest natural spectacles.
  2. Hike to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree
    A brilliant walk through true wilderness with excellent sea views to accompany you. The Tiroran holiday cottages make an excellent base for this hike.
  3. Trek from coast to coast
    Start from the old fishing boats at Salen and traverse the narrowest part of the island to reach the coast of Loch na Keal at Killiechronan.
  4. Climb Ben More
    Take the popular path from Dhiseig or tackle the more challenging A’Chioch ridge ascent.
  5. Walk to the tidal isle of Erraid
    Low tide exposes a tidal sandbar you can cross to Erraid from Knockvologan beach. Be sure to check tide times for your return journey to ensure you’re not cut off!
  6. Explore the ruined village at Shiaba
    Starting from Scoor in south west Mull, navigate the island’s coastal hilltops to reach Shiaba, with superb views out to sea.
  7. Take a guided wildlife walk
    Taking things at a slower pace can make it easier to spot Mull’s more elusive wildlife, with experienced guides to help.
  8. Climb Dun da Gaoithe
    A dramatic mountain to climb with views that stretch over the sea to the mountains of mainland Scotland.
  9. Stretch your legs at Aros Park
    Follow the crashing course of the dramatic waterfalls, take a tranquil walk around the lochan or follow the coastal path back to Tobermory.
  10. Walk to a hidden beach
    Head off the beaten track and discover the Isle of Mull’s many remarkable beaches that you can’t see from the roadside.

History & Geology

  1. Explore the Mull Museum in Tobermory
    From the island’s volcanic origins to its crofting roots, step back in time at the Mull Museum.
  2. Visit the Abbey on Iona
    A short passenger ferry crossing carries you from Fionnphort in south west Mull to the idyllic Isle of Iona.
  3. Explore the disused pink granite quarry at Fionnphort
    The pink granite rock is a distinctive feature on the Ross of Mull, with a lovely circular walk offering a glimpse at how the rock was once mined.
  4. Visit the Ross of Mull Historical Centre
    Discover the crofting traditions and challenging times of life on the Ross with exhibits, and pick up a guide book for the rest of your stay.
  5. Walk around the fossil beds at Ardtun
    A coastal walk with the chance to see columnar basalt and leaf fossils, revealing trees that once stood beside a prehistoric lake.
  6. Visit the Macquarie Mausoleum
    Take this gentle walk from Gruline to the Macquarie Mausoleum, which commemorates Sir Lachlan Macquarie who came from Ulva and became Governor of New South Wales.
  7. Walk to ruined castles at Aros and Lochbuie
    Visit the ruins on the headland at Aros, just north of Salen Bay, or follow the south coast from Lochbuie to discover Moy Castle.
  8. Visit the Iron Age fort at Aros
    While you’re in the area, head uphill to the top of Cnoc na Sroine to see the remains of the Iron Age fort.
  9. Climb up to crater loch
    Experience Mull’s volcanic past feet first with a climb to the top of the crater loch, Lochan S’Airde Beinn.
  10. Step back in time at Duart Castle
    Spot the impressive seat of Clan Maclean from the ferry into Craignure, then pay the castle a visit for a tour.

The Three Lochs virwpoint in Glen More, Isle of Mull, winter sunset

Outdoor & Adventure

  1. Go kayaking along the coast
    You can even launch your kayak from the cottage when you stay at Seaview or The Old Church.
  2. Wild swim in Calgary Bay
    Discover more wild swimming spots around the island with our guide.
  3. Visit Eas Fors waterfall
    This multi-tiered waterfall tumbles down the hillside and into the sea on the island’s west coast.
  4. Drive through the Glen More mountains
    Pull in at the Three Lochs viewpoint for an incredibly scenic picnic spot.
  5. Walk to the most north easterly point on Mull
    This less-travelled walk takes you to Ardmore Point.
  6. Visit MacKinnon’s Cave
    Remember to check the tide times and pack a torch – the cave is bigger than you think!
  7. Witness the Dakota memorial
    Walk deep into the heart of Glen Forsa and you’ll pass the memorial to the 1945 Dakota plane crash.
  8. Go mountain biking
    There’s no shortage of biking trails on the island, passing through woodland, mountain and coast.
  9. Play golf beside the sea
    There is not one but two golf courses on the Isle of Mull – a nine-hole course with views to Ardnamurchan in Tobermory, and a course in Craignure with sea views across to the Morvern hills.
  10. Go sea or river fishing
    Pick up a permit for river fishing from Tackle and Books and make your own catch of the day.
    Sweeping white sand and calm turquoise sea at Knockvologan beach on the Isle of Mull

Family

  1. Visit Rainydays soft play in Tobermory
    A great way to entertain the little ones if the weather is wild outside.
  2. Walk the Calgary Art in Nature trail
    Think of it like an artistic treasure hunt that leads down to the white sand beach.
  3. Visit the gardens at Lip na Cloiche
    Discover driftwood creations, wander through lush, jungle-like planting and enjoy the sea views from this magical garden.
  4. See a play at Mull Theatre
    Conveniently located just outside Tobermory, this makes a great addition to your holiday.
  5. Go pony trekking along the beach
    Ride through the waves and canter across the beach on surefooted Highland ponies.
  6. Make a splash in the pool
    The swimming pool at the Isle of Mull Hotel in Craignure is great for a swim whatever the weather.
  7. Experience the Tobermory Highland Games
    A day of bagpipes and competition, this traditional Highland fixture held each July is not one to be missed!
  8. Build sandcastles on Knockvologan beach
    One of the most beautiful beaches on the Isle of Mull with gorgeous sandy bays. This one is well worth a visit!
  9. Attend a country show at Salen or Bunessan
    See the Isle of Mull’s farmers and crofters turn out in their droves as their livestock compete in the show ring. Find out what’s on.
  10. Visit the shipwrecks at Salen
    One of the most iconic locations on Mull, don’t miss a visit to Salen’s old fishing boats as you venture up the east coast.

Feeling inspired to visit the Isle of Mull? Book a holiday cottage and get your holiday plans underway!

Walking Guide: MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree

It’s easy to see how the headland dubbed Mull’s wilderness peninsula earned its name. Venture out on the tidal walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree and you’ll experience the wilds first hand, for while the route is for much of the way straight forward, the views are ruggedly magnificent.

Then, upon reaching the final leg of the outwards journey, the lower level scramble over rocks along the shore and the descent of the metal ladder to get there certainly add to the challenge. One made well worth it by the spectacular waterfalls and 55 million year old fossil tree.

Ardmeaneach peninsula wilderness headland meeting the sea at Loch Scridain with steep cliffs and blue skies above

Reaching the start

The walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree begins just beyond Tiroran in south west Mull, so Gardener’s Cottage, Woodland Cottage and The Old Byre make excellent bases from which to begin the hike.

Coming from the Ross of Mull, turn left onto the ‘Scenic Route to Salen’, then a few miles on, take another left signposted to Tiroran and Burg. Continue along the lane until you reach the parking area. Coming from the north, follow the coast road along Loch na Keal heading south. Pass the Gribun cliffs and later, the Tiroran Community Forest before turning right at the signpost for Tiroran and Burg.

The walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree

The walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree follows the southern coastline of the Ardmeanach peninsula for much of the way, before rounding the headland as you approach the tree. Cast your gaze in the direction of loch Scridain, which sits at your side all the way out, and take in the beautiful Ross of Mull scenery beyond. There are eagles to watch, wildlife to spot and – if you’re very lucky – perhaps even a passing pod of dolphins.

Stone memorial cairn to Daisy Cheape on the way to MacCulloch's Fossil Tree

The route is easy going to start with, both for the navigator and for the feet. Simply follow the track towards the farm at Burg and then onwards through the woodland and the memorial to Daisy Cheape.

Waterfall cascading down lush green and rocky cliffs on Ardmeanach peninsula, Isle of Mull

Bearing north to follow the coast round the peninsula, you enter the final stage of the walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree. It’s here that the journey begins to feel more like a hike. Waterfalls punctuate the sea and wilderness views, being all the more atmospheric after a period of rain. When you reach the metal ladder, descend carefully to the rock-strewn shoreline below before reaching the fossil tree.

Close up view of basalt lava cast of MacCulloch's Fossil Tree

Spectacular rock formations and geology on the walk to MacCulloch's Fossil Tree

As you’ll be on the shore, this walk is best planned carefully with the tides to ensure you can actually reach the rocky beach below to explore. Turn away from the sea to face the cliff you just descended and take in the majesty of the fossil tree remnants, dramatically displayed within their basalt lava cast, before returning the way you came.

rocky shoreline with rock pool with large cliff towering above at Burg on Mull

The walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree will take the best part of the day. Prepare to enjoy some of the most staggering Isle of Mull scenery as you venture there and back.

If you plan to enjoy some of Mull’s best walks, don’t miss our guide to the hike to Carsaig Arches too.

 

 

Celebrate Christmas on Mull This Year

Tempted to spend Christmas on Mull but not sure where to start? Plan the perfect festive getaway, whether for all the clan or just for two, with our top tips.

Christmas lights reflecting in the water at night along Tobermory harbour in winter

Christmas lights along Tobermory harbour

Island fare

One of the most anticipated parts of any Christmas celebration is dinner, whether you enjoy it at lunchtime, teatime or any hour in between. And on Mull, we’ve got some of the most irresistible island-produced ingredients to elevate it to a feast.

Think locally caught shellfish starters or Inverlussa mussels cooked deliciously with garlic and a splash of white wine. Then it’s onto the main course, where local flavours join the traditional roast turkey, with trimmings like venison or game pie and pigs in blankets from croft-produced pork.

For dessert, try a locally made Clootie dumpling or pick up a homemade Christmas cake. Add something savoury with Isle of Mull cheese and oatcakes.

 

Roaring log burning fire at The Old Little Theatre holiday cottage on Mull with a plate of mince pies, glass of whisky and Christmas decorations

Christmas at The Old Little Theatre

The Christmas spirit

The Scottish islands have a storied history when it comes to making whisky, with a whole host of secret stills and well-known distilleries. It is no different on the Isle of Mull. Explore the Tobermory Distillery with an expert guide, where whisky has been produced since 1798. To experience the other side, walk to the ‘whisky cave’ on the west coast. You can guess how it earned its name!

Then there is the recent taste for gin, which has gone up and up. You’ll find this trendy spirit being distilled and bottled on Mull now too. Call into the Whitetail Distillery at Tiroran to sample a tipple or two in their coffee shop, take a bottle back to your cottage and peek behind the scenes at the copper stills in action.

 

Holiday cottages for Christmas on Mull

Magnificent dining room at Oakfield House in Tobermory with antique furniture and sea views from the window

Oakfield House

A grand Victorian house for 10 with some of the best sea views in all of Tobermory, Oakfield House was made for family get-togethers at Christmas.

Preparing Christmas dinner will be a breeze with an Everhot range cooker featuring not one but three ovens, as well as two large fridge freezers. And then there’s the dining room.  With a superb sea view and antique furniture fit for the most special occasions, dinner will be decadent.

Plates emptied and stomachs merry, it’s on to the two living rooms to relax beside the fire and get out the board games.

 

View over the hills from the sleigh bed at The Old Little Theatre

The Old Little Theatre

A Christmas bolthole for two. The Old Little Theatre oozes luxury and in the winter light, its dramatic interiors really come into their own. Light the fire, poor a dram and help yourself to a mince pie on Christmas Eve, then wake up on Christmas morning in a sumptuous sleigh bed, snuggled in faux fur throws. The stage is set for a magical Christmas.

 

Witch's Cottage, a holiday cottage by the sea on Mull, surrounded by snow in the winter

Witch’s Cottage

Celebrate Christmas on Mull beside the sea at Witch’s Cottage. Escape it all for a week of pure relaxation walking the coastline and watching the wildlife from your window-side perch. Wander past the pier and out to the sandy beaches at Croig and you’ll almost certainly have them to yourselves!

 

Luxury holiday cottage on Mull, Burn Cottage, pictured in the snow with blue skies

Burn Cottage

Old meets new at Burn Cottage, bringing you an enchanting setting in the depths of winter, with all the convenience (and luxuries) of a contemporary property inside. Think a high-spec chef’s kitchen, perfect for Christmas dinner, as well as toasty underfloor heating to complement the wood-burning stove.

 

Pet friendly holiday cottage on Mull, Dobhran Croft at Lochbuie pictured at night while snow is falling - the perfect place to spend Christmas on Mull

Dobhran Croft

Wake up on Christmas morning at a cosy cottage and perhaps even see deer in the garden! Spend Christmas on Mull at Dobhran Croft and follow stockings with a bracing beach walk from Lochbuie to Laggan Sands. Then return to the cottage to warm yourselves beside the fire and dig into an island-inspired feast!

Book your winter escape on the Isle of Mull today.

Winter on the Isle of Mull with snow-covered mountains, blue skies and the moon above

Sunrise light on Sgurr Dearg

Walking Guide: Carsaig Arches

Often heralded as one of the most challenging walks on Mull, a hike to the Carsaig Arches is undeniably also one of the most spectacular. It’s the uncompromising landscape that makes the route so tricky and yet so stunning. The way is punctuated by steep-sided cliffs and sheer drops, as well as being strewn with rocks. But it’s the same landscape that makes the experience so remarkable, even before you reach the arches themselves. For keen walkers, venturing to the Carsaig Arches is highly recommended.

Carsaig Arches in blue sky and sunshine, low tide.

Along the shoreline route, your gaze leads directly out to the sea south of Mull. On a clear day, it can land on neighbouring islands, or simply soak in the steady, rhythmic swell of the waves as they sweep in. Look out for Colonsay and Jura, unmistakable with its towering Paps, on the horizon.

Rock pools along the way to the Carsaig Arches

Follow the shoreline west to reach the Carsaig Arches.

It’s not a walk for those not physically prepared to put in the best part of a day navigating difficult ground over uneven, rocky shoreline. Take provisions to keep your energy levels up and stay hydrated. Pull on your sturdiest pair of walking boots, because when you reach the Carsaig Arches and take in the naturally eroded features first-hand, you’ll be glad you made the trip.

 

The walk to Carsaig Arches on Mull

Your journey begins on foot from the small parking area beside the pier at Carsaig. Getting here in itself is a bit of an adventure. Turning off just outside Pennyghael, follow a narrow lane down hill. You will first pass a waterfall and red phone box before reaching the pier and sea.

Keep an eye out for the seals that often claim these rocks for a spot to slumber. They won’t be the only wildlife you can expect to meet. Wild goats roam the cliffs here, and eagles aren’t uncommon sights overhead.

Carsaig Bay from sea level with lush green headland beyond

View of Carsaig Bay at the beginning of the walk.

Head west around Carsaig Bay to begin your journey to the Carsaig Arches. Following the coastline makes navigating reasonably straight forward, which is helpful when the terrain demands more of your attention. Following the shore along enables you to appreciate the magnitude of the cliffs above, where you can still discern the different lava flows that formed much of Mull’s landscape 60 million years ago.

Interesting rock formations on the walk to the Carsaig Arches

The shoreline around Carsaig has interesting geology.

As you walk, you’ll gain a unique insight into Mull’s intriguing geology. If you’re ready for a break, take some time out to pay closer attention to the rocks. You can even locate the KT boundary in the cliffs along the route. This section in the rock dates back to the event that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Steep hillsides around Carsaig

The route to the Carsaig Arches runs along the shore at the base of these cliffs.

 

Reaching the Carsaig Arches

When you near Malcolm’s Point, you have almost reached the Carsaig Arches. Just a short distance on from here delivers you an excellent view. Take your time to photograph the arches, eroded by the tides into the rock. They are another example of columnar basalt, which you’ll also see on a voyage to Staffa and Fingal’s Cave.

Second arch at Carsaig Arches, a challenging hike on Mull

The spectacular second arch, viewed at a distance.

It is possible to climb up to the second arch, but this comes with significant risks. The way is exposed, the path virtually non-existent and the drops to either side treacherous. For this reason, many prefer to take in the second arch from a safer vantage point, rather than ascending it. Return the way you came with a full camera and an amazing memory from your holiday on Mull. Discover more walks on Mull and check out a map of the route to the Carsaig Arches.

View through the second arch on the walk to Carsaig Arches

Waves crashing through the arch.

Note: Hill walking has inherent risks and dangers. Conditions change quickly and navigation can be difficult. Always make sure you are well prepared for any conditions and have the correct level of experience for your chosen route.

Where to Go Wild Swimming on Mull

For the converted, wild swimming offers invigoration akin to the feeling of summiting a mountain for a hiker. The temperatures tend to be bracing, the experience intrinsically in touch with the elements. Depending on where you choose to go wild swimming on Mull, it can be just as physically challenging as cresting a peak too.

Practised with care, wild swimming on Mull opens up an entirely new experience of the island from its waterways. Float in silent bays, cool off in pools filled by gentle waterfalls. Soak up the island views, often from sea level, and connect with nature anew. Here are some places you could try wild swimming on Mull.

Wild swimming in North Mull

Croig

Wild swimming on Mull in the bays around Croig at sunset

A visit to Croig in itself is a real treat, but it’s also a brilliant spot for wild swimming on Mull. The wee harbour has oodles of charm, with traditional stone walls, a sleepy feel and fishing pots piled by the pier. You can park the car by the roadside before setting out on the path that meanders along this stretch of coast.

Wild swimmer enters the sea from a sandy cove at Croig between two rocky outcrops

You’ll find several sandy coves that are oh-so appealing for a wild swim, with the walk back to the car a good way to warm up after dipping into the water.

Calgary

Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull with clear turquoise sea and white shell sand

Perhaps unsurprisingly given its reputation as Mull’s most beautiful beach, the clear waters of Calgary Bay are another hotspot for wild swimming on Mull. You’ll find plenty of visitors donning a wetsuit and taking a dip, while the hardiest head straight in in costumes. The horseshoe-shaped bay and headlands to either side mean the waters are fairly sheltered here.

Swimming with the fish in Calgary Bay's blue waters

And as with the best of wild swimming on Mull, you won’t be the only one out for a paddle. Calgary Bay’s waters are incredibly clear, giving you excellent views of the fish that flit about beside you.

 

Making a splash on the West Coast

Waterfall cascading into turquoise pool flanked by rocks and trees on a sunny dayLooking down the top of the waterfall

Ben More Pools

Ben More may be best known as a munro to bag, but explore its slopes and foothills and you’ll find some enchanting wild swimming spots too. This crystal-clear pool is filled by the waterfall, creating an ultra atmospheric experience. You’ll almost certainly have the pool to yourselves.

Wild swimmers enter the sea at Traigh na Cille, the black beach on the Isle of Mull

Traigh na Cille

You’ll often hear this beach referred to as the ‘Black Beach’ thanks to its grey sands. Like many of Mull’s beaches, you’ll need to walk a short distance to reach the water at Traigh na Cille, rather than stepping from the roadside onto the sand. That makes it essential to bring your towels and warm clothes with you.

 

Taking a dip on the Ross of Mull

Swimming in clear turquoise waters at Knockvologan on the Ross of Mull

Knockvologan

Unless you’re staying locally, reaching Knockvologan beach demands a fair drive, albeit through lovely scenery if you head down the west coast, or through the dramatic mountains of Glen More. It’s a journey that more than pays off though, as this beach is filled with secluded coves, white shell-sand and crystal clear waters. Depending on the tide, there are good areas of shallows, which warm up much more quickly than the deep end in the summer months.

Wild swimmers enjoying the calm sea and turquoise blue skies on Uisken beach in Mull

Uisken

In contrast to the bays at Croig and Traigh na Cille, Uisken couldn’t be easier to reach. A short drive from Bunessan brings you to a beachside carpark, which fills quickly in summer as it’s only small. Bag your spot and the sand will be between your toes in seconds! This is another sheltered bay, where you can swim while gazing out to the Paps of Jura.

A hidden sandy cove in South West Mull for the most secluded wild swims

Dun a’Gheird

If you’re set on having the beach to your group alone, pull on walking boots before your wet suits. A small amount of exploration delivers you to seriously stunning white sand coves, like this one. Named after the fort beside the beach, the dazzling waters won’t disappoint…

Book a holiday cottage in South West Mull and enjoy wild swims like these close by.

Swimmer exploring the bay between two rocky headlands in turquoise clear seas

Note: Wild swimming has inherent risks and dangers and is undertaken at your own risk.  Conditions change quickly.  Always make sure you are well prepared for any conditions and have the correct level of experience for your chosen swim.  Make sure someone knows where you are swimming and always take someone with you.  Please note that inclusion of locations on this list does not guarantee their safety or suitability for wild swimming.  Check the tides, depth and ensure there is no blue-green algae present before swimming.

Your Mull in Photos: Mountains

Ever wondered what Ben More is like from the summit, or what remote peninsulas look like up close? Scree-covered slopes. Snow-topped peaks. Rocky, remote headlands. A hiker’s paradise, Mull has them all. In this blog post, we head off the beaten track to get a fresh perspective of Isle of Mull mountains with some stunning visitor photos shared on our Facebook page, plus some insider tips to help you enjoy them. Do you have a photo we should be including too?

 

border collie dog sits at the top of Ben More, highest mountain on Mull

Photo taken by Matthew Hull

Ben More, Mull’s only munro

Undoubtedly the most famous of Isle of Mull mountains, the summit of Ben More towers a dizzying 966m above the sea. Two of the most popular routes up begin from the scenic shores of Loch na Keal. One of these routes takes on a more challenging ascent first up Beinn Fada and then along the A’Chioch ridge pictured here behind Meg, the collie. Derryguiag Smiddy makes the perfect cottage base camp.

On a clear day, the views from the top are outstanding, but always come prepared. The weather changes rapidly on Mull and you’ll often find Ben More’s head in the clouds. Find out more about climbing Ben More.

 

Green hills covered in bluebells with trees and fields in front

Photo taken by David Goodwin in June 2019

Bluebell-strewn hills

The bluebell display is one of Mull’s most magical natural treasures and makes it well worth booking a cottage in May or June. They’re best seen before the bracken gets too high and shields them from view. And to the surprise of some, while you’ll find enchanting pockets of woodland blanketed in bluebells at Gruline, you’ll also see them decorating much more exposed hillsides.

 

 

pebble and seaweed shoreline with loch and Isle of Mull mountains behind

Photo taken by Ian Butler

view from land across the sea loch to Ben More over north shore of Loch na Keal

Photo taken by Jane Traynor

Low-level vantage points

Isle of Mull mountains don’t always demand that you climb to their summit to be blown away by the views. In fact, you can take in panoramic vistas of Mull’s hills and peaks from sea level. These dramatic pictures were taken looking across Loch na Keal. Stay at Kellan Mill Lodge and you could enjoy views like these without even leaving home!

Photo taken by Carol Franklyn

For a similar easy access experience but with a distinctly different feel, plan a drive through Glen More. Pictured here by Carol Franklyn in September this year, the glen is bathed in sunshine – proof that the shoulder season is well worth experiencing too.

 

turquoise blue sea loch leading to rocky ridge and blue skies on Mull

Photo taken by Linda Graham

Remote and rugged peninsulas

Spend any length of time exploring Mull’s 300 miles of coastline and you’ll encounter cliffs, coves and stretches of land that unfurl into dramatic headlands. In fact, you can even stay at a cottage on your own small peninsula over Loch Scridain – Ardchrishnish is the one to book.

But perhaps the most breath-taking peninsula of all is found at Ardmeanach. Located in the remote south west of Mull, you can walk the Burg or even descend down the ladder to the Fossil Tree.

Discover more about the fantastic opportunities to head outdoors with our Mull walking guide.

Experience the Magic of Autumn on Mull

Visit Mull in autumn and you can feel change start to creep over the island. It begins on the fringes of September, with each day drawing just a few minutes shorter, and a scattering of bronzed leaves promising the copper carpet to follow.

But then the unmistakable bellows begin; the stags get stuck into their annual rut. Clearings fill with clashing antlers and the glens echo with roars – it’s an undeniable highlight of autumn on Mull.

As the rut gathers pace, so does the onward rush of the season. The air gains a crispness. The villages fill with the faint scent of log smoke rising from chimney pots. Life slows to an altogether gentler pace.

It’s a beautiful time to experience the island. There are many more bright days than you might expect, and some fantastic wildlife to see. Discover the magic of a visit to Mull in autumn.

Two common seals basking on rocks in the fading sunlight near the Isle of Mull

See the seal pups on the Treshnish Isles

Best known for their population of puffins in summer, the Treshnish Isles are also home to a loveable seal colony. These mammals pup in early September, so autumn offers an excellent time to take a boat trip out to see the pups for yourself.

Silhouette of a red deer stag roaring at sunset on the Isle of Mull

Experience the red deer rut

Book a holiday cottage close to a red deer habitat and you could find yourself waking up to a front row seat for the rut. Based on the island, we know Mull’s wild landscapes well. Give us a call and we can suggest great places to stay when you visit Mull in autumn.

Take a woodland walk around the loch at Aros Park when you visit Mull in autumn.

Walk in the woods

Tucked away on the edge of Tobermory, Aros Park is a hidden gem you’ll be thrilled to discover. A meandering network of paths lead you through deciduous and coniferous woodland, up and down waterfalls and around the glassy lochan. This pool of water reflects the autumn leaves from the boughs that bend over it beautifully. A must for any keen nature photographer if you visit Mull in autumn.

Ardalanish beach is a beauty formed with white shell sand and perfect blue waters. Machair blooms in the summer months from this beach in south west Mull.

Beach-comb along the bay

As the winds pick up, so do the waves, leaving Mull’s beaches decorated in sea-tossed treasures. Driftwood, shells and all manner of unusual finds are swept up onto the island’s shores, making for excellent beachcombing walks. Ardalanish Bay on the Ross of Mull is a particularly good place to start.

Warm up with a wee dram

Scotland is a land famed for its whisky and Tobermory is home to one of the country’s most charming distilleries, located a stone’s throw from the harbour. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and discover how the whisky is made, before tasting a dram or two.

For those who have a taste for gin, there’s also the Whitetail Distillery at Tiroran. Enjoy a gin and tonic in the café and discover a whole host of gin-related goodies to take home with you.

Feeling inspired to visit Mull in autumn? Take advantage of the more affordable autumn rates and book your holiday cottage today.

Guide to Castle Bagging on Mull

Scotland is a land decorated with castles and on the Hebridean Isle of Mull, it’s no different. Defensive structures have long held their place here, from fortified castles keeping watch on headlands to historic, Iron Age brochs. Whether you like castles in full regalia or prefer crumbling ruins, find Isle of Mull castles that fit the bill in our guide.

Duart Castle on the headland in south east Mull, surrounded by hills and fields in autumn

Step inside Duart Castle

The most famous of Isle of Mull castles, Duart Castle is the only castle on Mull that enables you to step back in time and experience historic castle rooms. Well known as the seat of Clan Maclean, the castle dates back over 700 years. It is often photographed from the ferry, standing proud on the headland at Duart on the approach to Craignure.

The castle is open from April to October. Wander through the Great Hall, complete with beams steeped in history and antique furnishings, then peer inside the State Bedroom and Dressing Room. You’ll see period dress, family portraits and a striking four-poster bed. The Clan Exhibition completes the picture inside, with a 14th-century keep awaiting your discovery in the grounds.

Don’t forget to call into the tea room for a treat while you’re there, or head down to the beach. This is a great idea for things to do on Mull for every generation.

View to Torosay Castle surrounded by trees on the Isle of Mull

Explore the gardens at Torosay Castle

Torosay Castle is no longer open to the public, but you can visit the gardens on selected Sundays through the summer months. Keep an eye out as you pass Torosay, heading west from Craignure. A roadside sign lets you know when the gardens will be open the following Sunday.

On these days, explore the water, woodland and formal gardens. Enchanting terraces lead you through the more formal sections and there are many iconic plants of Scottish gardens to spot, as well as some more unexpected tropical varieties that enjoy Mull’s mild climate. When the gardens are closed, you can still enjoy the surrounds of Torosay by taking the walk from Craignure.

The ruins of Moy Castle poking out above the trees with a boulder strewn beach in front

Delve into the history of Moy Castle

One of the lesser known Isle of Mull castles, Moy Castle is tucked away on the picturesque coastline at Lochbuie. Park at the shore and head left, following the signs that mark the path towards Laggan Sands as you skirt the shoreline. You’ll reach the castle before the beach, so you can bear off to visit the ruins before continuing the walk.

Moy Castle stands in the trees on a small hill right beside the sea, with a burn passing close by. The dappled light through the woodland canopy combined with the sound of the water and waves creates a brilliant atmosphere. The castle itself is now in ruins, although useful information signs guide you through the history of the building and its interior.

The ruins of Moy Castle standing on the forested hill overlooking the Aros Estuary and out to Salen Bay on the Isle of Mull

Hike to the ruins of Aros Castle

Just as you spot Duart Castle from the ferry, you’ll see Aros Castle from the car. Now reduced to towering ruins, the castle occupies a hilltop overlooking the Aros estuary and sea just north of Salen. We recommend parking safely nearby and enjoying a circular walk around the castle ruins.

Not only will you get up close to this once highly important castle, you’ll also have the opportunity to spot wildlife and wildflowers in the surrounding grass and woodland. This makes the walk around Aros Castle great for historians and naturalists alike.

 

Watch wildlife around Glengorm Castle

Glengorm Castle arguably takes the crown as the most romantic of all Isle of Mull castles. So much so, in fact, that you can get married there. But it’s the turrets, towers and north coast sea views that really give this castle curb appeal.

Take in the stunning exterior of the castle, then pay a visit to the Glengorm Coffee Shop, housed in what were originally the stables. You could also join a ranger-led walk to explore the estate. Located a scenic, 15-minute drive from Tobermory, this is a great castle to visit when staying in the north of the island for lunch and leisure activities.

Discover more historical attractions on the Isle of Mull.

Which Isle of Mull castles would you like to visit?