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November, 2023 Archive

What to Expect When You Visit Mull in the Winter

Escape for a winter break

Between November and March, we offer the lowest weekly rental fees you’ll find our cottages advertised at all year, often hundreds of pounds less than they would be in high summer. On top of that, many of our cottages also offer short breaks, with stays from just two nights and flexible arrival and departure days.

You can tailor-make your winter escape to suit your timings and budget. Remember we are just at the end of the phone if you have any specific queries or requests. We’re here to find the perfect Isle of Mull cottage for you.

The Isle of Mull Ferry passing Lismore on the sailing to Mull

Plain sailing

One of the biggest questions asked by guests choosing an Isle of Mull cottage for winter surrounds the ferries. What happens if your sailing is disrupted due to bad weather? Will the ferries be running?

The good news is that CalMac operate a year-round ferry service to Mull, with the exceptions of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Even during the winter, we have multiple ferry sailings a day to choose from and three different routes on and off the island (from Oban to Craignure, or from Lochaline to Fishnish and Kilchoan to Tobermory).

Should the bigger ferries be disrupted due to weather, then CalMac often suggest you divert and come via Lochaline to Fishnish instead. This ferry operates to a timetable but doesn’t need to be booked in advance and often sails in poorer weather than the bigger counterparts. The port staff are very helpful and will do their best to help with your travel plans.

A winter’s sunset from the top of Ben More.

Season’s change

Mull is an island with a thriving population of almost 3,000 residents who live here year-round. So while there is of course a seasonal element to the island with some businesses and attractions just open from April to October, not everything grinds to a halt.

Our village shops remain open year-round for groceries and some of the restaurants and cafes operate over the winter months too. What a winter visit to an Isle of Mull cottage does require though is planning ahead.

Not everywhere will be open, so call ahead to check availability and make dinner reservations. Tobermory, the island’s harbour capital, has several pubs and restaurants that keep their doors open year-round, and several are dog friendly too.

Likewise, most boat trips are weather dependent, which means the arrival of winter and its more unpredictable weather means those wrap up until the following spring. Plan ahead to be sure you can do the activities you want to enjoy during your visit with the help to our guide to local boat trip operators and seasonal wildlife highlights.

If you’re not sure, just ask us. Being based here on the island means we have the local knowledge to help you get the most out of your holiday.

Northern Lights above Dervaig village and Loch Cuin.
The Northern Lights dance above Loch Cuin in the village of Dervaig.

Starry eyed

One of the biggest appeals of an Isle of Mull cottage in the winter is the chance to curl up beside the fire after an evening of stargazing. With very little light pollution, we have amazingly dark skies. On a clear night, you’ll see countless constellations and stars. And for the luckiest winter visitors, you might even see the Northern Lights.

This spectacle relies on solar energy and clear skies coming together so you can soak up nature’s dance show. The winter is undoubtedly the best time to try your luck at spotting the Northern Lights, and it all starts with a place to stay.

Start planning your winter break on the Isle of Mull.