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Holiday Ideas on Mull Archive

10 Reasons to Visit the Ross of Mull

Whether you’ve booked a cottage in the island’s wild south west or are planning a day trip from Tobermory, discover 10 reasons to explore the Ross of Mull. From beaches to island hopping, wildlife to rocks, there’s plenty to inspire your next holiday on Mull.

Fidden beach on the Ross of Mull

1 Breath-taking Beaches

From Knockvologan’s sheltered coves, dotted with pink granite outcrops, to the glittering seascapes of Uisken and Ardalanish with views to outlying islands, to little known sandy beaches flanked by hills and reached by the adventurous – the Ross of Mull has it all. There are beaches you can park beside and beaches well off the beaten track. There’s even a beach rumoured to be a favourite among the Royals! Choose your favourites to visit with our guide to beaches on the Ross of Mull.

2 Isle of Iona

No where on Mull is it easier to experience the charming island of Iona, than from a cottage on the Ross of Mull. Whether you pick Pennyghael, Ardtun or even Loch Assapol as your location for the week, the short ferry crossing from Fionnphort to Iona is within easy reach. Iona makes an excellent day trip with a visit to the Abbey, a walk to hear the corncrakes in season, or a stroll to the beautiful Bay at the Back of the Ocean.

Sea eagle dives for fish

3 Wonderful Wildlife

Mull is well known as a wildlife capital and the Ross of Mull is no different. Spend some time exploring loch and land with the chance to encounter otters, white tailed sea eagles, golden eagles, red deer and seals. If you’re particularly lucky, you may even spot dolphins or a porpoise passing through the sea lochs, or escorting a local fishing boat back to shore. There are even cottages where you can watch wildlife from the window, with hen harriers often sighted from Keills Cottage.

4 Locally Landed Seafood

The Ross of Mull forms a narrow peninsula, bordered by sea on both sides. The proximity to the coast means seafood is often top of the menu. Enjoy the locally landed catch in a laid-back setting at the Creel Seafood Bar beside the ferry slipway in Fionnphort, or for fine dining, book a table at Ninth Wave.

Mull’s wilderness peninsula with a waterfall in reverse during high winds

5 Wilderness Peninsula

The beautiful waters of Loch Scridain carve their way along the north side of the Ross. Across the water, the dramatic Ardmeanach peninsula comes into view. This wildly beautiful area is easily reached by taking the road signposted the ‘Scenic Route to Salen’, then bearing off beside Kilfinichen Bay, following singposts for Tiroran and the Burg. From the designated parking area, there are dramatic landscapes to explore, with a day-long hike leading you to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree.

6 Great Geology

This part of Mull has a distinctly different geological makeup to much of the island. Pink granite rocks stand out in the landscape and glow beautifully come sunset. The beaches at Knockvologan and Fidden offer great examples, as does the walk past the disused quarry at Fionnphort. Further along the Ross, you can also explore the shoreline at Ardtun to encounter striking fossil leaf beds.

Carsaig Arches - a challenging walk on the south coast

7 Carsaig Arches

The amazing geology doesn’t stop there, because at Carsaig, arguably one of Mull’s most magnificent natural features awaits – the Carsaig Arches. Reached by a dramatic and nerve-tingling walk along challenging coastline, the route will test your bravery at times, but the reward when you reach the arches is spectacular. Find out more about getting there with our guide to visiting the Carsaig Arches.

8 Crofting Culture

The Ross of Mull has a strong history of crofting. You can still feel the tradition as you explore the local area to this day. Call into the Crofter’s Kitchen at Kintra to stock up on local produce, or take part in a craft workshop at Ardtun’s local willow croft. There’s also the Ross of Mull Historical Centre to explore.

Dramatic basalt columns on Staffa

9 Sailings to Staffa

As well as affording easy access to Iona, you can also sail for Staffa from Fionnphort on the Ross. In early summer, visit to meet the characterful puffins, who will be busy in their burrows raising this year’s young. All year round, boat trips to Staffa promise the magic and drama of experiencing Fingal’s Cave and the dramatic basalt columns the island is famous for.

10 Island Hopping

If visiting Iona and Staffa haven’t quite completed your island-hopping fix, then you can also visit one of Mull’s least explored outlying islands from the Ross of Mull – the Isle of Erraid. At low tide, you can walk across the tidal sandbar on Knockvologan beach to reach Erraid. But do make sure you consult the tide times! Make sure you’re back on Mull before high tide cuts Erraid off. Walk to the island’s disused lighthouse observatory or visit the sandy beach on the island’s south coast.

Inspired to visit the Ross of Mull? Book one of our cottages today and hone in on your perfect spot with our cottage map.

5 of Mull’s Most Spectacular Walks

We’ve all had a little more time than usual to explore the local landscapes lately. It’s been no different here on the Isle of Mull, with many of us heading out to enjoy the coastline, woodlands and glens on our doorsteps. Here, we hope to inspire you to explore the island on foot with some of the best walks on the Isle of Mull.

Choose from these five of our favourites to get you started, from hill walks to wildflower meadows and geological wonders.

1 Summit Ben More

Of course, no guide to the best walks on the Isle of Mull would be complete without a nod to the island’s only munro. Ben More makes a fantastic peak to climb starting from the shore of Loch na Keal at Dhiseig.

In fine weather, enjoy clear skies and fantastic views over Mull’s mountainous interior from the top, as well as excellent panoramas across to Iona, Staffa and the Treshnish Isles as you descend. For a more challenging climb, ascend via Beinn Fada.

Second arch at Carsaig Arches, a challenging hike on Mull

2 Marvel at the Carsaig Arches

One of Mull’s most photographed features by intrepid walkers, the path to the Carsaig Arches is not for the faint hearted, but promises a breath-taking natural spectacle at the end.

It’s best done in fine weather as you hug the exposed, rocky coastline on the there and back route. You may find sure-footed wild goats and red deer keep you company!

Best walks on the Isle of Mull - Treshnish headland

3 Walk among the wildflowers

If you’re staying in a cottage in the north of the island, make a point of planning the Treshnish Point circular walk during your stay. Parking on the west coast of the island, this track leads you around the coastline past pebble beaches, the whisky cave and ruined village of Craickag.

There’s a chance to spot cetaceans off the coast, but what makes this walk most remarkable is the stunning display of wildflowers in early summer.

4 Trek to the Fossil Tree

Keen walkers will relish the opportunity to explore the remote and wild Burg peninsula in the south west of the island.

Parking in the designated area at Tiroran, head out for an all-day hike and experience some of Mull’s most remarkable coastal landscapes and wildlife, as well as the remains of a historic dun.

Consider the tides before setting out to ensure you’ll be able to descend to the Fossil Tree, before retracing your steps.

Best walks on the Isle of Mull - three lochs

5 Venture beyond the Three Lochs

The Three Lochs are a regular pausing point for those enjoying the stunning drive through Glen More, but few venture further than the viewpoint. However, the surrounds of this chain of lochs offer excellent walking opportunities.

Enjoy a low level amble around the lochs themselves, keeping your eye out for hen harriers and short eared owls quartering the grassland. For hill walkers, the climb up Ben Fhada, with the optional addition of Creach Beinn, will offer plenty of interest. Although not always a path well trodden, this is undoubtedly one of the best walks on the Isle of Mull with stunning scenery on both routes.

Discover more fantastic walks on Mull in our extensive guide.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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?

Your Mull in Photos: Island Beaches

Earlier this summer, we asked you to share your very best photos of island beaches on Mull with us over on our Facebook page. What a response we had! It seems we count some talented photographers among our guests, as well as some willing judges – thank you!

We asked you to vote for your favourites and chose a few of our own too. Today, we’re thrilled to share the best photos of island beaches on Mull with you. Sit back, relax and enjoy a dose of vitamin sea…

Tormore Beach by the Bull Hole, close to Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull

Photographed by Rob Hague

This picture blew us away with the soft palette of blues and creams on the beach, contrasting the dark, dramatic rocky hills beyond. But don’t be fooled by the boat that you can only reach this beauty by sea. It actually lies just beyond the disused quarry near Fionnphort and its secluded location means you’ll often have the sand to yourselves.

Sandy path leads through the sand dunes and grassland to Calgary Bay, with turquoise sea and blue skies.

Photographed by Mark Allardice

You won’t be surprised to see Calgary Bay featuring in our top island beaches. This beach is so beautiful it could be lifted from a postcard (it certainly features on many!). In fact, the area as a whole made such a great impression on one visitor, that they took the name home to Canada and the city of Calgary in Alberta gained its name.

The grey sand beach at Carsaig, surrounded by a lush green headland and blue clouded skies as the waves lap on shore

Photographed by Nat Buckley

While we may be famed for our white sandy island beaches, we’ve got some cracking grey beaches too. Carsaig is among the most dramatic, with waves unfurling onto a grey beach surrounded by lush and epically steep sloping cliffs.

Turquoise sea and a white sandy cove, surrounded by tall pink granite rocks and blue sky

Photographed by Peter MacInnes

When you visit Mull, make the most of any opportunity to chat to locals (including us!) about their favourite beaches. It can be a brilliant way to uncover quiet spots that are easy to miss but utterly magical, like this cove between Knockvologan and Port nan Ron.

Crystal clear blue waters over white sand beside a rocky outcrop at Croig

Photographed by Gail Cannon

The sandy coves at Croig in north west Mull are one of the island’s best kept secrets. Discover them first-hand by following the track around the coast from the charming fishing harbour, then dropping down to these tiny coves with water that is temptingly clear.

White sand beach at Knockvologan with gentle waves, turquoise sea, distant hills and blue skies

Photographed by Elspeth Valentine

Knockvologan is arguably one of the most beautiful of all island beaches on Mull. With its white shell sand, dazzlingly clear water and striking pink granite boulders, this is a great spot for a picnic and a paddle. But don’t stop here, because if you follow the coast round you’ll find even more enchanting secret coves. You may even have them all to yourself!

Silver sand of Ardalanish Bay with blue skies above

Photographed by Stephen Docherty

The silver sands of Ardalanish Bay really do sparkle in this sweeping panorama. Sheltered by rocky headlands, this is a great beach for dog walking or taking a dip, as well as beach-combing or rock-pooling. Visit in summer for a sensational display of wildflowers in the surrounding machair too – a real jewel of the Hebrides.

Sea thrift flowering on the rocks in front of a white sand bay and blue sea

Photographed by Chloe Cartwright

We’ll let you guess which of the island beaches this photo was taken on. The flush of pink sea thrift flowers are a sign of summer’s arrival on Mull. See if you can spot them blooming on the rocks next time you’re here.

Fidden Beach rocks and pools with the tide out at sunset with an orange sky - one of the best times to photograph islands beaches on Mull

Photographed by Carl Gee

For our final island beaches photo we venture down to the Ross of Mull, where Carl Gee captured this stunning sunset over Fidden Beach.

Craving the feeling of sand beneath your toes and the scent of salt in the air? Book one of our coastal cottages and stay right beside the sea.

Which of these island beaches is your favourite?

Afternoons by the Sea: 7 Isle of Mull Beach Walks

Visitors to Mull are spoiled for choice for coastal and beach walks. From the dramatic and challenging route to the Carsaig Arches, to the tidal crossing to the Isle of Erraid, there’s a seaside stroll to suit even the most adventurous. Here, we’re sharing seven easy Isle of Mull beach walks, perfect for spending an afternoon by the sea.

Often named Mull's most beautiful beach, Calgary Bay is a stunning sweep of white sands in a horseshoe shape, with lovely walks along the coastline nearby.

Calgary, North West Mull

Arguably Mull’s most popular beach, Calgary Bay lies on the north-west coast, sheltered by dramatic headlands that slope down steeply towards the sea. The white shell-sand glistens in the sun while the crystal clear waters lap on shore. One of the gentlest beach walks, simply follow the curve of the horseshoe bay to the far side, where a burn runs into the sea. Keep an eye out for sailing boats passing on the horizon.

Langamull is a stunning sandy beach in the island's North West

Langamull, North West Mull

You’ll need to put in a 20-minute walk through woodland to reach this secluded beach, but Langamull is well worth it when you do. Look out for living treasures in the rock pools or enjoy a swim in the clear waters. Quieter than Calgary, but still with plenty of charm, Langamull makes a lovely afternoon excursion in the north of the island.

Port an Tobire beach is tucked beneath a ruined castle on Mull's east coast

Port an Tobire, East Mull

A wee gem on the mainly rocky east coast, this beach is tucked beneath the ruins of Aros Castle, just outside Salen. Part sand, part shingle, you can enjoy a stroll with views that stretch down the Sound of Mull.

Laggan Sands is a lovely option for a beach walk on Mull

Laggan Sands, South East Mull

Park beside the glittering waves at Loch Buie and pop into The Old Post Office for drinks and nibbles to take to the beach. The route to Laggan Sands stretches along the shore, before you reach the grey sand bay.

Throw out a rug, unpack the picnic and enjoy the coastal breeze as you gaze out over the Atlantic ocean. It’s a lovely reward for the scenic beach walk to get there.

One of Mull's most popular beach walks, 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.

Ardalanish, South West Mull

While the nearby beaches at Uisken and Fidden are very popular, if you’re staying on the Ross, Ardalanish is another must-visit for beach walks. This is one of the island’s larger bays, with white sands that sweep round, making for lovely coastal walks. In the summer months, the machair comes into bloom, giving you even more to discover.

Market Bay, South West Mull

Unlike many of Mull’s beaches that enable you to park close to the sand, Market Bay demands a fair walk to get there. But what a reward when you do! This white sand bay is snuggled within rocky outcrops, creating a real sense of privacy. Azure waters lap the shore with fantastic views out to sea. Little wonder this beach is rumoured to be popular with the Royals, too!

One of Mull's most striking beach walks, Traigh na Cille is very dramatic and especially stunning at sunset with its black sand.

Traigh na Cille, West Mull

One of Mull’s more dramatic beaches, Traigh na Cille features striking grey and black sand. Facing west, this beach is brilliant for short walks at sunset. Keep an eye on the weather. Sunsets here are particularly special when the fading light dances through a lightly cloud-dappled sky.

Want to wake to views of the water and breathe in the fresh sea air every morning of your holiday? Check out these stunning Mull holiday cottages by the sea.