Best known for its stunning scenery and epic wildlife, the Isle of Mull is also home to many exciting outdoor activities too. There’s plenty to appeal to adventure-seeking visitors on both land and sea. Here are a few local guides and tours to dive into during your stay.
1 Wild swim in waterfalls
Walk Mull is the wild swimming expert to seek out for this one. Offering guided hikes that take in some of Mull’s best-kept-secret wild swimming spots, you can take your pick between coastal dips and some amazing waterfall pools, safely guided by a local expert.
2 Take to the water
With the expert help of Bendoran Watersports, you can canoe, kayak and more around the Ross of Mull’s enchanting pink granite coastline and secluded shell-sand coves. Perfect for your fix of vitamin sea with an adventurous twist.
3 Enter an event
This one’s a little different, but throughout the year, the island plays host to many sporting events. Whether you take on the epic cycle ride for the Isle of Mull Sportive, or bring your four-legged-friend to tackle the Canicross at Glengorm, there’s something for everyone to challenge themselves with.
4 Paddle the bays
With stand-up paddle board hire available in both Salen Bay and Tobermory Bay, the choice is yours! Expect amazing coastal views and plentiful wildlife either way, making this SUP experience stand out from the rest.
5 Blast across the beach
You’re sure to get an adrenaline fix as you canter through the waves on Killiechronan beach, riding sure-footed native Highland ponies. Mull Pony Trekking make it possible for experienced riders, with gentler treks along the coast or high into the hills available too.
Please note that adventure activities have inherent risks and dangers and are undertaken at your own risk. Always use a fully qualified local guide and ensure you have the required experience and are fully prepared for any activity you choose to undertake.
There’s no better way to soak up the island’s scenery than on foot, surrounded by the dramatic landscapes that cocoon you and at one with the sound of the birdsong and breeze. And there’s no better way to enjoy the experience than with Isle of Mull walks with cafes at the end. The perfect way to warm up and reward your efforts, whether after a gentle stroll or a more challenging hike. Here are five to inspire you.
Follow the meandering single-track road past Loch Spelve, Loch Uisg and the dramatic hills of Creach Beinn and Ben Buie to arrive at the shore of Loch Buie. You can leave your car in the parking spot by the sea and then the adventure begins.
Follow the coast east along the well-marked footpath that hugs the shoreline, passing the ruins of Moy Castle and rounding the corner to reach the long sweeping beach at Laggan Sands. At the far end, you can look around the interesting mausoleum, too.
Then, retrace your steps initially, before taking a right turn just before Moy Castle and following the track to join the road. Turn left here and walk along the road, taking care if there’s passing traffic, to the bridge, where the standing stones are signposted. From here, follow the markers across sometimes boggy land to reach the Lochbuie stone circle – a dramatic sight with the towering hills beyond.
Retrace your steps to re-join the road, which delivers you back to where you began at the shoreside parking area and the door of the Old Post Office, Lochbuie’s charming cafe serving excellent light lunches, coffee and cakes in season.
In the north of the island, around 15 minutes drive from Tobermory lies the beautiful Glengorm estate, complete with a stunning, privately owned castle. Head through the white gates as you approach the estate and then turn right for the walker’s carpark (signposted). Leaving your car, return to the lane and turn right, following the lane to a bridge, where a few walk choices are signposted.
Dun Ara and the Bathing Pools makes a lovely there-and-back route, with a very small detour to see the Glengorm standing stones visible from the usual grassy path. There are some stunning wildflowers to spot through the season as you go, as well as plenty of sheep and sometimes Highland cows too, which are farmed on the estate.
As you return to the bridge on your way back, you’ll arrive at a beautiful stone steading building with a courtyard seating area. Here you’ll find the superb cafe at Glengorm – home to excellent cakes for mid-morning or late afternoon and a superb lunch menu, featuring lots of produce from the estate.
After securing your spot in the wee carpark just beside Calgary beach, the adventure around the headland begins! To the right-hand side of the beach, follow the grassy footpath that takes off around the headland, passing the old granite pier before the path climbs further up the hillside.
As you make your way westwards around the headland, you’ll have far-reaching views out to sea and towards the islands of Coll and Tiree. The walk also passes several ruined settlements that were victims of the Highland Clearances, before reaching Caliach Point.
After scanning the seas for marine life and watching waves break below, retrace your steps to return to Calgary beach. Here, you can either grab a drink and ice cream from the Boatshed or venture up the hill through the Art in Nature path to reach the tea room (both seasonal).
One of the most popular Isle of Mull walks with cafes at the end is the there-and-back footpath from Tobermory harbourfront to Rubha-nan-Gall lighthouse. Starting from the far end of the Main Street by the CalMac ferry pier, pass through the signposted gate and begin your adventure along the lighthouse path.
Tucked between a steep hillside and the sea, the narrow path feels very dramatic. It’s especially beautiful in the spring, when the steep hillsides are blanketed in the white blooms of wild garlic and the soft tones of bluebells. You’ll enjoy lovely vistas to the Ardnamurchan peninsula as you walk. There are several benches dotted along the path to enable you to pause and take in the view.
The lighthouse itself is a beautiful building, surrounded by rock pools at low tide. When you’ve had your fill of vitamin sea and perhaps spotted a passing seal or two, retrace your steps to Tobermory’s harbourfront. Here, a fantastic choice of cafes await, from the Tobermory Bakery to the chocolate shop.
An easy-going there-and-back walk that affords spectacular views, this is one of the best Isle of Mull walks with cafes at the end when you arrive on the ferry in Craignure. Parking in the car park in the village, follow the road south west and you’ll soon reach a left-turn at North Lodge that marks the beginning of the walk to the Torosay Estate.
Offering a wonderful combination of views, the track passes through farmland with far-reaching vistas to the Scottish mainland and even Ben Nevis in the distance. Further along, the walk takes on a new character as you plunge into beautiful woodland, spectacular in spring and autumn, with lots of notable and unusual tree varieties.
Enjoy a beautiful view of Torosay Castle, which lies ahead, although the castle itself is closed to the public (the gardens are open the first Sunday of the month in season). Returning the way you came, arrive back into Craignure and enjoy a choice of great cafes: Arlene’s, Blether’s or the new chocolate factory.
Nature Scotland‘s Ewan Miles joins us to share five ways to embrace ‘Wild Autumn’ on the Isle of Mull this year.
Nature’s Colour Palette
Walk though multi-coloured landscapes with lochs nestled against a backdrop of red, gold and amber. As mother nature takes off her summer wear and transitions into her autumnal coat, the colour palette on display is breath-taking around the island. From the rustic tones on the open moors, the many shades of greens and oranges in the surrounding woodlands and the glistening blue and green turquoise seas. Whatever the weather, get out and connect with nature, from the sights, smells and sounds.
Roaring Red Deer
One of the UK’s greatest natural events takes place on Mull during autumn. When the female red deer (hinds) come into season, this triggers off the incredible spectacle of the red deer rut. For months leading up to this time of the year, sexually mature red deer stags have been preparing for the most important contest of their lives – access to a harem of fertile females. The fight starts vocally, and if this is not enough to ward off a competitor, rivals parallel-walk before locking antlers.
Rut activity peaks during the three hours after dawn and before dusk, so arrive early and be prepared to stay late. Approach downwind, use vegetation as cover, tread softly and avoid sudden movements. And always keep your distance and do not intrude on their natural behaviour.
Autumn is great time to enjoy watching bird of prey on the Isle of Mull. After the breeding season, the abundance of raptors on the island actually increases due to the fledged juveniles present along with new arrivals appealed by the milder oceanic conditions with less snow and ice throughout the winter months. Species like hen harrier, kestrel, sparrowhawk and merlin may visit Mull during the autumn months and they may have arrived from mainland Britain or even continental areas.
There is also a great movement with young and non territorial eagles who are seeking out vacant openings on the island. Satellite tagging has shown that young birds also revisit their natal areas and parent birds are more tolerant of their presence within the territory.
Painting with Light
Mull’s dynamic weather systems and changing light provides endless admiration and beauty, making it a photographer’s paradise. The ‘golden hour’ is more accessible in the autumn and often can last for longer than an hour, or even most of the day!
This is the period of the day where the sun is low on the horizon and creates a soft ‘golden’ light which is excellent for photo opportunities. The cooler temperatures will also increase the clarity in the air and create a better quality of photograph, helping you get those sharper images.
Otters also provide a fantastic photo subject at this time of the year as they increase their time feeding in coastal areas. Also spring and summer reared cubs will be hopefully water-based, providing some exciting opportunities to watch family groups learning and playing.
The Dark Side
Mull is located below some of the darkest skies in the whole of Europe. A clear autumnal night on the island can provide breath-taking views of the wondrous night sky. A satellite image of our continent at night will display the value of the west coast of Scotland and its unpolluted skies.
The island’s high latitude location provides an increased chance of observing the northern lights throughout the darker autumnal months. For reasons not fully understood by scientists, the auroral displays are stronger around the equinox periods, so this increases displays of the ‘merry dancers’ during September and October.
The milder temperatures during autumn also means that you can spend a longer time out under the stars.
Ewan and the Nature Scotland team will be providing a range of land-based wildlife tours during the autumn on Mull with Isle of Mull Cottages’ guests entitled to a 10% discount on any day tour booked during 28th August – 1st November 2023. On booking enter the discount code ‘IOMC_Autumn2023’
You’ll often hear Mull referred to as ‘eagle island’ and with good reason! The island is home to thriving populations of both the white-tailed sea eagle and the majestic golden eagle. So, if you’re hoping to encounter eagles on the Isle of Mull, here are five different ways to do it.
From the water
The ever popular boat trip aboard the Lady Jane with Mull Charters offers you the chance to see white-tailed sea eagles up close. Throwing freshy caught fish from the boat, the lucky passengers may see the eagles swoop in to clasp the fish between their talons from the water.
The sound of their wingbeats and sheer size of the eagles encountered at such close quarters makes this an unmissable way to experience eagles on the Isle of Mull.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on terra firma, a land-based wildlife tour should be your first port of call. Local guides know the routines of these majestic birds well and will give you ample opportunity to encounter them during a day’s exploration of the island, whether perched, on the wing or even grappling another eagle in a dramatic descent! They’ll also give you lots of ideas for where to go to improve your chances of seeing eagles on the Isle of Mull during the rest of your stay.
In breeding season
Each year once the white-tailed eagles begin to nest, Mull Eagle Watch opens its doors with guided walks to find out more about the birds and watch the activity on the nest from a responsible distance.
High in the hills
Adventurous souls will often have little trouble encountering eagles on the Isle of Mull. As you climb Mull’s quieter hills and peaks, you’ll often be passing through the large habitats of the more elusive golden eagles, so remember to cast your eyes to the skies for the chance of a sighting. You can find lots of ideas for walking routes on the island (complete with OS maps) in our guide here.
Close to sea level
It will come as little surprise that the white-tailed sea eagles often appear around Mull’s sea lochs. Whether you hunker down in the wildlife hide at Fishnish or spend the day scouting the shores of the island’s west coast, you’re likely to encounter a sea eagle. In the winter, as juveniles have fledged, you may also be lucky enough to see a number gathered together – a spectacular sight for those enjoying a winter break on Mull.
Find out more about the fantastic wildlife and eagles on the Isle of Mull and plan your holiday this year.
If you’re thinking of visiting Mull for the very first time, here are five useful things to know before you visit the island to make the most of your stay in the Hebrides.
There’s more than one way to get here
The CalMac Oban (mainland) to Craignure (Mull) route may prove the most popular, but the island is actually serviced by two further ferries. Continue north on the mainland through beautiful Glen Coe, hop on the quick Corran ferry and then enjoy the scenic drive to Lochaline, where you’ll find another ferry service ready to deliver you to Fishnish on Mull. Further north yet still, on the rugged Ardnamurchan peninsula, is the third ferry service to the island, connecting Kilchoan to Tobermory on Mull.
Wildlife season never ends
While the most popular time to visit Mull is between April and October, Mull’s most dreamed of wildlife can be found here all year round. In the winter months, the young white-tailed eagles will often have left their parent’s territories and can sometimes be seen gathered in large numbers on the shore or skerries. Golden eagles, otters and red deer are here year-round too, with the latter often more easily seen as they descend the hills in favour of lower ground as winter arrives.
Taking the scenic route
There’s only two stretches of double track road on Mull, with the vast majority of drives spent exploring the island’s single track roads sitting quietly within dramatic landscapes. The road trips will be breath taking and you’ll soon get used to this style of driving, pulling into passing places to let traffic past and remembering to let vehicles behind you by to overtake if you want to slow down and enjoy the views.
There’s loads of local produce to try
With wonderfully fresh and local produce, from seafood and shellfish to seasonal veg and sensational cakes. We’ve included a guide to help you eat your way around the island’s local growers, producers and restaurants here. The Mull and Iona Food Trail will offer plenty to add to the menu, too.
Mull is closer than you think
The image of a Hebridean island can feel miles away from mainland living. And the character of the island is certainly unique, but it’s more accessible than you might think. In fact, you can see the Morvern hills on the mainland from Mull’s east coast, the Nevis range on a clear day from the south east, and the most westerly Ardnamurchan peninsula from the north. The ferry can be as quick as 20 minutes travelling from Lochaline, but even from Oban it’s just a short 50-minute crossing.
As you disembark the ferry in Craignure and make your way to your holiday cottage of choice, the coast never feels far. Sea views appear at seemingly every turn along many stretches of road, with the water revealing itself as you clear the canopy of woodland or crest the brow of a hill. So, how can you make the most of the waters and wildlife around Mull on your next stay? Read on to find out more about six different Isle of Mull boat trips.
1 Boat around Tobermory Bay
A new addition for the summer of 2022, thanks to Tobermory Bay Tours, guests can hop on board from the Tobermory pontoons and enjoy a beautiful cruise around the bay. Enjoy stunning views back to the colourful harbourfront, pass by waterfalls as they plunge into the sea and get a closer look at Calve Island and the colony of seals, among other wildlife, who call it home.
2 Travel to the Treshnish Isles
One of the most popular trips among visitors is to embark on an Isle of Mull boat trip to our outlying Treshnish Isles, visible from the island’s west coast. Take in the iconic contours of Dutchman’s Cap and land on Lunga to experience the archipelago ashore. From mid-April to July, these islands are abuzz with breeding colonies of sea birds, including the perennially popular puffins, who nest in burrows here. Trips depart from the west coast at Ulva Ferry with Turus Mara, or from Tobermory with Staffa Tours.
3 Sail for Staffa and Iona
Venture down to the island’s most south westerly village of Fionnphort and yet another adventure awaits for Isle of Mull boat trips. Skip the CalMac passenger ferry and instead embark with Staffa Trips on a voyage that takes in both Staffa, with its basalt columns and Fingal’s Cave, as well as Iona, with beautiful beaches and the historic abbey, before returning you home to Mull.
4 Paddle past seals in Salen Bay
Conveniently located in the centre of the island, Salen Bay Hire offers the chance to take to the water in your own time with the hire of kayaks and paddle boards. Paddle around the bay and its charming skerries, enjoy an alternative view of the Salen shipwrecks and almost certainly encounter an inquisitive seal or two.
5 Ride the waves on the Ross of Mull
Visitors staying in the island’s south west will find all their appetite for adventure well satisfied with water sports, sea kayaking and sailing at Bendoran Watersports in Ardtun. With the help of an expert guide, spend a half or full day cruising around the coast, visiting little-known sandy coves and admiring the pink granite rock formations that this part of the island is well-known for.
6 Watch for whales from the water
Mull’s waters have been alive this summer with some truly exceptional marine sightings – including on rare occasions orcas! Minke whales, dolphins and porpoise may be more often seen, with the chance for the luckiest visitors to see basking sharks too. Sea Life Mull sail regularly from Tobermory to soak up the sights of the sea.
We hope these Isle of Mull boat trips have given you plenty of inspiration for your next island adventure. Book your cottage and bring your plans together.
Visit a Scottish island in the depths of winter? Really? Ewan Miles from Nature Scotland is here to tell us why the unlikeliest timing might just be the best…
Despite what you may think, Scotland can be a stunningly beautiful place to spend some time over the harsher winter months. Yes, the weather can be challenging. But,it can be equally as challenging in July and August too. The west coast is known for glorious white sand beaches, turquoise blue seas and comical puffins. The puffins are long gone in winter, but the Isle of Mull still has much to offer, including those beaches (and often you’ll be the only soul there).
So, come prepared with your waterproofs and wooly hats and hop on the ferry to witness some island wildlife. Here are five iconic species that you can encounter on the Isle of Mull throughout the colder season.
Secretive but splendid. The classic Golden Eagle sighting leaves you wanting more. Often, you glimpse a distant yet intimidating silhouette just before it vanishes beyond the crest of a hill. Particularly in the summer months, these wary raptors are focused (hopefully) on their eaglet in the eyrie and avoid humans where possible.
With the arrival of cold winds and snow on the higher mountain tops, Golden Eagles can be seen actively hunting in the shorter daylight hours.
In late winter these birds are already thinking ahead. They become yet more territorial, aggressively removing intruder birds from their wintery home and can be seen displaying to their partner. The male uses powerful wingbeats to gain height, before tightly folding them against his body and plummeting down, clearly sending a message to his mate and any would-be suitor. This sight is repeated against stunningly beautiful landscapes with snow-capped peaks and angry skies.
The Sea Eagle, fondly referred to as the ‘flying barn door’. The bigger (and better) UK equivalent to the American Bald Eagle. One of the largest eagles in the world, with a staggering 2.9m record wingspan, the White-tailed Eagle is a species to see.
The Isle of Mull has become an iconic location for this eagle since their reintroduction to the Isle of Rum, they set up home here on Mull in 1980s and got comfortable. Fame came in 2005 with Skye and Frisa and their eaglets Itchy and Scratchy.
Like Golden Eagles, these raptors are present here all year round, breeding in the summer months. However, encountering in the winter can be quite different. Often a gregarious bird, juveniles and sub-adults may congregate in small groups together when the going gets tough. They’ll make use of intertidal zones to scavenge any delightful, dead detritus that may have been washed up.
Adult pairs will remain territorial and can be spotted roosting together in trees or nest building before spring arrives again.
This elusive mammal is still an uncommon sight in mainland river systems despite their successful population resurgence. The Otter remains shy and is primarily nocturnal, making it a tricky species to encounter. Luckily for those visiting the Isle of Mull, particularly in the winter months, you have a good chance of observing these aquatic predators in our coastal waters.
Thanks to the icy cold sea water temperatures, Otters need to be actively hunting for large parts of the day to meet their energy requirements. This makes winter a great time to observe them and marvel at their ability to cope with the wild and choppy Atlantic ocean on our western shores.
They may look like cute, cuddly mammals, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. They’ll bring large prey like crabs, fish, octopus and lobster to land and make quick work of devouring the good bits, leaving slim pickings behind for the gulls and hooded crows.
Mull has a substantial population of the Red Deer, the country’s largest deer species. They’re an impressive sight to behold, particular in autumn and early winter. Wildlife watchers look forward to the ‘rutting season’ each year. The primal sounds of bellowing stags and the clashing of their antlers as they battle out for top mating position are worth getting up for.
Throughout winter though, Red Deer can be seen quite easily as they spend time on the lower, richer feeding areas. Female Red Deer (hinds) will remain in groups with their fast growing calves born earlier in the summer.
We’ve lost many of our larger native herbivores in the UK, including the Aurochs (wild ox), Tarpan (wild horse), Moose and the few Reindeer we do still have are confined only to the Cairngorms, so all the more reason to seek out the majestic Red Deer here on the Isle of Mull.
Eagles rightly take a great deal of the glory among birds of prey. However, the Isle of Mull is home to another rare raptor, the Hen Harrier which despite a smaller stature is just as intriguing.
The Hen Harrier is present in greatly reduced numbers throughout much of England and parts of mainland Scotland and is unfortunately linked to ongoing raptor persecution incidents on managed land. Thankfully, many islands including Mull are safer havens for these ‘sky-dancing’ birds.
We often have a good number of these vole-loving birds breeding here in summer months. Yet, our oceanic climate provides a warmer region to overwinter on our lower grounds. A crisp, cold winter day can yield excellent views of harriers hunting across rough ground searching out small mammals and birds.
Colder months also spur these birds to communally roost together, a spectacularly unusual sight, but spending time here in winter might increase you chances of seeing multiple harriers arriving at a night time roost to settle down.
Ask any visitor to Mull to recommend their favourite places to visit, and almost all of them will mention Loch na Keal at some point. This sea loch sweeps inland along the island’s west coast, with the Ardmeanach peninsula and Gribun cliffs hugging the south shore, and the coastline leading round past Killiechronan to the north. Inside the bay lies the uninhabited island of Eorsa, as well as the island of Inch Kenneth.
One of the island’s most beautiful drives
Loch na Keal is easily accessible from most corners of Mull, lying only a couple of miles’ drive across the narrowest part of the island from Salen on the east coast, to the loch on the west. But arriving at Loch na Keal from the south offers perhaps the most spectacular introduction.
First follow the road through Mull’s mountains in Glen More, then turn off. The road follows the northern shore of Loch Scridain, before rising up over the pass at Tiroran and then descending dramatically with spectacular views across Loch na Keal and yet more outlying islands at sea.
As the road reaches sea level, the views remain impressive. Hills rise up to your right, with the sea to your left as the road winds past the Gribun cliffs with pretty dry stone walls.
A wildlife hotspot for Mull’s ‘big five’
Of course, surrounded by pockets of woodland, sweeping hillsides, scree-covered peaks and a tidal sea loch, there’s far more to see than landscapes alone.
Mull’s big five could all be sighted in the local area, so keep your eyes to the skies for sea eagles, scan the hilltops for herds of deer, and choose a spot downwind with a view over the water in the hope of otters, seals and – for the very lucky – perhaps even dolphins too, who have been known to visit.
Explore Loch na Keal and beyond
At the head of the loch, there’s also the opportunity to experience the surrounds from the saddle, with Mull Pony Trekking based at Killiechronan.
Following the north shore round, the single track lane continues for miles following the length of the island’s west coast. Continue on and pass Loch Tuath, opening up views over the islands of Ulva, Gometra and the Treshnish Isles, and you can continue all the way to the white sands of Calgary Bay. A lovely place to pause and take in the west coast sunset, or enjoy an ice cream from the boat shack earlier in the day.
Cottages on Loch na Keal
Loch na Keal feels every bit like true Mull wilderness, with Ben More, the island’s only munro, accessible from the south shore. Cottages are few and far between in this rural corner of the coast, but we do have a couple that will draw you back time and time again.
For couples, Derryguaig Smiddy is the perfect choice, nestled in the foothills of Ben More on the sloping grassland above the loch. For wildlife lovers, Kellan Mill Lodge on Loch na Keal’s north shore is a firm favourite, and for families or large groups, the beautiful Balmeanach Farmhouse at the start of the Ardmeanach peninsula is guaranteed to impress.
As the ferry sails into Craignure from the west coast town of Oban, it’s time for your adventure on the island to begin! Just across from the pier, you’ll find the lovely little café Blethers. The perfect spot to warm up with a steaming mug of coffee, often with treats for your dog too! They’re also known for an excellent fish and chip supper, should your ferry happen to coincide with lunchtime…
Dog friendly day out on the Ross of Mull
Rested and refuelled, it’s time to hit the road and enjoy a taste of what Mull has to offer! For those staying on the Ross of Mull, then a stop at Ardura Community Woodland on the way to your dog friendly cottage is a must. From the parking area just off the Glen More road, a quiet track ambles along the meandering River Lussa deep into the glen, with wonderful views to Mull’s mountains through the oak woodland, as well as a memorial to John Jones, beside Pedlars Pool.
Returning to the car, there are yet more views to soak up as you pass through the glen with steep hills rising to either side. As you drop down towards Pennyghael and Loch Scridain opens up before you, Ben More will tower to your right, and you find yourselves on the Ross.
If time allows, continue on before heading to your dog friendly holiday cottage and sample your first of many beautiful beaches. The fine sands of Uisken and Ardalanish will all be wonderful sights to start your holiday. Or, for those who venture as far as Fidden, there’s a taste of more to come with the outlying islands of Iona and Erraid in view too, both of which make excellent dog friendly days out during your holiday on Mull, with stunning scenic walks and coastline.
Refreshed by the sea breeze and salty air, wipe off those muddy paws and sink into the warm welcome of your dog friendly holiday cottage. A call before your arrival to the Lochbuie Larder comes highly recommended, meaning you can tuck into locally sourced, homemade ready meals for your first night on the island. The Argyll Arms pub in Bunessan will also be a welcome visit during your stay, where your four-legged-friends will feel at home too.
Dog friendly day out in North Mull
For those staying in the island’s north, enjoy the scenic drive up along the edge of Salen Bay, stopping to see the iconic shipwrecks and the seals so often on the skerries. Just before the stone bridge with a left hand turn to Dervaig, make time for the first of many walks on the island as you follow the lane along the Aros river estuary to the ruins of the 16th century Aros Castle. This makes a great short walk with lots of birdlife to see to stretch your legs after the ferry.
Back in the car, continue up the east coast with great views of the Sound of Mull as you go. Then, as you near Tobermory, make a right turn and follow the rhododendron-lined driveway down to Aros Park. Here, a dog friendly wonderland of trails awaits, following the course of waterfalls, circuiting the lochan or hugging the coast all the way to Tobermory’s harbourfront. Pick any one of them or try them all – they’re sure to be a favourite with four-legged-friends.
As you arrive at your dog friendly holiday cottage on Mull, it’s time to pull off your boots, wipe off their paws and settle in for a relaxing stay. And if you fancy a night off cooking, you’re in luck, as many of North Mull’s cafes and restaurants are dog friendly. They’ll be all too happy to curl up beside the fire in the Mishnish pub, or to join you for dinner at MacGochans at the end of the harbour.
In the past 12 months, we’ve become better than ever at exploring the great outdoors that lies on our doorstep. As part of that, many of us have found new passions for outdoor pursuits, whether taking on testing hills or taking to the water for a bracing wild swim. With that in mind, we’ve compiled our pick of the best Mull cottages for adventure seekers, whatever pursuit most appeals to you…
Cottages for wild swimming
Calgary’s sheltered horseshoe bay and glistening clear waters make a tempting case for braving the bracing temperatures and taking a wild swim. Where better to base yourselves, then, than Sands Cottage and Calgary Bay Cottage, where you can dash back up the beach and straight in the door to warm beside the fire afterwards. Bliss!
Cottages for hill walking
Tucked into the foothills of Ben More, Derryguaig Smiddy offers a prime position for those hoping to summit Mull’s only munro during their stay. There are plenty more interesting hills to tackle in the area too, from the challenging Ben Fhada to the difficult alternative ascent of Ben More via the A’Chioch Ridge.
Venturing south, Dobhran Croft promises some excellent hills close by too at Lochbuie. Ben Buie is, of course, a must. But with the remote and dramatic coastline towards both Laggan and Carsaig, and the hills of Craig Ben to discover, there’s plenty to entertain those who like to head off the beaten track.
Cottages for kayaking
With Loch Scridain at the bottom of the garden, The Old Church has long been popular with guests hoping to enjoy Mull from the water during their stay. Launch your kayak from the rocky shoreline and get a new perspective of the beauties of the Ross of Mull coastline.
Cottages for paddle boarding
With the tranquil waters of Salen Bay (and, conveniently, paddle board hire available in the village too), Scots Cottage is the perfect choice for those who wish to dip their toes in the adventurous side of Mull, all with a welcoming and modern homestay to return to.
Cottages for biking
Some of Mull’s most dramatic scenery and terrain lies deep in the heart of the island in a little-visited area called Glen Cannel. To get here, one must venture along the length of Loch Ba and then deep into the glen, surrounded by Mull’s mountain country on all sides. A fantastic cycle in wild surrounds, with a good chance of being joined by a soaring eagle or quartering hen harrier as you go. Macquarie House affords easy access to this wonderful part of Mull.