Winter on a Hebridean island brings many things to mind – dramatic tides rolling onto exposed beaches, cosy nights beside the wood burning stove and wrapping up warm to watch for the Northern Lights. Whether your stay is filled with crisp winter sunshine or atmospheric seasonal storms, here are a few outdoor activities on Mull to enjoy in the quiet winter months.
1 Enjoy Stargazing
The long dark nights that cloak the Hebrides during the winter months offer a superb opportunity for budding astronomers and stargazers alike. Head out on a clear night and see what you can spot.
For the luckiest, cast your gaze northwards and you may even see the dancing colours of the Northern Lights, which are spotted here throughout the winter months when the solar energy is right. Find out more about stargazing on Mull.
2 Fossil Hunting
Not to collect and take home, but certainly to marvel at. On a bright, calm day, there are two paths to pick from.
For the adventurous, the dramatic route from Tiroran to the Fossil Tree (it’s known as the wilderness peninsula for a reason!) at low tide will take your breath away.
For an easier going amble, the circular walk at Ardtun on the Ross of Mull enables you to enjoy the stunning coastal scenery as you scout out fossil leaf beds, which once stood beside a prehistoric lake!
3 Watch for Wildlife
During the winter months, the red deer descend from their home ranges in the hills and are often seen at lower levels, making winter an ideal time to see them up close.
Much of the island’s wildlife remains with us through the winter – the eagles, otters, seals and more call Mull home year-round. And then there are the seasonal visitors, for whom winter signals their season of return – keep an eye out for the rare Great Northern Diver among others.
4 Go Fishing
At this time of year, fisherman’s huts come in especially handy to shelter from the weather if needed. Tackle and Books in Tobermory are the people to ask to secure your permits to fish, with the Mishnish Lochs a pretty spot with shelter if you need it, or the Aros Park lochan, where you can take cover beneath the trees.
5 Bag Castles
Make your first Duart Castle – while it closes its doors to visitors over the winter months, you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the castle as you approach Mull on the Oban to Craignure ferry.
From here, several beautiful castles await, some ornate and privately owned, like Glengorm, which can be seen from a distance on the walk to the Bathing Pools, or Torosay Castle, which peeks through the trees on a coastal walk from Craignure.
Others act as relics of the past, like the 16th century Aros Castle, where ruins remain statuesque on the hilltop beside Salen Bay and the Aros estuary. Moy Castle, visited by a beautiful coastal path from Lochbuie, is another castle majestic in its age and well worth the walk to.
6 Step Back in Time
Follow coastal paths to ruined villages that serve as a poignant reminder of the Highland Clearances island-wide. From the Ross of Mull, the path to Shiaba is a stunning, windswept coastal walk with pretty beaches to pass by.
Further north, walk the Treshnish Headland for more spectacular sea views, passing the ruined village of Crackaig as you go. From Tobermory, the walk to Ardmore Point is only a few minutes’ drive, where again, ruined cottages pay testament to times past.
Feeling inspired by these winter activities on Mull? Visit the island at its quietest and enjoy an excellent value winter break – choose from one of our cosy cottages available this winter.