There’s something special about the Isle of Mull.
From the moment I landed at Craignure from the ferry from Oban you could just feel it in the air. Life is a little slower. The island only has one crossroads. The biggest cause of road traffic accidents are deer straying on to the roads at night. The sense of community is strong.
It was the first place I ever experienced a single track road, with passing places, being described as an A Class road, though the local drivers are very considerate when it comes to manners on the road, as well as putting up with tourists who are not clued up, in the ways of island driving.
The scenery is spectacular. From the lowlands of the coast to the mountains flanking the glen, there is something to suit everyone here. In fact, there is only one thing that will outclass the amazing views available to anyone venturing on to the island. In a word, wildlife. The range of creatures to be seen, even by a casual observer is vast. Sea eagles, golden eagles, majestic stags, buzzards, seals, the list goes on and on. However, if you do go across the island you stand a very good chance of seeing all of these species and more.
If the wildlife is not enough, you could also visit one of the castles on the island. Duart Castle, seat of the Maclean clan which stands proudly above the Sound of Mull. In fact Maclean involvement with Duart Castle can be traced back to 1367 when it was offered as the dowry when Mary MacDonald married the 5th Clan Chief.
Organised bus tours run from the ferry terminal at Craignure and it is best to ensure you have your ticket booked prior to landing on the island. They can whisk you across the island, through the glen, to Fionnphort on the west coast. This is the jump-off point on the ferry to cross the water to the neighbouring island of Iona. The drive takes about an hour and our driver provided an entertaining and informative commentary of the journey as we went.
When visiting the island, you should budget to allocate at least a whole day of your journey, particularly if you want to jump on the Calmac ferry to Iona. Ideally, you will want to spend more time there to get the full island experience. However, be warned, in peak season every Bed & Breakfast we passed had the “No Vacancies” signs displayed so make sure you have somewhere to stay organised. Traveling “on spec” may result in you having to sleep rough.
Great wildlife, castles and people, all steeped in history make Mull somewhere you will want to return to time and again.