My family and I took the short journey over to the isle of Ulva from Ulva Ferry on a balmy Summers day. Once we had alighted, we headed for the small interpretive room and display above the the Boat House Tea Room adjacent to the Ferry Slip. This gave us a mountain of information about the island and it’s various attractions. Once we had digested all the information there was to offer, we decided to undertake a gentle walk down to the church (designed by Thomas Telford).
Firstly, at the start of the trail, we entered Sheila’s Cottage, which is a faithful reconstruction of a traditional thatched Croft House. This was last lived in earlier this century by Sheila MacFadyen, hence the name ‘Sheila’s Cottage’. This gave us a fascinating insight into life on Ulva in harder times.
After the Cottage, we continued on the walk, which was well sign-posted and we headed off in search of this little-known architectural treasure. The kids loved running ahead knowing that there was no danger of being run over and before we knew it, we arrived at the Church. We stopped to admire it (and had a quick peek inside) and then headed off back to the Tea Room. Although the walk wasn’t strenuous, we had worked up quite an appetite and had a quick drink and bite to eat and waited for the ferry to return to take us back over to Mull.
How do I get to Ulva? The Passenger Ferry departs from Ulva ferry on Mull and the crossing takes about 5 minutes.
How do I get around Ulva? Most people get around the isle of Ulva by either walking or by using a mountain or Quad bike, as there are no tarmacked roads on Ulva. Mull Magic offer guided walks and tours of Ulva including viewing the Basalt Columns.
What’s worth visiting on Ulva? Sheila’s Cottage is a traditional thatched Croft House which includes a display on the history of Ulva up to the present day. The Boathouse has an interpretive display on the top floor, as well as an excellent Tea Room underneath. There is also a Church designed by Thomas Telford. Please see my article on Thomas Telford designed churches.
Where can I stay on Ulva? There is no accommodation on Ulva, but with the permission of the islands owners, you can camp rough. Other than camping, the nearest accommodation is on Mull.
Any other information on Ulva? Lachlan Macquarie, who is sometimes referred to as the “Father of Australia”, was born on Ulva. He was Governor of New South Wales for 12 years and his Mausoleum on the Isle of Mull is still maintained by the National Trust of Australia.
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