I will be visiting the Isle of Mull twice in the next couple of months. My first visit is in April, where I will be staying with my family in a self catering cottage in Tobermory, at the far northern end of Mull.
I have had many holidays on the Isle of Mull over the years and every time I visit, there are always areas of the island that I have yet to discover. On the trip in April, I am hoping to go to the island of Ulva as well as the island of Erraid and to complete walks on both islands. I last visited Ulva about 10 years ago, so it will be interesting to go back and see if there are any changes. I am hoping to complete one of the waymarked walks that are available on the Isle of Ulva website. There are 3 available walks. They are the Farm Circuit (about 1.6 miles), Livingstone’s Cave Walk (4.5 miles) and the Southside Circuit (6 miles). Hopefully, if the weather is good, I can take some good photos, as I don’t have many of Ulva. I will definitely also be visiting the Boathouse Cafe as well. I had a lovely lunch there on my last visit.
The visit to Erraid will be a first for me. I am not sure if I will have time to visit Erraid in the morning and then Iona in the afternoon. So, I may have to abandon my family (they are used to it) and meet them back in Tobermory. Erraid has been home to a small group of members of the Findhorn Foundation for over 30 years. The group run courses and retreats, so it is feasible to visit Erraid for longer if needed. To visit the island, I will be heading towards Fionnphort and then turning left on a single track road down towards Fidden Campsite and then through onto Knockvologan Farm, where the track for the beach starts. It is possible to visit the island for an hour or two either side of low water, when it is linked by a broad expanse of sand to the Ross of Mull. Once there, I will be aiming to see the disused signal station and also a row of cottages built for the lighthouse keepers on Skerryvore and Dubh Artach.
I also plan on visiting Duart Castle, near Craignure, as well as visiting Calgary Bay and taking several walks around Tobermory such as walks to the Lighthouse and to Aros Park. Because of our recent new arrival, who is now 8 months old, we will also be visiting Mull Aquarium and keeping an eye out for any local wild animals or birds, as Mull is one of the best places to see wildlife in the UK. Companies that offer wildlife tours include Island Encounters, Discover Mull, Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions, Mull Wildlife Tours and Wild About Mull.
On my second trip in May, I will be on a cruise with the St Hilda team and we will be sailing around the Isle of Mull, as well as other islands such as Iona, Staffa and possibly the Treshnish Isles. This will be the first time I will have been on a Scottish island cruise, so I am very excited for this. Once I have completed the cruise, I will hopefully be visiting the island of Gometra for the first time. I recently completed an article with Roc Sandford who lives on the island. The article – ‘Gometra – Living off the Grid’ outlines how Roc and the other islanders are looking to make the island as self sufficient as possible. There are two self catering properties that are available to rent on a daily basis, so I will be looking to rent one of these and stay overnight. This will be the first of two islands on thrse tours that I have yet to visit.
The magic of Mull is that it is small enough that there are always things to see and places to go, but it is also big enough that if you want quiet and solitude, then there are places that you can visit, such as Calgary Bay, where you can easily find this. This is one of the reasons why I love visiting the isle of Mull.