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How to visit the Isle of Mull

How to visit the Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull is one of Scotland’s most popular islands. Located in the Inner Hebrides, just a short ferry ride from Oban or from Ardnamurchan, the isle of Mull is perfect for an Island holiday in Scotland. From climbing a Munro, staying in the pretty town of Tobermory, to one of Scotland’s best beaches here are my favourite things to do on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Things to do on the Isle of Mull

things to do on Mull

Get the story in Tobermory

With colourful seaside cottages, this tiny wee fishing town is one famous the world over – and not just for the kid’s TV show Balamory! Tobermory is a great place to base yourself for a short visit to the island as it is a bustling and lively place, with lots of busy harbour bars and restaurants – we opted for dinner at the excellent Macgochans.  

Beyond the bars there is plenty to do around the town, whisky fans will want to visit the Tobermory Distillerylocated right on the waterfront – no need for a designated driver here.

History buffs should also read up on Glengorm Castle (once known as Castle Sorn) once the home of James Forsyth of Quinish who cleared a whole township to build his Disney style palace. Was he cursed? He was told by an elderly local that he would never live in the castle – and he never did, dying just after it was finished. You can now stay in Castle Glengorm.

If you are short on time you can sail directly into Tobermory from Kilchoan, rather than the crossing from Oban. Tobermory is around a 40-minute drive from the main ferry terminal at Craignure.

Discover Calgary Bay

On the north coast of the island, and around 35 minutes drive from Tobermory is beautiful Calgary Bay. The beach is stunning – you can see why it is one of the most photographed beaches in Scotland.

Framed by dramatic land formations ‘the meadow beside the bay’ is surrounded by a huge sweep of meadow grass which takes you down to the perfect white sand.

There is a summer beach cafe on site, a waterfront camping spot and in the nearby pretty village of Dervaig, a pub for lunch and pints of real ale. Worth heading up on the single track road to the north of the island for!

things to do on Mull

Climb Ben More – an extinct volcano

The only Munro (a Scottish mountain over 3000ft) on an island (after from the Cullin on Skye) Ben More stands 966m above Loch Na Keal – the ‘loch of the cliffs’. With views across to the Isle of Ulva to Ben Cruachan, Ben More is a great island viewpoint even if you don’t climb to the very top!

Ben More is actually an extinct volcano, and the geology is fascinating – and makes for a very slippery ‘scree’ type path up at the top. The mountain was formed around the same time as the cliffs on Staffa. It will take you 5-6 hours to climb Ben More and the walk is around 6 miles from the shore of the Loch. We managed to get to the top but met a lot of people just climbing up half way for the amazing view.

Walk Highlands has the Ben More route.

Photograph the Salen Boats

There are shipwrecked and decaying boats all over Scotland, but I think those to be found close to the village of Salen are the most photogenic! The boats can be found about halfway between Tobermory and the ferry terminal at Craignure. Beautiful…

Sail the Sound of Mull

Ok, to get to Mull you have to cross the water, but what a sail it is. We sailed from Ardnamurchan -Kilchoan to Tobermory and then back from Craignure to Oban.

The trip to Oban takes about 45 minutes, which leaves you plenty of time to soak up the views of Lismore and its lighthouse, the mountains of Glencoe in the distance and Duart Castle sitting out on the headland. Crossing the Sound of Mull has to be one of my favourite ferry journeys in the world…

More things to do on Mull

Where to stay on Mull

We stayed at the Park Lodge Inn* in Tobermory, a basic but comfortable and clean 3-star hotel well situated to walk down into the town. Car parking included in your stay, and the reception was very helpful when we asked for advice on climbing Ben More. Our rooms cost us £110 a night at Easter.

How to get to Mull

Read more: things to do in Argyll and Bute.

Love, from Scotland x


Tuesday 22nd of August 2017

Mull is our destination for every vacation we take in Scotland, and we don't willingly vacation anywhere else. We got married at Glengorm Castle and always return there to stay in a self-catering flat. We couldn't imagine staying for only 24 hours! Even one week is not enough for us.

If our relative, who was a frequent visitor on Mull, is to be believed, we know the story behind the Salen boats. Apparently a "mad Irishman" bought them to fix up and then sail around the world. Clearly, his plan took another path; they were so much more colorful in 2007. We surely recommend a visit to Duart castle - and don't miss the story of "Lady's Rock", but Torosay is now privately owned and no longer open to the public - except sometimes the gardens. The train doesn't run anymore.

I enjoyed your post - I always love reading about Mull and others' experiences there!

Mary Mayfield

Wednesday 23rd of August 2017

Oh that's shame about Torosay, and particularly the train. It IS a while since we went though, certainly back when our youngest was small enough to enjoy Balamory, so maybe ten years or so!

Mary Mayfield

Monday 21st of August 2017

I doubt I'd be able to pull so much in in 24 hours - if I even walked part way up Ben More, I'd need to spend the remaining time recovering (though maybe I could do that at Calgary beach!) Assuming I wasn't limited to 24 hours ... yes, I'd start at Calgary, then Tobormory, pull in a visit to Torosay Castle, arriving by miniature train from Craignure (it's about 10 years since I visited so that might not be there these days), go round to the west coast to see the Eas Fors waterfalls, and maybe take the ferry over to Ulva. Something I've always wanted to do is take the trip to Staffa, but I'm not very good on smaller boats so I've never attempted it. Maybe something for my bucket list!