The Isle of Mull is a truly beautiful little island. At around 300 square miles and with a population of less than 3000 its very peaceful as well. From Fionnphort to Tobermory there is so much to see and do. The people are friendly, the scenery stunning and wildlife is everywhere. You can see Golden Eagles, if you are lucky, Highland Cows, Stags, sheep (are they wildlife? ). If you are lucky, or prepared, you may even see dolphins and whales.
There are days trips galore, when we are there we take the ferry over to Iona, which is just beautiful and only takes about 10 minutes to get to, you get the ferry from Fionnphort. The shop and ferry port are about the only things in Fionnphort but the shop is very reasonable and the people are friendly and helpful.
Tobermory is a lovely little village, made famous of course by the children's program "Balamory", when we went however it was in January, and it was freezing! It's apparently lovely in summer, and you get the best fish and chips from a little van on the beach.
You can also arrange a boat ride over to Staffa to see the amazing rock formations, worth a trip.
Getting there - There is a ferry from Oban that takes only 40 minutes and is run by Caledonian MacBrayne, prices start at £26.50 single fare for a car and £3.60 per passenger. This ferry takes you to Craignure, which has a great little pub (the Craignure Inn), right across the road from the ferry port. I advise eating there, the food is lovely, reasonably priced and the staff are very good.
Accommodation - We stayed in a cottage, there are plenty of these all over the island ranging from reasonable to very expensive. There are also loads of B&B's and hotels. The Isle of Mull Hotel, in Craignure is very nice and do some good deals.
I have been to the Isle of Mull a couple of times. Once when I was younger and the memories of Mull were great. I remember we stayed in Tobermory with all the colourful houses.
Last year my sister decided that she was getting married on the Isle of Mull in Tobermory as she had fond memories that were from childhood as well as a family trip with her partner and child.
To be honest I didn't know what to expect from going here as an adult as I was unable to remember too much about the place. Yes I did remember colourful houses and the big hill up to the cottage we were staying in. I also remembered the cottage itself but this time round we would be staying somewhere completely different and with different people.
I booked a week off work with the plan to spend 5 days here. We would drive down on the Monday and come home on Friday. Enough time to relax before the wedding on Thursday.
So Monday morning arrives and the car is packed. We leave from our house in Tain and make our way to the Corran Ferry which is just South of Fort William. The Ferry is very small and only holds about 9 cars and travels from Nether Lochaber to Ardgour. It costs £6.40 for a car to travel and only takes about 5 minutes to cross. For times and charges for other vehicles go to - http://www.lochabertransport.org.uk/corranferry.html
Once of the ferry you have to drive to Lochaline this took us an hour . It is only about 24 miles but it's a single track road most of the way and you have to pull over a lot as the road is busy. Once you get to Lochaline you then get a ferry to Fishnish ehich took about 20 minutes. The ferry wasn't too big and again we didn't see the point in getting out of the car. The ferry cost £11.85 per car and £2.70 per person. For ferry timetables and more fare charges go to http://www.calmac.co.uk
We arrived in Fishnish early evening and the had an 11 mile drive up to Tobermory. I don't recall the drive ever being that long but again memories from being a child are often a lot different. Driving into Tobermory was kind of strange everything was similar but also changed to what I remember.
We were quite lucky that the house we were staying in was on Breadalbane Street which is right opposite the Registration Office where my sister was getting married. This made it nice and easy for all of us staying in the house.
Once we got to the house (up a very difficult drive). My mum and dad had already arrived before us. The house was very big and cost us £350 for the week, the property sleeps 10 so it was a really good price. For the week there would be 6 of us in the house and then my sister the night before the wedding.
There are a lot of properties for weekly rent and you are best to look about as you can get great deals and Tobermory is such a fantastic place to stay with fantastic views.
Once we arrived it was late evening so we went down and had a couple of drinks in The Mishnish Hotel which is quite near the end of the main street. It is a black building located on the sea front.
For a Monday night the pub was quite busy and everyone was extremely friendly. The pub is quite 'old cottage' looking with open fires and wooden floors, it's quite a dark pub but very welcoming. You can also get meals in here which we didn't try, I would expect to get Scottish style meals but you are actually offered Aubergine and Courgette Red Thai Curry or Roast Duck with Kumquat and Brandy Glaze. To be honest it's not my kind of food so I wasn't tempted.
Instead we decided to go to the local Co-op which is the main supermarket for Tobermory but is quite small and I really don't know how locals manage to get all their shopping from here. It is also very expensive which my partner told me was caused by having to get all the stock shipped over from the mainland. We got everything we needed to do us for dinner that night and decided to head back home for the night.
The next day my brother and his partner arrived, they had already been to the local butchers for breakfast. Everything he bought was fantastic quality and tasted excellent. I would highly recommend if you are over there to take a pop in to the Mull Butchers. Again it is located on the main street as are all other shops in Tobermory.
Throughout the day on Tuesday we had a lot of time to spend doing whatever we wanted to do. We all decided to go down onto the main street and have a look around all the shops.
The shops in Tobermory include -
Tobermory Post Office
Spar Grocery Store
Tobermory Chocolate Shop
Catriona's Hair and Beauty Salon
Tackle and Books
Isle of Mull Silver and Goldsmith
Many of these are small businesses which are lovely and do have a lot of tourist items you can purchase. There is also a ticket office if you choose to take a boat trip anywhere and the ticket office was my favourite shop for buying gofts for people. They also still have Balamory merchandise for sale even though the filming stopped a few years ago now. Balamory was a childrens tv programme filmed in Tobermory.
Tobermory chocolate shop was a really nice place to go and have a look. They had lovely items and really beautiful gift sets for sale. I would highly recommend you try the chocolate as it tastes amazing but to buy a box of chocolate would cost you £7.50 for 150g box. This is really expensive but definitely a nice treat. You can also buy online and the website is http://www.tobchoc.co.uk
Once we had spent time in the shops we sat and took in the stunning view. with all shops on the sea front it really is picture perfect with all the boats. If you are standing at one end of the street you can capture most of the buildings as well as the harbour if you want to take a picture. Either end of the street is perfect for taking a picture.
For lunch we decided we would have a chippy. Not at your normal Fish and Chip Shop but at a van on the harbour with fresh fish. Again prices here were expensive and cost £4.50 per fish supper. Taking it back to the house to eat my mouth watered with the smell. This was truly the best battered fish I had ever tasted, it was so fresh and full of flavour. Worth the money even if it is more pricey that your average chip shop.
In the afternoon we decided we would go for a drive round the island as there is a limited amount you can do on an island that has not many shops and only the pubs for entertainment which throughout the day wasn't really an option for us as none of us really drink.
We drove over to Calgary where we stopped at the beach. The beach was so perfect with white sand and a stunning view out to sea. There was hills on either side of the beach so the scenery was beautiful. We all walked along the beach and spent most of the afternoon here as it was so peaceful and enjoyable.
Instead of heading around the rest of the Island we made our way back to the house as it was beginning to get late and we wouldn't get to see much as it would be getting dark. All the roads we drove on were single track and were winding roads which can make you feel a bit car sick. That day finished off with a quiet evening and onto the next day.
Wednesday started off with me and my brothers girlfriend going to get our nails manicured for the wedding at Catriona's Hair and Beauty Salon. The staff were all exceptionally friendly. The manicure cost £9 each which was excellent value for money. The overall result of my nails was 7 out of 10 as we had french manicures the white varnish was not put on so well.
That night we went out for a meal at the Sagar Indian Restaurant. We booked a table for 8 of us. I don't think you'd normally need to book but with so many guests over for the wedding we had a feeling it might be busy. The rest of the family were having a take away at the house so they would be extremely busy.
The restaurant was up 2 flights of stairs which were quite steep. Once reaching the top we were faced with a slightly smally restaurant with all the tab;es very close together. We were shown round to our table and handed out menus. The restaurant I noticed was full of bright spotlights and the luminous pink strip lights which to be honest wasn't the best for a restaurant but I was still looking forward to the meal.
Once we all ordered it only took 10 minutes for all our meals to arrive. And I have to say that the meal was delicious. There was just the right amount for every meal and everyone at the table was impressed. The price for a Chicken Korma was £7.50 which wasn't too expensive but a bit more expensive than what I usually pay at an Indian restaurant. The whole evening was lovely with excellent staff who were really polite, short waiting times for meals and lovely food.
Thursday was the Wedding Day and our last full day in Mull. As you exoect the whole day was non stop. We started out at the registration office which is a really lovely building. There was nice grounds for photos to be taken as well as being able to get some photos with a scenic background as the registration office is up at the back of Tobermory.
Into the building and up the stairs to the room where the wedding was taking place. It takes up to 45 people in the room and is a really nice room for a wedding. The wedding felt personal as the room wasn't too big and just had a nice feeling in the room. Photos were taken after the service and I took a look out the large bay windows. The breath taking view had to be caught on camera. The photos are exceptional with a view of Tobermory with the coloured buildings and the sea with all the boats. To top it off it was a gorgeous day in October with the sun shining, so the photos are better than I can describe.
So next day was the day we left. Even though there is not much to do in Tobermory I thoroughly enjoyed my week of relaxing and taking in all the views. I will never tire of Scottish scenery and the Isle of Mull is definitely one of the most outstanding places to see in Scotland.
I have only reviewed what I tried out in Tobermory but if you do want anymore information the best website is
Right now the place I am writing about is actually Tobamory which is a little village on the Isle of Mull, where the children's programme Balamory was/is filmed.
I was staying in Scotland at the time with the family, and when we discovered the Isle of Mull was just a short ferry ride away, we decided to go and have a look, knowing it was the filming place of Balamory and having a young kid with us, we thought we'd take a trip there.
Upon driving our car onto the ferry, we were taken the few miles to the Isle of Mull, it didn't take very long, and it wasn't alot of money (it was a few years ago now and I wasn't the one paying so I don't know the exact times or prices!). We got to Mull, and drove ourselves across the small island to Tobamory.
When we arrived at Tobamory, I must say we were a little disappointed, they market the place on been the birth place of Balamory, and the houses had been repainted, and there wasn't really much to relate it to the show, so if you had seen leaflets etc for it and taken your Balamory lover child there, they would have been very upset by it!!!!
But other than that, it was a very pretty little fishing village, there is a map which you can follow to show you where all the houses are (as they're not in
a line as they are in the show!!) so you can make a nice day of walking around the village, and doing a kind of "tour" of the houses.
The people in Tobamory are very friendly, and although you'd think of them as getting annoyed with the tourists, but infact from the people we spoke to they're happy that the Isle of Mull has become more popular and they're even more happy that the tourists are bringing money into their small village which would otherwise go unknown by the majority of the country.
The only bad thing with Tobamory is that it is VERY expensive, its the only sign of life for miles around, and so they have the monopoly on everything, there is a beautiful little cafe (which was the cafe in the show!!!), where we stopped for a drink, and a little look around the shop part of it, and we found it to be extortionate, for a couple of chocolates it was around £5 (I'm talking two chocolate mice, and 2 other little things!) and around £20 for drinks for 4 people. Seeing as you can get a whole meal from home from some places, that is alot of money to pay for a couple of coffees and soft drinks!
Other than this, Tobamory is a very pretty little place to visit, theres not much to do there, but its a nice little drive around the island, the people are lovely, and if you take yourself a picnic, you won't have to pay through the nose for food and drinks!!!
The Isle of Mull is the second largest of the Inner Hebrides, off the West Coast of Scotland. Despite having an area of over 800 square miles, only about 2000 people live there, most in the capital Tobermory. During the summer, the population swells considerably due to tourists visiting the isle. Mull is a mountainous, rocky island, with its largest mountain, Ben More classed as a Monro (Scottish mountain over 3000 feet high).
The rocky coastline and mountainous interior make Mull an island of stunning scenery. There seems to be a jaw-dropping view around almost every corner. It truly is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. If you're 'into' photography, you will be spoilt for choice.
Getting to Mull is relatively easy, with a ferry crossing from Oban to Craignure taking only 45 minutes. Other ferries travel from Kilchoan to Tobermory, and from Lochaline to Fishnish. The ferries are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne and are not cheap. It cost me £70 for a return from Oban to Craignure last summer. 'Calmac' do have some offers available, however.
Tourism on Mull has expanded greatly in the past few years, mainly due to two television programmes; Balamory and Spring Watch.
Balamory is filmed at Tobermory, with the bright, multicoloured houses of its main street providing the exterior set. When I went there, I did not see any of the cast (but being 42 years old, was not TOO disappointed!).
Tobermory is a lovely place to visit. It's small, but quaint and full of character. There is even a Balamory shop for the kids to buy stuff. I was more interested in the restaurants of which there are a few. Being a coastal town, some of the restaurants specialise in fish dishes and are well worth trying out. Try Café Fish (thecafefish.com), they have their own boat so the fish are very fresh.
From Tobermory, you can sign on for a whale and dolphin watching cruise. The waters around Mull are one of the best places to see cetaceans in the British Isles so, whilst you're never guaranteed to see whales, there's a good chance. Several different tour operators are based at Tobermory, so you should be able to find a trip that suits you (prices and length of cruise vary).
As I said above, the other program that has boosted Mull's popularity is Spring Watch. Several episodes of this annual series have featured Mull's wildlife, particularly its White-tailed Sea Eagles. This eagle is the fourth largest in the world, has an eight foot wingspan and is described as a 'flying barn door'.
The White-tailed Sea Eagle became extinct in Britain in the early 20th Century. A reintroduction programme in the 1970's commenced on the Isle of Rhum, this was successful and many of the eagles moved to Mull. There are now more sea eagles on Mull than anywhere else in Scotland.
The RSPB run a sea eagle watch point during the nesting season. There's a small charge, but you get the chance to see these magnificent birds of prey at their nest (hopefully) with chicks.
Apart from sea eagles, there's plenty more amazing wildlife on Mull. One of the best ways to see it is to go on one of the many wildlife day tours that operate on the island. These tours cater for up to about 8 people and are run by real experts who know exactly where to go to see the wildlife that you want to.
I went on a tour run by "Wild about Mull" (www.wildaboutmull.co.uk). We were taken to see sea eagles, golden eagles, mountain hares, common and grey seals, puffins, and (best of all) otters. This was a fantastic day, seeing a female otter with a cub at close distance was amazing!
The golden eagle sightings were also brilliant. We had lunch on the side of a hill overlooking a waterfall. We did not realise that Bryan our guide had chosen this place specifically to see golden eagles. We were treated to a pair of eagles soaring over our heads as we ate our meal, incredible!
There are a couple of downsides to Mull. Firstly, the prices. Everything from food and accommodation to petrol seems more expensive (tip: fill up your car BEFORE going to Mull; at the height of the petrol price increases last year, we saw unleaded petrol for sale at £1.30 per litre!).
The other downside is the weather. Being coastal and mountainous, Mull gets a fair bit of rain (actually, it's one of the wettest parts of Scotland, which is not exactly the driest country to being with). This just has to be tolerated. Make sure you pack waterproofs and the amazing wildlife and breathtaking scenery will make you (almost) forget about the rain.
If you like beautiful scenery or wonderful wildlife (or Balamory!), Mull has something for you. I can't wait to go back.
It's a Scottish island so guess what happens here, it rains. Having woken up in Fort William in the rain, my friends and I caught a bus to Kilchoan and then a ferry to Tobermory. The bus journey was interesting as the bus driver drove down the narrow one lane wide roads, with cattle in the way, and delivered bread and milk to some of the people who lived there on the way to Kilchoan. The rain, however, did not stop.
Once on Mull the trek to the campsite began. It wasn't far, about half an hour without heavy bags. Tobermory campsite (yes the only campsite in Tobermory, but there are also hotels and a youth hostel in town) is a couple of fields by a stream, but is also very pretty. We camped under a tree away from the rain. In the morning the island looked completely different, it was so sunny. Hens from the owners house were walking around everywhere, and we were in the middle of the beatiful counrtyside. Hot showers and a dry tent, what more could you want. The only problem that mobile phone signals were not very good (O2 had a signal at 2 in the morning!). Tobermory looked prettier in the sunlight. We sat and ate fish and chips by the harbour, and watched all the boats and people. The most distinguishing factor about Tobermory is the multi-coloured high street by the water. There are also lots of nice gifts to by and the island bakery. Bike hire is also available. There is also a distillery to visit in the town.
There is another good campsite on Mull in Craignure, which is where the other ferry terminal is.
A word of warning: going to Fort William from Tobermory is impossible as the bus from Kilchoan leaves too early for the ferries from Tobermory. So going to Craignure and then to Oban is the best route back.
Despite the rain, Tobermory is a beautiful place to go, and the campsite has a country farm/cottage feel with the hens, and it has nice hot showers.
I have to agree with what Janharper has written here - but have just been back for my 2nd visit to Mull....I want to live there!! For night life, there is the Mishnish in Tobermory, with live music and none of the restrictive licensing hours England has to suffer. Hangovers feel different when you wake up to the beautiful scenery of Mull! There is also the smallest theatre nearby, which only seats c40, and other events in the local Arts Centre. You can spot rare Sea Eagles, and all sorts of wildlife. We took a short boat trip from Tobermory and saw porpoise, whilst enjoying a 'wee dram' with shortbread. But the best place in the world is Calgary Bay - silver sands, warm sun and blue sky (I think we were lucky twice). The only worry is the 'Balamory' effect - a noticeable increase in tourists this year, thanks to the BBC2 children's programme...I hope it doesn't attract too many folk, it's too special!
This tiny island can be reached by ferries from Oban and Lochaline and from Kilchoan (in the summer only). The island is just 24 miles long and 26 miles wide. It's Western shoreline has lots of inlets and sea-lochs which gives it over 300 miles of coast. There are some really magnificent seaviews and towering, awesome looking cliffs, especially in the south-west of the island. Inland, the moors are covered in wildflowers and they rise to a height of more than 3100 feet at Ben More which is the island's highest point. There is just one town called Tobermory which is at the northern end of the Sound of Mull. It has a quaint and attractive waterfront and a yachting harbour. This harbour is the centre of seafaring legends about a sunken treasure that went down here, with a Spanish Armada galleon in 1588. At Craignure on the east side of the island is the Mull and West Highland railway which runs steam and diesel trains on a ten and a quarter inch gauge railway. These run from Craignure for a mile, to Torosay Castle. Torosay Castle is open to the public and it has formal Italian terraced gardens. Inside the house are portraits, an Edwardian library, archive rooms and an interesting and unusual study of the Antarctic. There are boat trips in the summer to see the famous basalt pillars on the island of Staffa. You can also see Fingal's Cave which inspired Mendelssohn's music. This is a really special, rugged, little island, and it offers the chance to enjoy unspoilt, natural beauty in a quiet environment. If you are looking for clubs and rocking nightlife it isn't for you!