“ Address: Baliscate House / Tobermory Isle of Mull / Argyll / Scotland / PA75 6QA „
The Isle of Mull is a wonderful place, with amazing scenery, abundant wildlife, and many miles of rocky coastline to explore. For our recent holiday, my girlfriend and I wanted a self catering cottage that allowed us to see some of Mull's beautiful coastal landscapes, without even leaving the cottage. We found exactly what we wanted in Bendoran Shore Cottage. This little cottage is situated in a small natural cove with only one other house (Bendoran Lodge) in sight. My mum and dad, travelling with us, booked Bendoran Lodge, so my family had this secluded little spot all to ourselves. Our first sight of the cottage was gained after entering through the private gate and driving through a small woodland down to the cove. The two cottages stand alone, separated by about 50 yards, with a slipway to the shore between them. The area around the cottages is quite extensive and open, giving an airy, spacious feel, with the woodland behind meaning that the houses cannot be seen from the road. Bendoran is in an excellent location; the little village of Bunessan, with its pub, shop and post office, is less than a mile away whilst in the other direction, the ferry port of Fionnphort (pronounced 'finnafort') is only five miles away. The nearest house is several hundreds yards distant. An idyllic location! Bendoran Shore Cottage is a small dwelling that can sleep up to four people. There are only three rooms in the house; bedroom, bathroom, and a living/kitchen/dining room. There are, however, two double bed settees that allow the living room to be used as a second bedroom. Despite its small size, Shore Cottage has a warm, welcoming and roomy feel to it. All three rooms are large, and the open plan living area gives a real sense of space. The cottage is tastefully decorated with some very high quality furniture. The decoration has, as might be expected, a nautical theme, with paintings and models of ships, and a huge admiralty chart of the area in the hallway. The high quality of the furnishings means that this is a comfortable, relaxing place to spend time on holiday. The cottage has reasonable facilities with dishwasher, cooker, fridge and microwave. Freeview is available on the reasonably sized living room TV. The large bathroom has tasteful fittings and furnishings and has both a big bath and shower cubicle. One of the most impressive features of the cottage is the windows; these are huge! The massive picture windows in the bedroom and living room give expansive, panoramic views of the outside: and what views they are. The picture at the top of this review is not taken at a local beach; it is the view from the cottage windows! Bendoran is situated on the shores of Loch Na Lathaich. At high tide, the water's edge is only feet away (although the cottage is on a slight raise so there's little chance of flooding). The sea laps almost to the cottage's footings and the island of Ulva, and the mountainous peninsular of Ardmeanach are visible in the distance. To the right can be seen the highest mountain on Mull, Ben More, often shrouded in mist. There can be few cottages in Britain with a more picturesque view than Bendoran Shore cottage. Sitting on the settee or bed, it is possible to watch the sea and wildlife through those magnificent windows with little reason to move for hours. During the night, the waves can be heard crashing against the rocks if the windows are left open. Absolute magic! The wildlife here is quite amazing, too. Gannets can be seen plunge diving off shore. Sea birds such as shags and terns will be seen fishing in the bay and wild rock doves often fly across the sea in front of the cottage. Seals are often visible across the bay, too. Perhaps the most exciting wild creature here is the otter. On several evenings, we watched a dog otter calmly swimming in front of the cottage, oblivious to the open-mouthed humans watching his every move: incredible. Wildlife is present in the garden as well. Many seaside plants grow here such as the beautiful pink thrift, silverweed, and English stonecrop. The snake-like slow worm lives here, and we were fortunate enough to see one at very close quarters. Lots of birds live in the woodland behind the cottage; ravens fly overhead, and cuckoos could be heard, too: this is a wildlife lover's dream holiday home. The cottage even has its own pier, so you can bring your own boat. This is a great place to fish from as well, and we were able to catch a reasonable number of mackerel as well as a couple of sea trout. The mackerel were put to good use, a barbeque on the beach confirmed that freshly caught mackerel are simply delicious when cooked in this way. Our holiday on Mull was extremely busy, with trips out made every day. We were always happy to return to Bendoran, however. Evenings spent fishing, having a barbeque, wildlife watching, or simply staring at the scenery made a great holiday almost perfect. I for one had great difficulty in tearing myself away from this idyllic little cottage on the last day. I can highly recommend Bendoran Shore Cottage, both as a base to explore Mull, and as a secluded, picturesque refuge for lovers of tranquillity, scenery and wildlife. A week's stay at the cottage costs £475 and can be booked using the following web address: http://www.islandholidaycottages.com/bendoran/bendoranshorecottage.asp.