Isle of Mull

The Oban Times - - FEATURE -

BOAST­ING spec­tac­u­lar wildlife and scenery, as well as out­stand­ing seafood, Mull is truly up there with some of the world’s finest tourist at­trac­tions. A play­ful ot­ter could cross your path at any mo­ment, a ma­jes­tic red deer stag will ob­serve you from his mountain van­tage point and golden and white tailed ea­gles plum­met from the skies be­fore your dis­be­liev­ing eyes. Out to sea the en­coun­ters are richer still. You’ll find guille­mots, gan­nets and puffins above the wa­ter, es­pe­cially around Staffa and the Tresh­nish Isles, while within it swim minke and killer whales, black baleen, har­bour por­poises and Risso’s dol­phins. Travel to Mull by ferry from Oban, and you can­not help but feel that you are en­ter­ing an­other world. You pass en­chanted caves, fairy­tale cas­tles, and if you’re lucky might even see bask­ing shark!

Mull’s main port, Craignure, is a short ferry cross­ing from Oban, close to two im­pres­sive cas­tles, in­clud­ing Duart, which has been lov­ingly re­stored. The north­ern cap­i­tal, Tober­mory, is known as the set­ting for chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion pro­gramme Balam­ory, though it has also been gain­ing me­dia and young read­ers’ at­ten­tion re­cently through the saga of the Tober­mory Cat. The Mull Mu­seum, the He­bridean Whale and Dol­phin Trust and the Marine Visi­tor Cen­tre of­fer dis­plays and in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits on the his­tory, ge­ol­ogy and wildlife of the is­land. Tober­mory Dis­tillery, es­tab­lished in 1798, it is one of the old­est com­mer­cial dis­til­leries in Scot­land.

Thanks to a care­ful con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme, sev­eral pairs of rare white-tailed or sea ea­gles nest and fish around the is­land, and golden ea­gles oc­cupy the high ridges where they feast on mountain hare. Big name mam­mals to look out for in­clude red deer, fal­low deer, and even wild goats, and be sure to keep an eye out for the dis­tinc­tive shapes of both grey and com­mon seals bask­ing on the rocks or bob­bing up and down just off shore.

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