Having fun in Tobermory’s back garden
I REALLY enjoy my trips to Mull. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is getting out and visiting our recreation facilities all over Argyll.
I especially enjoy going to Aros Park, which is our most visited site on Mull and the closest to Tobermory. It has been described as Tobermory’s back garden.
The coastal trail forms a great link between Tobermory and Aros Park. It’s rough and rocky but there are fabulous sea views along its length.
If you just fancy a five-minute leg-stretch, The Alainn View trail is very short, wide and flat with a smooth surface and offers fantastic views of the Aros Burn waterfall. It’s often more enjoyable after a lot of rain when the burn is higher.
The forest district has been working on a programme of rhododendron clearance in this area to aid the eradication of phytophthora, but the benefits are two-fold in that the views around the park have really opened up and our network of trails offer a much better experience for all our visitors.
If you fancy a slightly longer walk, follow the lochan trail for a gentle wander around tranquil Lochan a’ Ghurrabain. This is an artificial loch which was created as a feature for Aros House but also as a source of power for the sawmill down by the pier.
For the younger, or perhaps more adventurous, visitor, there is a play trail which follows the lochan route for a stretch before heading off further up into the woods.
The car park, which is the starting point for all the trails, is also the site of Aros House, bought in 1874 by the Allan family and demolished in 1962 because it was very seriously decayed and quite dangerous.
Much of the stone from the house was used to build the car park and the front doors of the house are now the front doors of the Church of Scotland in Tobermory.
The Forestry Commission Scotland looks after many of the forests on Mull. As well as Aros Park, we manage forests all the way up the east coast of the island. You can walk in all of these forests and we provide waymarked routes in each of them, from Scallastle in the south to Ardmore in the north.
We restore native woodland and encourage the growth of broadleaf trees. We also manage the forests for a sustainable supply of timber. Woodchips from our forests are used on Mull and, among other things, heat the oven of the island bakery which always provides a good excuse (if one were needed) to devour their biscuits.
Mull is one of the best places in Britain to look for wildlife. Our wildlife hides at Fishnish and at Loch Tor near Quinish are great places to start.
If you happen to be there at the same time as one of the Mull and Iona Community Trust rangers, they’ll fill you in on all the animals to look out for and the best places and times to explore.
You can also look out for marine wildlife from our car parks at Fishnish and Garmony. These are exceptionally good places to sit and watch the sea or have a stroll along the coast. The shore trail at Ardmore has more wildlife viewing opportunities to the north.
If scanning the sea is not your thing, have a look upwards. You’ve got a really good chance of seeing both the huge white-tailed eagles and the majestic golden eagles here, but there are also plenty of other birds to look out for. Have a look around and see if you can spot hen harriers, crossbills and black-throated divers.
There are many sites to explore on Mull and it’s a great place to discover not only what the forests have to offer but also the dramatic scenery of the beautiful Argyll coastline.
Why not visit the Aros Burn waterfall.