Island of Mull Off The Beaten Path

  • 2013.
    2013.
    by nickandchris
  • goats in the meadow
    goats in the meadow
    by kat-m
  • camera not good enough
    camera not good enough
    by kat-m

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Island of Mull

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    Wild life in abundance

    by kat-m Written Jul 11, 2011

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    goats in the meadow
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    We set off down the road to Carsaig with a view to seeing Carsaig Arches, These are sea arches I had seen pictures of and thought it might be a a nice trip. The road is very narrow and very precarious, however we saw stags, Hares and eagles, not to mention a beautiful cottage where Turkeys, ducks, cockerels and hens wandered round at their leisure. When we got to the end of the road there was a car park so we parked up and set off walking. The end of the road you come to an old pier which is now disused but must have been a busy place in its time. We followed a sign for coastal path and enjoyed the walk immensly. The path takes you through a meadow where goats graze . The wild flowers were a botanists dream and the scenery stunning. we came across a waterfall where we drank our fill of the cool clean water, (it was a hot day), we had walked quite a long way and realised that the arches must be somewhere else and so returned back to the car, a really good walk and fantastic scenery, also saw a white tailed sea eagle. We later learned that we had taken the opposite path for the arches but that particular walk is for more seasoned walkers and involves climbing.

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    GEORGIAN MANOR AT LOCHBUIE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2007

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    Old and New stand side-by-side at Lochbuie
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    Castles can be drafty, dank and gloomy. If you don’t have to worry about clansmen, neighbors or the occasional passerby with a claymore than why not build something a little lighter in style? Say something like a Georgian-style manor house? Well, that is what the Maclaine of Lochbuie family did about 1790. The Maclaine clan did not lose their lands as a result of being on the wrong side in 1745 as they did not march to the siren call of Bonnie Charlie. But as time went on debts did mount up. I was told at Duart Castle that while the Macleans of Duart amassed their debt mostly through supporting the lost Royalist cause of the English Civil War, the Maclaines of Lochbuie just liked to party. True or false? Could be relatives just talking about relatives :-]

    The house was sold to the family of British soldier/poet Siegfried Sasoon in the late in the late 19th century. The Sasoon family is one in the same of the hair style Sasoons. Today the house is in other ownership and is not open to the public.

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    ST KILDA’S CHURCH

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2007

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    St Kilda's Scottish Episcopal chapel at Lochbuie
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    Built on foundations of earlier chapel or burial site dating to more than 800 years, the little St Kilda’s Episcopal Church dates to 1876 and was a bit of a family chapel for the Maclaine clan. Various tablets within the small chapel are dedicated to members of the Maclaine family of the late 19th century. The family was not buried here but at a mausoleum near the Laggan Beach. Check the website for more information on the website.

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    LOCHBUIE BEACH

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2007

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    Beach and rocks of Lochbuie
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    There is a small campground on the west side of the bay, people attracted by the beautiful natural setting including the decent beaches west and east of Eilean Mor which lies in the center of the loch head shoreline. Many come to watch the sea birds - I saw a sea eagle while pedaling along the way. To visit the Moy Castle or the Laggan Beach, you turn left at the large monument dedicated to King Edward VII.

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    AROUND FIONNPHORT

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2007

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    Loong south towards Erraid
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    With a little extra time in Fionnphort, you can wander south towards the campground at Finkan - about 1-2 miles south. Across a tidal straight is the island of Erraid lying in a similar state today to the times depicted in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel ‘Kidnapped’. Erraid was the island where the book’s hero, David Balfour, thinks he is marooned, knowing that he can conceivably escape between tides. He was, however, stuck on Torran’s Rocks further to the south from which no tidal pathway to Mull existed. Walk along the hills overlooking the windswept waters of the Sound of Iona. The green moorlands of the Ross of Mull stretch off towards the hulk of Ben More to the east. Rocky crags drop into the waters separating you from the ecclesiastical glory of Iona, a mile to the west.

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    LADY ROCK

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2007

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    Lady's Rock, a tiny sliver by the big island

    The long feud between the Clan Campbell and Maclean got its start in the early 1500’s. The two powerful families had been allies and to further cement the arrangement, Lachlan Maclean of Duart and Catherine, the daughter of the Argyll Campbells had been married. When no heir was produced, however, Lachlan abandoned her on a rock which he knew would be covered by the incoming tide. Luckily, for Catherine, she was rescued by passing fishermen and she returned to her brother. Lachlan sorrowfully reported the lady’s death to the Argyll. Campbell had his revenge shortly afterwards though when, in 1523, Lachlan was murdered in his bed while visiting Edinburgh. The Lady Rock can still be seen from the castle at Duart during low tide, a sliver of a rock barely poking up from the cold waters.

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    CRANNOG ON LOCH SGUABAIN

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2007

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    Ewen's crannog on Loch Squabain
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    Along the road to Fionnphort from Craignure, just as you are driving over the pass taking you into Glen More - a lonely but glorious valley about 15 miles west from the ferry terminal - look below to the little lake. The lake is the first of three lying in a valley that heads toward the sea at Lochbuie. At the eastern end of the lake, there is a little island which is a crannog. These were prehistorically man-made islets which afforded a water wall of protection for its inhabitants. It was not uncommon for people of latter times to rebuild on these sites for similar reasons. This islet was home to Ewen/Eachuin Maclaine. Ewen (of the Little Head) was son of Iain (the Toothless) Maclaine who was the Clan Chief of the Lochbuie Maclaines who had branched off from the Duart Maclaines over time. Inheritance problems with his father led to battle between the two and Ewen ended up with his head lopped off. The body remained erect in saddle and the horse galloped off down Glen More for several miles with his gruesome load. Ewen’s ghost - the Headless Horseman - was thereafter seen to ride down the valley with a big black dog at his side whenever a Maclaine chief at Lochbuie was about to die.

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    Ardmeanach Peninsula

    by nickandchris Written Sep 7, 2006

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    Ardmeanach peninsula, Mull
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    This area of Mull is totally inaccessible by car but there are some fantastic places to walk to.
    The peninsula extends from the sea end of Loch Na Keal southwards to Loch Scridain. It's a huge mountainous mass, with gorges, waterfalls and cliffs and is where the Fossil Tree and Macennon's Cave are to be found on the rocky coast. The whole area is a wilderness of rocks and cliffs and coastal walking is extremely tricky and can only be done at low tide.
    Macennon's cave is said to be the most deeply penetrating cave on Mull,it's passageways continuing for hundreds of metres into the dark unknown. It's huge entrance is only accessible at low tide. Within it's depths is a large flat rock slab, known as Fingal's Table which is said to have been used as an alter. The cave was also thought to be a passage to the underworld of fairies and still holds an element of magic and mystery.
    Certainly the views of the 1,000 ft. basalt column cliffs from the coast opposite, on the Ross of Mull, are most impressive. You can even see the waterfalls tumbling down the sheer cliff face.
    I truly regret that this is another chunk of Mull we missed out on. Still, there's always another time!!

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    Loch Assapol

    by nickandchris Written Sep 5, 2006

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    Loch Assapol and cemetery
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    Just east of Bunessan is a small road leading to this inland loch and the settlement of Scoor. Again, it's very narrow so we took to the bike. After a mile or so you hit the loch, which has permit fishing on offer as well as off to the right, some holiday accommodation. There is also a hotel marked on the OS map but I believe this is now a private house. Very remote and tranquil. Here, I'm sure we saw an eagle soaring above us.
    The surfaced road ends and you drive along an estate road, a rough track until you get to a division of the ways and a small, isolated cemetery. No vehicular access beyond this point but you are invited to park and continue on foot down to a series of fantastic white sand bays, after the settlement of Scoor. Needless to say, we didn't make the effort as time was running short but I would really have liked to have done so. I have seen photos of the beaches and wow!!!!

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    Ross of Mull Coast....

    by nickandchris Updated Sep 5, 2006

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    Yes, this IS Mull.......!!!
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    Stunning, what more can I say?
    Beautiful white sand beaches and coves, clear blue sea and fantastic cliffs and rock formations. I think Mull's best beaches are to be found here, without a doubt. A few are accessible by car but others only on foot.
    Many little islands lie scattered about this coast, making it even more interesting, particularly if you have access to a boat. Canoes were popular, paddling about between islands.
    An added bonus for the south coast of the Ross are the views across to the Paps of Jura, clearly visible. On a few occasions, we watched them be totally blanked out by the rain clouds, waiting for the deluge to hit us only for it never to happen.
    One evening a terrific thunder storm rumbled about in the direction of Jura but once again, it passed away from us heading south. On another occasion, we heard a strange hissing noise and looked up to see the rain lashing down on the sea a few yards out before it arrived with us. And then it poured, but only for a few minutes.

    The Ross of Mull is the south western peninsula on Mull, stretching for 20 miles from the head of Loch Scridain to Fionnphort and Iona.

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    Ardalanish Bay

    by nickandchris Updated Sep 5, 2006

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    That's us.....
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    This is another of Mull's white sand gems. Absolutely gorgeous and really, on a sunny day, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Med.

    Only reached on foot, there is a very small parking area about half a mile above the beach. We didn't actually use the path as we arrived by boat. From Bunessan, take the left turn up the hill, signposted Uisken.After about a mile and a half on a very narrow road, you'll see a sign pointing to the right to a weaving mill and the Beeches (Don't know whether this is the Scottish spelling for beach.) This takes you to the tiny community of Ardalanish and the parking is off to the left.

    A truely magnificent beach, guarded at sea by numerous rocky islands, making boat navigation tricky!!! It stretches for about a mile with numerous streams filtering onto the sand and large rocks scattered about the beach. Very sheltered at the back of the beach.

    As I said, we arrived here by boat on a search for firewood. The beach was amazingly devoid of wood or any sort of flotsam and jettsom. Pristine white sand.
    I think we must have shared this beach with about half a dozen families, (after all, it was the weekend!!)

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    Isle of Ulva

    by nickandchris Updated Sep 5, 2006

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    Calling the ferry....
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    Ulva is a small, (about 5 miles long) pedestrian only island approx. 300 yards from Mull's west coast. It's reached by a tiny local ferry, carrying about 8 passengers. This is summoned by a board on the end of a building. Push the wooden window across and leave a red background. The ferryman should see this!!! Mon to Fri Easter to Oct 9am to 5pm. Possibly only on Sundays July and Aug. I suppose it's a question of supply and demand.

    It's a great place for walking and observing wildlife with well marked woodland and coastal paths across the island. Head to the southwest to view spectacular basalt columns along the shore, called The Castles. Supposedly more impressive than those on Staffa. You can also reach the smaller island of Gometra, off the west of Ulva, by a causeway

    Ulva suffered badly during the clearances between 1846 and 1851 and it's population of over 800 was drastically reduced. Derelict crofts are everywhere and today's population is little more than 20.
    Apart from walking, there is the Boathouse , a licenced tearoom serving oysters in Guinnessand the Heritage Centre and Sheila's Cottage which is a restored thatched croft with a museum of island life. The £5 ferry fare (return) includes entry to these.

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    Lochbuie and Loch Spelve

    by nickandchris Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    Tranquil Lochbuie
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    From Craignure, travel the A849 south for approx. 7 miles and take the left turn to Lochbuie and Croggan.
    It's a very narrow road which we opted to do on the motorbike after sighting an extremely narrow bridge. Having said this, we would have got down as the bin lorry goes this way, it's just the thought of there being nowhere to turn round at the end of the road.
    The road follows Loch Spelve, a fairly barren sea loch, lacking in trees, to it's head and then either branches to the left to continue around the Loch to Croggan or straight on to Lochbuie. We opted for Lochbuie, which route takes you through an estate on the inland Loch Uisg, surrounded by rhododendrons. Very pretty. The road ends at a small parking area by a large sandy beach. There is a cairn erected by Lochbuie and his Highlanders to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII. Follow the track to the right and you pass rocky inlets and come to an old slipway. It's a beautiful spot, very sheltered with lovely views. A few small boats were moored in the calm waters.
    We found droppings on the slipway which looked suspiciously like otter spraints (see photo) so spent a while sitting and scrutinizing the water and seaweed. No luck. Anyone recognise the droppings as otter?
    Here, we met a family from Cumbria, would you believe not far from where we live!!
    One route I regret we didn't take was the track along to the left of the parking area. This went to the ruins of Moy Castle, a stone circle and another beach. As usual, you only read about these things when you've already left the place!! Next time.....

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    Kintra

    by nickandchris Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    Kintra
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    This is a little gem of a place, off to the right of the main route to Fionnphort, the A849.
    It's a small inlet with lots of interesting rocky islands and a row of 10 cottages, some definitely holiday accommodation. This place was set up in the 18th c. as a model fishing experiment by the Duke of Argyll. He moved in families with no fishing experience and also those with the relative skills who then taught all they knew to those lacking the skills. The cottages were named after the fishing boats.
    In front of the cottages is a grassy area with sheep roaming aimlessly and a small beach.
    We arrived here on the motorbike in the rain but it was still as pretty as a picture and oh, so peaceful. Looked great for fishing and boating.
    I seem to remember there was an organic produce kitchen and garden sign pointing to somewhere near here.

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    Eas Fors Waterfall

    by nickandchris Written Aug 27, 2006

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    The first fall at Eas Fors
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    Although this is just off the B8073, I reckon it's a quiet enough spot.
    Head north on this road after passing the turn for the Ulva ferry. It's within a couple of miles. There's a parking area and it's worth the effort to get out and walk down the falls. There are a series of smaller falls, one with a nice looking swimming pool at the bottom and then finally the main fall plunges over the edge of the cliff down to the sea below. It's quite a spectacle if you dare lean over the edge enough to see the drop.
    You can see the fall some way away from the Ulva road and I have since read the best way to view the fall is from the beach, down a path some way back along the road. unfortunately, we missed this and only viewed from above. Still, it was impressive.

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