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Suidhe Farm Cottages Cows enjoying the fresh air on Mull The Burg and Ben More from Suidhe Tobermory harbour Beautiful Mull sunset Ardalanish beach Duart Castle, Isle of Mull

Our cottages on Mull

Wildlife on Mull

How to find Suidhe Farm Cottages

Getting to Mull

Things to see and do on Mull

Suidhe

"A holiday on the Isle of Mull is perfect for exploring the spectacular wildlife Scotland has to offer"



What to see and do on Mull

The Island of Mull has much to offer to the holidaymaker; spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, sea and sand, a Munro to climb, interesting geology, ancient ruins, and a handful of castles, to name but a few of its attractions. There is a useful guide to some of the local attractions on the Welcome to Scotland site.




Sandy beaches

The coastline of Mull has a large number of sandy beaches; some, such as Calgary Bay in the northwest of the island, are near a main road and attract more visitors (but “more” in Mull terms is relative – the busiest beaches would be thought of as almost deserted if you transported them to the mainland!), while others, such as Market Bay on the north coast of the Ross of Mull, are accessible only after an energetic hike, and are quiet and secluded. Most of the beaches are of golden sand, but the beach at Carsaig on the south coast of the Ross is almost black sand, from the colour of the volcanic rock from which it was formed.

The sea around Mull is crystal clear, and on a sunny day, the intense blues and greens of the sea and sky can make the Mediterranean look positively boring. It is possible to swim in the sea if you can stand the temperature; however, from time to time you will find jellyfish in the water, so take care to avoid them. Uisken beach on the south coast is the venue for the annual Uisken games at the beginning of August; this is a very light-hearted affair, with assorted races on the sand and a raft race around the bay on home-made rafts – great fun!

The neighbouring Ardalanish beach is the venue for the annual “shinty” match on New Year’s Day; a motley crew of players shows up, some armed with the most unconventional shinty sticks, and two teams are picked. The rules are a little hard to discern, but after a while, the match is either declared won or drawn, and the exhausted players retire to Ardalanish farm for bread and home-made soup.





Walks

There are plenty of opportunities for walking and hiking around the Ross of Mull and further afield. The Walk Highlands website lists several walks, graded by difficulty; there are also books of local walks that can be obtained, either from The Ferry Shop in Fionnphort or from the Caledonian MacBrayne gift shop in Craignure. Walking on Mull is a source of endless enjoyment and fascination; the scenery is stunning, and there are always opportunities for nature watching, be it a distant glimpse of an eagle or an otter, or a flock of goldfinches feeding on thistle heads, or the abundant wild flowers in the meadows. The landscape also shows many signs of past occupation, some dating back to pre-history, others showing the remains of crofting villages abandoned during the highland clearances. The Ross of Mull Historical Centre in Bunessan has published a series of booklets, the result of their "Discover the Ross" project, that act as guide books to a number of walking trails that explore townships on the Ross. One of these booklets describes a walk from the pier head up to our own ruined township at the top of the hill above the cottages.

Bunessan and Salen shows

The Bunessan show takes place in the grounds of Bunessan primary school, usually in the first week of August; the Salen show just north of the village of Salen on the east of the island, usually the following week. These are traditional village agricultural and produce shows; there is fierce competition for the various cups on offer for livestock, baking, arts and crafts, vegetables, and so on. There are also side shows and stalls; a chainsaw sculptor will carve animals while you watch, Wings Over Mull often bring a selection of their birds of prey and give a flying demonstration, there are food stalls and stalls selling local produce.





Castles

A visit to Scotland would not be complete without visiting a castle or two, and there are several to be found on the island. Torosay is a relatively modern example; close by, just outside Craignure, Duart castle is rather older, dating back 400 years. Duart is still occupied and is the base of the Clan Maclean. In Cromwell’s time, the castle was unsuccessfully attacked by a party of Roundheads; this happened again in the summer of 2006, when Colonel Hugh Fraser’s Regiment of Dragoones successfully repulsed an attack by a rather smaller band of Roundheads. Moy castle on Loch Buie on the south coast of the Ross of Mull is rather smaller than Duart and is now just a ruined shell; Glengorm Castle at the very northern tip of the island is of a similar vintage to Torosay.




Staffa and Fingal’s Cave

The island of Staffa, with its spectacular basalt columns and the cave that inspired Mendelssohn's Hebridean overture, are not to be missed. Boat trips are available from the pier at Fionnphort or Iona.

www.staffatrips.co.uk

www.fingals-cave-staffa.co.uk




Tobermory

Tobermory is the only town on the island, and was famous for its brightly painted buildings long before the advent of the Balamory programmes. There are gift shops and galleries to visit, the home of the famous Isle of Mull Cheddar is just outside the town, and of course, the award-winning mobile fish and chip van can be found on the pier.




Iona

The island of Iona, with its restored abbey that dates back to the early days of Christianity in Scotland, is a short ferry ride from the pier at Fionnphort. The abbey is now maintained by Historic Scotland. In addition to the abbey, there are several gift shops and craft shops on the island, and some lovely sand and shingle beaches. At the southern end of the island is the Iona marble quarry, where stone for the lovely altar in the Abbey was quarried.





Erraid

Robert Lois Stevenson visited Erraid many times, and the island features in his book “Kidnapped”. The island is at the west end of the Ross of Mull, connected to the main island at low tide, when you can walk to it across the sand.




Tunnock's Tour of Mull Rally

The annual Tour of Mull Rally takes place on the Isle of Mull every October. Claimed by some to be the best rally in the world, this event takes place on the single track roads of the island, often with nasty drops at the side of the road. In 2011, for the first time one of the night-time stages took place in Bunessan, starting at the Argyll Arms, with the rally cars taking the "back road" from Bunessan to Suidhe, hacking round the hairpin where it joins the A849, then off down the hill back to Bunessan past Suidhe Farm Cottages; from Ros-Mairi we had a grandstand view of the action. Although some of the cars found the hairpin a bit of a challenge, only two of them ended up in the ditch; one car was able to drive out, but the other had to be lifted bodily back onto the road by the numerous willing spectators.




Stunning night skies

The lack of light pollution on Mull means that the nights get really dark, so on a clear night the sky can be a truly spectacular sight, with the Milky Way clearly visible to the naked eye. In October 2012 we were treated to a wonderful display of Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, which could be seen clearly from behind the cottages. The pictures below were taken using a time exposure, so they don't show the way the light was pulsating up from the horizon, but they give an idea of what can be seen. There is a website - Aurora Watch UK - hosted by Lancaster University that shows the current level of geomagnetic activity, and you can sign up for email warnings when the activity level gets high enough that viewings are likely.

 

Eating out

 

There are a number of local options for eating out, ranging from home-made cafe-style lunches through to fine dining. There is a list of cafes and restaurants in the information pack; a paper copy of this pack is kept in each cottage.


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