I often get asked about the different things to do when holidaying on Mull. Having been a regular visitor to the island since I was a kid there’s been plenty of opportunities to discover some great spots along the Isle of Mull coastline. So without further ado, here’s my personal top five beaches worth discovering on the Ross of Mull (that’s the southern end)…
Isle of Mull beaches. No.1 – Carsaig
Carsaig [MAP] is a stunning little spot on the southern coastline of the Ross of Mull. Like a lot of beaches on Mull it’s a single track road to the beach which has seen better days. The road down to Carsaig is fairly steep ending in a spot where a few cars can park. Facing the sea head to your right (west) along the track. After a short while you get to the bat where there’s a pretty good sandy beach.
However, if you carry on along the shoreline you reach the stone flats. This is an ancient seabed that’s turned to a soft porous rock and it’s absolutely stuffed with fossils which kids can literally pull out of the soft sand with their bare fingers. In addition there are some beautiful natural salt-water pools filled with all sorts of colourful life.
Carsaig is a great spot for a sunny day… and yes they do happen occasionally
Isle of Mull beaches. No.2 – Uisken Beach
Uisken [MAP] has a long stretch of white sand facing south towards the island of Colonsay. You get to it by taking the high road out of Bunnessan and, at the brow of the hill turning left and following the road over to the southern edge of the island.
For the hardier amongst you this is a great swimming beach as it’s got a long shallow incline. On summer days if you catch the tide coming in over the sand, the heat escapes from the warmed beach into the water coming up the shore, making it great for paddling or swimming.
For inveterate beach-combers it has loads of rocky outcrops full of small pockets of water, making it ideal for kids and grown ups who like to potter around finding crabs, eels, etcetera…
It also offers some stunning views. Well worth a visit and parking is reasonably good here with plenty of room for cars. To the right (facing the sea) the next beach is Ardalanish Bay. This is another white sand beach, well worth a visit.
Isle of Mull beaches. No.3 – Knockvologan
Knockvologan [MAP] is the beach formed between the Mull mainland and the island of Erraid, made famous by the author Robert Louis Stevenson in his novel Kidnapped. To get here drive to Fionnphort and take the road going past the St Columba Centre. This ends at the Knockvologan farm, where it’s possible to park in a walled area set aside for visitors. It’s then a 300 metre trek down a rocky farm road to the beach.
Again, this is one of these places which looks quite out of place in Scotland. White flat sandy beaches stretch out everywhere at low tide, with little stone outcrops dotted between. If you catch the tide coming in or going out it’s quite a sight as, with the beach being so flat, the water moves very fast in each direction.
But it’s relatively safe as the incline is such that you would have to wade out a very long way before it becomes deep water.
Isle of Mull beaches. No.4 – Scoor Beach
To get to Scoor beach [MAP] you take the road to the left of the A849 (heading west) 50 metres before crossing the stone bridge on the way into Bunessan. Follow this side road past Loch Assapol until you head uphill. At the top of the hill as it bends to the left (there’s a wildlife sign at the point where you stop) you can park to the side of the road and follow the path through the fields. This 5 minute trek takes you down to a long bay of white sand surrounded by steep rocky outcrops offering loads of fun for adults and kids alike who want to rock hop… just be careful as it’s a long way to go if you break an arm or leg!
Isle of Mull beaches. No.5 – Fionnphort Beach
Getting to Fionnphort beach [MAP] is fairly straightforward. Just follow the A849 until it runs out of road and you’re there. Park at the St Columba Centre where there’s no charges and head down to the beach following the path.
Because of the position and shape of Fionnphort’s bay it can catch a huge amount of seaweed at certain times of year – especially after stormy weather. This is great material for gardeners but can be a bit smelly to traverse to get to the beach. Fortunately it’s at the top of the bay and you’ll forget about it as soon as you gaze across the sound to the Island of Iona a short distance offshore.
Aside from the white expanse of sand, two distinct aspects of this beach are the surrounding pinkish rocky sides which were once cut to make stone slabs adorning buildings across the world and the huge boulder sitting at its centre, with a massive crack down the middle of it. This is a mini-me rock-climbing adventure for small and big kids alike who can climb up between the two halves of the boulder and sit on top.
If it’s a low tide you can head to the far north west corner of the beach and continue through to bays further along the coastline, offering lots of rocky outcrops between the sand for hours of distraction as you rummage through rock-pools and jump over the pink stone.
If the tide comes in just head up the hill and walk overland back to Fionnphort.
Q. Have you got a favourite beach at this end of the Isle of Mull which you’d recommend to others visiting the island? If you do please let me know below.