Contrary to received wisdom, it’s not always the case that the Isle of Mull is off limits in the winter months. It’s true that the weather gets a whole lot chillier as we move towards the end of the year. But, thanks to being in the path of the Gulf stream, the island is bathed in warmer waters which usually keeps the harsher cold, often endured by Scotland’s east coast, at bay.
Proving this point was an up-to-the-minute blog I discovered this morning by Nigel Cole. He’s on Mull outside of what might traditionally be considered the holiday season, yet is enjoying some excellent weather… the proverbial Indian summer no doubt.
As he explains, “Today was magic. We had a dream combination of no wind, sunshine, blue skies and low volume of tourists.” He then recounts a day spent traversing the whole of Mull; from Tobermory, all the way to Iona and the Abbey, where he says, “After completing our tour of the Abbey we strolled back to the ferry for our return trip to Mull and then embarked on a return drive, this time along the west coast of Mull which proved very pleasant in the afternoon sunshine. The single track road with poor surface provided an additional dimension to the trip which, overall, proved quite exhilarating.”
This, I think, helps to confound those who would say that Mull is best enjoyed in the summer. It’s an all year round island that can offer an all-round experience. Just think twice, perhaps, about skinny-dipping in the sea at this time of year!
Beach House, Isle of Mull Self-Catering
Here’s another local business (based out of Oban) with some rather interesting snippets of information on its blog and facebook page. Called Coastal Connections it has quite a lot of attractive pictures taken on past charter trips around the coast and islands on its blog. Just click on the blog archive to see an overview.
Coastal Connections has a rather beautiful website featuring a map of the west coast of Scotland pin-pointing its location and, presumably, the area it services with two boats. “We aim to make your journey to the islands as enjoyable as possible. Both our Redbay 11 metre cabined RIBs provide a safe, dry and comfortable environment in which to relax and take in the scenery and wildlife along the west coast. Cruising at an average speed of 30 knots you will reach your destination in no time at all. Our services range from commercial exercises to scenic tours of the Western Isles as well as private charters.”
Apart from using smaller boats to ferry myself to dive sites up the Sound of Mull, a past-time I can no longer do these days, it’s never occurred to me to charter a boat for a cruise around the islands. But, if you are a large group or have extended family members on Mull for a holiday, it could be a great way to spend a day.
There really is nothing quite like being able to take a view of the land from the sea. It’s more akin to how our ancestors would have seen the world, when the seas were our highways and venturing inland was a dangerous prospect.
That’s also why our forebears would have not seen the national distinctions we recognise today. Peoples from modern Ireland and Northern Ireland would have been ferrying back and forth between Scotland’s Islands and mainland in much the same way we take a car on the M6, to or from the south.
Anyway, if the idea of hiring a private boat to flit you around the islands holds some appeal, you should go check out what they have to offer.
Beach House Self-Catering
Just spotted this picture uploaded by Gemma Reece down in Shropshire who, presumably, has been holidaying on the Isle Mull recently. Anyway, I’ve seen dozens of pictures of Duart over the years. Taken quite a few myself as the CalMac ferry puffs past the headland just before Craignure harbour. Duart
sits right at the very edge of the cliffs looking over the Sound of Mull. But this picture definitely stands out for me. It has a clarity and composition that’s either pure luck or real talent. I’m definitely envious. You can see a better and bigger version of this shot here