The Glorious Isle of Mull

After the previous days adventures at sea, I was pretty keen to keep my feet on dry land and set out for a day of hiking and exploring. I had kipped in Oban for the night but wanted to see more of the Isle of Mull than I had the previous day. So after triple checking that I had put my camera battery into my camera, I packed my bags and once again jumped aboard the Calmac ferry to Craignure.

Having my beloved Olympus OM-D E-M1 fully charged and good to go made me extra happy and resulted in some lovely shots of Oban as the ferry left the port.

oban-calmac-ferry-scotland

oban-calmac-ferry-scotland

Oban is one of those small little towns that looks beautiful from within, but looks even better from the outside.

oban-calmac-ferry-scotland

The Calmac ferry from Oban to Craignure is a comfortable 50-55 minute journey and is wonderfully scenic. There are several shops on the ferry to buy snacks from and at £3.45 each way, it’s a decently priced way to get between isles!

As we neared Craignure I began to get a better look at the beautiful Isle of Mull. I knew from a bit of light research prior to arriving in Oban that the castle I could see was Duart Castle – one of the bajillion* castles in Scotland.

*Bajillion may be a slight exaggeration

criagnure-mull-duart-castle-scotland

Once we had arrived in Craignure ferry port, I hit the ground running to drop off my backpack at the nearby Craignure Bunkhouse and get exploring!

craignure-bunkhouse-mull-scotland

The Craignure Bunkhouse is the only hostel in Craignure and is pretty wonderful. Comfy beds, light and airy dorms, reliable wifi, helpful owners and an extremely well stocked kitchen make it a very comfortable place to rest your head for a night or two. At £20 a night the cost is a little steep, but pretty standard for Scotland.

After dropping my backpack on my bunk, donning my hiking boots and filling up my water bottle; it was time to hit the road!

I decided to take the route leading to Duart Castle. There is a regular bus that runs between Craignure and the castle, but I was in the mood to hike, so hiking was what I did!

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

There are mostly single lane roads on the Isle of Mull, so if drivers meet whilst headed in opposite direction, then one needs to do a courteous reversal to allow the other driver to pass. I worried that by walking along the road that I would get in the way, but as it turns out, it’s a pretty quiet isle and there aren’t too many drivers!

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

In the six hours I spent hiking on this day – only 11 cars ever came past me! What is even better is that of these 11 cars, 6 of them stopped to offer me a lift. I have said it before and I will say it again – I love the Scots!

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland-sheep

This was my third visit to Scotland and I was expecting it to be pouring with rain – like normal. However it had remained completely dry and at this point I was becoming suspicious that I was in the middle of the calm before the storm!

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

Just as I was close to certain that soon I would be drenched to the bone with Scottish rain, lo and behold – the sun came out!

Not only that – I soon became too hot and had to take off my jumper and hike in just a singlet! I am not exaggerating when I say that I thought I had either entered The Twilight Zone, or that I had mistakenly boarded the wrong plane and somehow ended up in a tropical forest.

craignure-mull-scotland

While I was excited by this clear weather – I was also secretly hoping to get assaulted with a heavy downpour! That is after all, what I had come to know, expect and love about Scotland.

Despite my not so subtle attempt at a rain dance (thank god none of the 11 cars saw the travesty that is me dancing) the sun had come out and it had decided it was gonna stay put and shine for a little while.

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

After another hour of exploring and soaking up some vitamin D, the clouds reappeared and the day became gloriously overcast.

craignure-mull-scotland

Then to make things even better – I spotted some gorgeous highland cows!

craignure-mull-scotland-highlands

When I eventually made it to Duart Castle I had myself a little picnic in the castle gardens and took in some gorgeous views of the castle grounds. While it may seem strange that I spent all this time hiking to a castle that I had no intention of entering, to me it seemed perfectly normal. I have seen a gazillion** Scottish castles and have always found myself more excited by the view of the outside than the inside.

**Gazillion may be an slight overstatement

Clouds back means jumper back on!
Clouds back means jumper back on!

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland-duart-castle

Hot dogs or legs - Scotland edition
Hotdogs or legs – Scotland edition

Then it was time for the journey all the way back to Craignure where the pub next door to the bunkhouse serves a cracking good haggis and pulls a mean pint.

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

craignure-mull-scotland

T H E   L O W D O W N
Getting to Oban: Scotrail run several trips per day from Glasgow
Getting to Craignure: Calmac ferries go from Oban to Craignure several times daily
Craignure Bunkhouse: Costs £20 per night – click here for more information and to book
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm M.Zuiko Pro Lens
Remember: To expect the unexpected in Scotland!

Posted by

20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

58 thoughts on “The Glorious Isle of Mull

  1. 6 of them stopped – that’s amazing!

    We drove from Skye around the North Coast 500 and saw maybe 3/4 other cars, but no hikers whatsoever! Also, I’m jealous of you getting to see some highland cattle – we only saw sheep. Lots, and lots of sheep…

  2. Mull & Iona are my favourite of all the islands. So many fantastic trips there. Glad you enjoyed that part of the world. Clearly you avoided the storms that have recently battered the place.

  3. Looks lovely…So different from Greenland and Iceland. You are actually amongst the trees. Isn’t traveling by ferry wonderful. I did a big bike tour in Washington State and had to take ferries several times….It was great.

    1. It really was lovely and yes so different! It’s amazing that these lands aren’t on opposite sides of the world but they looks worlds apart! I do like the ferries, so calm and scenic!

  4. Thanks for taking us on the journey with you! This looks like a lovely adventure, and one we will have to try ourselves sometime. I love how lush and green everything looks. Reminds me a lot of Ireland. (Although not quite a gazillion castles there!) Best, Susan

  5. The Hebrides are strikingly similar to the gorgeous forested islands of the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska, which makes sense, given their latitude. Mull would certainly be on my itinerary!

  6. Lovely post. I liked Oban when I visited a few years ago and had a very pleasant tour of the distillery there. Beautiful scenery and pictures to be enjoyed. I am not sure if it is rural folk rather than Scots offering lifts…I sure wouldn’t expect to be offered one (nor perhaps should a lone female traveller accept one) in Glasgow. 😀

  7. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

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