Mull and Ardnamurchan Part 6 – Visiting Scotland

I thought I’d wrap up my series of blogposts on the Scotland trip with a reflection on some of the great places we stayed, ate, visited, just in case you fancy a visit.

Stob Dearg, Buachille Etive Mor, Glen Coe

Stob Dearg, Buachille Etive Mor
The mountain that welcomes you to Glen Coe

On our way up, we stayed in Onich before heading for the Corran Ferry to Ardnamurchan. Onich has a personal connection as it’s where my maternal grandparents actually met.

We stayed overnight at The Highland Croft B&B which I can highly recommend. The place is actually run by an English couple, but they have great local knowledge and helped us shape some of our later plans, particularly on Mull. You’ve basically got a private Loch-side spot at the end of the garden, and it was here we watched Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Divers, and a seal. We ate at the Onich Hotel that evening, and the food was excellent. Again, you’ve great views of the loch and mountains.

We opted for the Corran Ferry as opposed to driving all the way up to Fort William and round and down into Ardnamurchan. Saved a lot of time and it’s the obvious choice. Quick, frequent and cheap.

On Ardnamurchan we stayed at the Resipole Campsite which had excellent facilities, a loch-side location, and of course, visiting deer!

It was an excellent base to explore Ardnamurchan, and our trips to Nadurra and Ben Hiant, and Kentra and Arivegeig both ran smoothly from here. The Nadurra Natural History Centre is a good place to start out. There is a shop and cafe, guides to what you can see, and an exhibition (which I didn’t visit).

We drove on to the carpark opposite Ben Hiant (well marked on maps) which is an excellent place to view this sprawling mountain:

Ben Hiant

Ben Hiant

It also provides a handy view down into the bay (part of Loch Sunnart):

We had a good walk round this area, even stumbling across what seemed to be an old chapel:????????

????????

Again, it’s an area I heartily recommend. The same goes for Kentra and Arivegeig. The only note of caution I would sound is that there are few places to eat round here, so you need to know where you can get to. We ate at the Salen Hotel (you need to book), and had fish and chips in Acharacle by Loch Shiel. Again, both excellent.

We’d originally planned to cross to Mull from Kilchoan, but instead opted for the Caledonian-MacBrayne (CalMac) from Lochaline-Fishnish, driving up to Tobermory. It was a good decision and it’s a pretty swift ferry crossing. The road from Strontian to Lochaline is a lovely drive too.

In Tobermory we stayed at Carnaburg and were perfectly happy with the reasonably priced accommodation. There’s plenty to do around Tobermory, and plenty of places to eat and drink. We ate at the Sagar Indian restaurant, at MacGochan’s (where we also whiled away each evening with fine beer and whisky), and at Cafe Fish. All were first rate, with Cafe Fish in particular living up to its reputation as one of the best seafood restaurants in the country. If you have the time, the money, and the appetite, the seafood platter is extraordinary! I wouldn’t normally go for a curry on this sort of trip, but the place had been recommended to us, and was well worth the hike up the stairs inside!

Because of the facilities available, I can recommend Tobermory as a base. Our various trips out all ran smoothly from there, and there’s a tourist information centre. It’s worth noting however that most shops only open 10-4, and do not open at all on Sunday. So again, be prepared.

Calgary Bay, Mull

Calgary Bay, Mull

After visiting Calgary Bay we popped into Calgary Art in Nature. There’s an excellent cafe, and the sculpture trail has some delightful installations. For example:

Frustrated birder homes in on a flock...

Frustrated birder homes in on a flock of oystercatchers…

The flock is remarkably docile…

Yes Dad, you do need your glasses…

It’s a tremendous view from the top, and would be an enjoyable trail for anyone really.

There are plenty of companies that offer boat trips to the various islands, and as you know I took in Staffa and Lunga. Iona and others are also on offer. After weighing up my options and some local recommendations, I opted for Turus Mara, who provided an excellent service and amusing commentary.

Bluebells on Lunga from the Highland Lass

Heading home, we crossed from Craignure to Oban, again with CalMac. You need tickets in advance, but as long as it’s not busy these can be bought over the road from the ferry terminal in the tourist information centre. Probably best to book though, just to be on the safe side.

That’s basically it for the touristy stuff, and with it my blogs on Scotland. It has taken up a good fortnight of blogposts, so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and the various pictures shared. I hope it encourages you to visit the area yourself, and if you do follow any of these recommendations, let me know.

David

This entry was posted in Scotland. Bookmark the permalink.

I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s