The Perfect Day on the Isle of Mull
While staying in Oban, we wanted to take a day trip over to the Isle of Mull. It was a quick 45-minute ferry ride away, and we had heard the Isle had a few sites worth visiting. Since we were travelling in November we didn’t have any issues getting a ticket for the ferry. We have heard in the summer it is nearly impossible to book a last minute ticket with your vehicle, so if you are planning to visit in the summer make sure you book your tickets well in advance!
We took the 10:00am ferry and made it to the Isle of Mull just before 11:00. Most of our activities required us to travel away from the ferry port, so we had to bring our vehicle. The Isle of Mull is a small Isle, but we still had almost 3 hours of driving planned. Plus we like the flexibility that comes with having a car versus transit or a taxi.
The first place on our list was to visit the Isle of Mull Cheese farm. We had heard about this farm from a few friends, and since we love cheese we figured it was a place we had to visit. The Isle of Mull Cheese farm was closed on the day we visited, however they still make the experience great for people stopping by in the winter season. The store doors were open, and there was an honour system store in place. There wasn’t a full selection, but we were able to grab three different cheeses and a package of locally produced cookies. The café and shop looked adorable, it was too bad it was closed for the season, but we were happy to pick up some cheese!
There was also an option to purchase a self-guided tour through the farm. We purchased the tour, took the provided map, and ventured off to explore the property. The tour map and information boards (at each stop on the tour) did a great job explaining the process of cheese making, and it was really interesting to see all of the different stages. Our favourite part was the cellar, where the large cheese wheels are stored to age. Seeing rows and rows of cheese made us excited to try ours, and excited to visit France and Italy where we will likely enjoy more delicious cheese!
Our next stop was Tobermory, the capital of the Isle of Mull. It is a beautiful coastal town, full of colourful buildings and charm. We stopped here for a quick bite to eat at a fish and chip stand right on the pier. It was delicious!
Tobermory is home to the Tobermory Distillery, the only distillery on the Isle of Mull. We popped into the distillery to have a taste of some of their scotch. Their tasting room was nice and cosy, and it was just the two of us in there. Again, we were visiting just after the busy season had ended, which was quite nice. At the tasting we tried 5 whiskies, and all of them were so delicious! We could have easily purchased all of them, but we are somewhat limited with space in our vehicle so we purchased our favourite, which was a distillery exclusive – Ledaig 20 year old Moscatel Sherry finish. It was the first full sized bottle we purchased while in Scotland.
Before coming to the Isle of Mull we hadn’t heard of the Tobermory Distillery. However, it has become one of our favourites! Sharleen’s favourite scotches come from here – the Ledaig 10 and Tobermory 10.
After our delicious tasting we headed towards the Bay of Calgary, located on the Northwest side of the island. We are from Calgary, Canada, so for us it was a cool opportunity to see the origin of our city’s name! Fort Calgary’s name was changed from Fort Brisebois after Colonel James Macleod visited Calgary Bay and loved the area. Calgary Bay is a popular beach destination for people visiting the Isle. People from Oban even visit to enjoy the beach on warm summer days. The beach is full of soft sand and the sights around the bay are really beautiful. It was too cold for us to enjoy in November, but we can definitely picture it full of people in the summer. There are also a few walking paths around the bay, so there is plenty of exploring to do.
We found the area around Calgary to be very seasonal. No shops, cafes, or restaurants were opened when we visited, but it looked like there were a bunch of awesome options for tourists during the busier summer months.
Our last activity on the Isle was to visit the Lochbuie standing stones. We have only seen one stone circle while in Scotland, so we were looking forward to seeing another one. The Lochbuie standing stones are quite a bit larger than the first one we saw - it is 12 meters in diameter and has stones over 2 meters high. The standing stones were located in a beautiful part of Mull, with large mountains in the background. Since this was the last stop on Mull, it was close to dusk and we had maybe 30 minutes of light left. We parked the car and started the walk towards the stones. We had to walk 1km to reach the stones, and the walk was through a very boggy, muddy, and wet field. We were happy to have our wellies! However, about 30 meters in Sharleen realized she had a hole in her welly, and her right boot was completely filling with muddy water. The entire walk was through this muddy wet field, so we made the decisions to return to the car and not see the stones. So make sure you have good footwear if you plan to see them!
The drive around the Isle of Mull is beautiful. Throughout our day we found ourselves driving along the rocky coast, across beautiful green meadows covered in sheep, and through wooded mossy forests. There are lots of things to see along the way. We stopped at a couple of shipwrecked boats between the ferry terminal and Tobermory. They are right off the side of the road and you can’t miss them as you drive along the coast.
We also found some beautiful highland coos! These guys were super friendly, and walked up to the fence as soon as we approached them. They were not camera shy at all! They even tried to lick us a few times. They must have missed seeing people during the slow weeks, so they were very approachable and excited to see visitors.
We had a wonderful time on the Isle of Mull. For us it was perfect for a day trip, even in the cooler winter months. There are plenty of things to see and do around the Isle, you could easily spend a few days there – especially if you visit during the summer and are looking for some time around the beach.