2012 & 2013 Mull Activity Reviews from Back Brae Lodge Guests
“We climbed Ben More on the best day of weather and had fantastic views.
We loved Tobermory and its shops and restaurants (shame the butcher no longer exists). At this time of year [December] it’s as well to get to the restaurants by about 7.45pm latest, as it is such a quiet time of year - if they don’t have a party booked then they may close early, for understandable reasons. As keen bird watchers we were sorry not to see any sea eagles but we can save these for when we visit again, as no doubt we will! We went to Calgary Bay - it even stopped raining for an hour or two as we walked out to one of the raised points above the bay - and also drove right down to the far south west and visited the Ardalanish weaving and woollens workshop and farm shop, which is all organic. Remarkable! And the scenery on the way there and back was fantastic - even in the driving rain. We learned about Tobermory Cat but unfortunately were unable to meet the star of Tobermory, the weather being too inclement for this world celebrity to be car surfing on the streets at this time.”
“In terms of how we found Tobermory and Mull in general, we loved the place!
It was my first visit and Mull came highly recommended by friends and family - it totally lived up to expectations. Although we came out of season, therefore some of the restaurants and boats trips were closed, November was a brilliant time to visit. The scenery and colours were stunning, the island was so quiet and no midges! Furthermore, despite a few days of bad weather, which you could get any time of year, we were also lucky enough to enjoy a couple of days of beautiful sunshine. Tobermory was a fantastic base - we particularly enjoyed the Mishnish (pub) and the Bakery, and so convenient to have the Co-Op and Clydesdale Bank close to hand. We came to Mull primarily for the scenery, wildlife and walking and none of these things disappointed (apart from the fact that we didn’t spot any blooming eagles - we’ll just have to come back!). One of our highlights was a day walking on Ulva - absolutely stunning. We also loved Calgary Beach and the Loch na Keal area (where we saw an otter).”
“Your wee dram from the Tobermory distillery
was toasted at the summit of Ben More (in the fog!) and made the descent that much easier.”
“Had a great time on Mull.
Granddaughter loved the place and enjoyed the walks we took her on. Must compliment the Bakery - I have never known my husband to eat as much bread as he did, so much so that we bought two loaves to bring home, and one for my son. Hope we will get back again one day.”
“Thank you for all the information
for getting around Tobermory and where to go and see places. We walked to the lighthouse, that was tricky with mud due to the rain. Tobermory people are so lovely and polite, and best of all is the Tobermory cat who lies on a red car lazing around watching all the visitors go by.”
“We were lucky enough to see otters.
We hired bikes from Brown’s the hardware shop and did one long day cycle ride, which was a great way to see the island.”
“We’ve just been round part of the island
for the day with Finlay Christine of Tall Tales Tours - strongly recommended. ”
“In Tobermory, we loved Cafe Fish, friendly staff and wonderful seafood.
We were spoilt for choice. You need to book though as it is very popular and not over-large. Other nice places to eat are The Mishnish Hotel, The Galleon Grill which is just off Main Street and the Fish & Chip Van on the pier is super too. Mull is very beautiful and very peaceful. We particularly loved Calgary Beach - fabulous! If you go there, call in at the nearby Calgary Art In Nature to see Matthew Reade’s stunning wood sculptures. You can get a nice light meal there too. If you enjoy gardening, a visit to Lucy MacKenzie’s fabulous garden Lip na Cloiche near Ulva Ferry is an absolute must. It’s amazing - you wouldn’t believe what you can do with a load of old forks, bits of machinery, broken china and more! Oh and it’s free to look round - and you can buy lovely plants and gifts from her as well.”
“MacGochans had really excellent food
(and I’d say we enjoyed it even more than the Mishnish, despite it being a lot cheaper) and the Indian opposite the cottage was great on the day we got back from the day trip to Staffa and it started pouring of rain. The Chinese closest to the cottage was also really good, the mixed seafood I got there was excellent while my husband really enjoyed his Thai curry. We also couldn’t resist hot chocolate and cakes at the Tobermory Chocolate Company on more than one occasion! The Co-Op also had eveything we needed for day-to-day. We took our baby called Iona to see the Isle of Iona and on the way there took the coastal route the opposite direction around the island from Craignure to Fionnphort. Some of the scariest driving of the trip but rewarded with some of the most dramatic landscapes both around the coast and the road up through the mountains. The ferries were very regular and a very easy ride and as we could easily take the pram on the ferry we had a lovely, easy walk around the nunnery, Abbey and Iona pier area. We were even treated to a double-rainbow (I’ve never seen two rainbows together before) across the hills on our drive back to Tobermory. We also went to the Ulva Ferry terminal and took the trip out with Turus Mara to Staffa and Fingal’s Cave and saw hundreds of puffins (I also wanted to see Ulva as my Uncle on Tiree had told me that the Tiree MacArthurs, my maiden name, originally came from there and we got great views on the way to Staffa). It was definitely a baby in a sling trip rather than a pram but well worth it. We even saw some bottlenose dolphins on the way back. One warm evening after baby was asleep, Daddy babysat while I took a walk along the coastal path to Nan Gall Lighthouse (the path is a bit precarious for a 5 month baby which is why I went alone but I desperately wanted to go there as my Dad named his engineering company of over 30 years ‘Nan Gall’ Energy Systems after it). Wow it was everything I could imagine and more. The walk felt truly magical, the sun was beginning to set and the views were absolutely spectacular out to sea. The narrowness of the paths and having to climb under a few fallen trees only added to the feeling of being at one with nature. When you turned the bend and caught the glimpse of Nan Gall lighthouse glimmering in the distance it was a tremendous moment, an astoundingly beautiful view, and spurred you on to visit up close. My sister loved the pics so much she immediately took one for her Facebook cover and asked if I could send the high quality version of one as she is going to have it printed to put up framed in her house, she described it as walking into the world of Lord of the Rings! Mull is up there on my list of most beautiful places in the world along with places like Machu Pichu in Peru and the wildlife of Costa Rica. It made me proud to be Scottish!”
“We went out to the local eateries
Cafe Fish, MacGochans, The Western Isles Hotel, and had fish and chips at the harbour. All very good - all I can say is the island was a touch of magic, can’t wait to return.”
“We can’t praise Café Fish enough
- excellent food, service and ambiance, one of the most enjoyable meals we have ever had. Been to Mull and Tobermory a few times now, we always enjoy our stay and love the walks, the scenery and the boat trips.”
“What we particularly enjoyed about Mull,
apart from the stunning scenery, was the beach at Calgary. What a jewel of a place! It must be Scotland’s best kept secret! We were there in early May, so slightly off season, and we had the beach virtually to ourselves. It is a beautiful beach, with soft, brilliant white sand and gorgeous clear water, and several picnic tables dotted about. There’s nothing else there but the birds and the sheep, and because you have to get there on a single track road with passing places it takes a while to get there - but so worth it - so take a packed lunch! The weather was really warm and sunny, and we could have been on a tropical beach. It was stunningly beautiful. If you like to try local beers, go to McGochans bar. They have an absolutely delicious locally brewed beer that is matured in chocolate infused barrels - it is absolutely delicious! The food there is good too. The other good thing about Tobermory is present-shopping. You can buy gifts from £3 - local lavender soap from the wonderfully scented soap shop - to over £300 for beautiful amber jewellery from the silversmiths. Every shop is individual, so you can get things you can’t get anywhere else, some of it made right there in Mull.”
“Extremely impressed with the standard of food in the local restaurants.
We ate in Cafe Fish, the Mishnish and MacGochans, all of which were excellent.”
“I loved Tobermory and the whole of Mull.
Stepping out early morning and having a walk around the harbour, picking up some rolls and being close to get shopping and food was great. The local fish shop is a must! I bought local salmon and scallops and they were beautiful. I took the bus from Tobermory to Fionnphort, to get the ferry to Iona, and it was a beautiful drive and really enjoyed the scenery, more relaxing than driving. I also did a trip with Staffa Tours to the Treshnish Isles and Staffa, and had a fantastic day. This was made even more enjoyable by Paul and Ross who answered endless questions and gave lots of information. If I came back I would do this trip again! I went on a drive to Dervaig as well. The scenery everywhere is beautiful and I can understand why people return. Although I am not a big walker or sporty I really enjoyed just being there.”
“We thought the array of shops and eateries in Tobermory were excellent.
The Fish and Chip van on the harbour supplied a tasty meal for us on our first night, and Café Fish (which we booked the night before) provided an outstandingly good meal on the Saturday evening; we would warmly recommend both. The Tobermory Chocolatier and the Deli on Main Street won top marks for snacks. The kids (teenagers) voted our trips to Iona and Calgary beach as highlights of their stay, and we also had a good night out at the Mull Theatre just a mile or two up the road.”
“Tobermory is very pretty and we just enjoyed walking around the island.
Would recommend the walk to Aros Park in particular, and we walked to Calgary Bay via the Bellachroy Hotel for lunch which was good. The Tobermory Distillery tour was also good and the Isle of Mull cheese farm shop. We ate in Cafe Fish two nights and it was absolutely delicious. Would also recommend the fresh rolls in the bakery - it’s the only place you can buy bottles of Mull ale as well.”
“We are big foodies and find the Mishnish restaurant ‘5 Star’.
I would recommend that to anyone.”
“We were extremely lucky with the variety of wildlife we managed to see
on our six days. We saw White-tailed Eagles, Red Deer, Otters, Herons, Seals, Hen Harriers, fabulous Highland cattle and not forgetting McGinty(?) the wonderful Tobermory cat. We had a great two-hour trip with Sea Life Surveys, where Iain and Ewan were excellent guides and pointed out creatures that we would have missed had they not been with us. We loved Calgary beach which we went to on a wild weather day, and the Calgary Art Gallery, tea room and sculpture trail. We liked the walk to the Lighthouse, even though it was a real sunshine and showers day, and also Aros Park with the unexpected and very spectacular waterfall (remembering we had had quite a lot of rain that week!). We would also recommend Am Birlinn restaurant where we had a very tasty late lunch and the best homemade pavlova I have ever tasted! A good meal of Haggis, Neeps ‘n’ Tatties was enjoyed by the two men in the family at the Mishnish, and we all enjoyed the beer at McGochan’s, which apparently comes from a chocolate lined barrel (can this be true!). Tobermory was an excellent centre for our holiday. Everything was close at hand and was well appointed with its restaurants, pubs, bakery, Co-Op and various gift shops. We had very mixed weather on our holiday from sunshine to torrential downpours but it didn’t distract from our enjoyment. We just dressed up in our waterproofs and walking boots and off we went into some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever had the pleasure of being amongst! All in all a fabulous holiday which exceeded our expectations and yes, at some point we fully intend to come back!”
“Mull itself is incredibly beautiful
and Calgary Bay is definitely worth a visit. On the outskirts of Tobermory, Aros Park is also a lovely area to explore and perfect for a 3-year-old to burn off his excess energy.”
“As well as the Balamory house tour,
we also did whale watching with Sea Life Surveys (amazing), a boat trip to Iona which was magical, crabbing in the harbour, lots of walks at Glengorm and all the laminated walks in your folder. We used the Co-Op a lot to self-cater and also had a nice takeaway from the Indian opposite as well as the obligatory fish and chips from the van, which were excellent. Our only meal out was a lunch at Glengorm which was delicious, we can recommend the Ploughman’s with Mull Cheddars! Overall we had an amazing break.”
“As our main interest is wildlife and photography
we had many excellent sightings of golden, white tailed eagles, otters, red and fallow deer and lots of other bird species.”
“As to Mull, much depends on expectations
and the physical ability to enjoy the best of the landscape. We enjoyed our trip to Staffa with Turus Mara and were lucky enough to be able to land and explore the cave and puffin burrows. We were also exceptionally lucky on our Silver Swift trip to see Bottlenose Dolphins, a large pod of dolphins, porpoise, a white-tailed eagle, a variety of other sea birds and a basking shark. Only disappointment was the Cafe Fish and the well-done rolled fillets of sole.”
“We went to Mishdish four times - very good
- but were very disappointed in Cafe Fish. We went to Iona and Ulva, lovely islands.”
“Recommendations would be:
Café Fish - wonderful food understated; visit to Iona, particularly the northern sand beach rather than the southern; Ulva not so really. Would highlight to people that they should book restaurants if they want to and leave phone numbers, as we nearly came unstuck at the beginning of the week.”
“We booked a distillery tour
and bought the superb Ledaig. We thought Tobermory the best of the Western Isles towns/harbours.”
“We now know the island very well
and that experience has only served to ensure that we will return for a longer visit. We both love seafood and found the restaurants very good, in particular Cafe Fish. The museum, although small, is filled with very interesting material and a great place to spend an hour on a very stormy day!”
“My Australian friends were in Heaven
to be staying there and loved every minute of the village and surrounding area. We drove down to the ferry to Iona and next day headed to Calgary and the arts centre and cafe and beach. The food was great everywhere bar the Indian!”
“We really fell in love with Mull, and Tobermory in particular.
Cafe Fish is perfect as far as I’m concerned, we went there two nights running! Outstanding, and the fish and chips from the van on the harbour were great too. We also went on a guided wildlife tour, which I would highly recommend. We went with Mull Wildlife Tours, Pete Hall, who was fantastic. He was incredibly knowledgeable, witty, warm, friendly and we had a brilliant day out with him. It was a great way to get a ‘feel’ for the island and we spent the rest of our time, following a similar route in order to see as much wildlife as we could cope with. The only thing I would say is the island could really do with a few more public toilets! The west side of the island didn’t appear to have any at all and my heartfelt thanks go out to the lovely lady on the shop at Pennyghael for allowing me to use hers! Basically, we felt as though we had arrived in paradise. The views were awesome (a word often misused but absolutely correct in this instance), the wildlife was fascinating, varied and abundant, and the people were so friendly and helpful. A truly beautiful place which we hope to come back to in the not too distant future. ”
“Luckily, the weather was fantastic throughout our stay,
which meant that we were able to take advantage of the maps provided in the house and venture out on a few walks. Just by the Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse, North of Tobermory, we were fortunate enough to spot a grey seal sunbathing on the rocks. The Aros Park walk, which starts off by the Distillery, was also pleasant.”
“February can be iffy weather-wise
but we enjoyed a walk in Aros Park (not too long for children!) and we had two tasty takeaways from the Indian restaurant opposite the house.”