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Walks

The Isle of Mull is home to some of the best hillwalking in Scotland.

At the centre of the island is Ben More – the Inner Hebrides’ highest peak and the only Munroe that requires a ferry to summit. Climbing up Ben More you are spoiled for beautiful vistas. To the north lies Loch na Keal and the outer Hebrides; to the south Islay and Ireland.

More sedate walking routes are plentiful across the flatter edges of the island. A particularly pleasant walk threads its way through the ancient trees of Cill an Ailein and through the headstones of a graveyard dating back to the Middle Ages.

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Wildlife

A visit to the bubbling volcanic terrain of Mull is a necessary pilgrimage for anyone interested in nature. The mountainous centre of Ben More gently breaks down into terraced hills and then to spindly peninsulas jutting out into the North Atlantic. Between the rocky limbs lie flat moorlands, bogs and wet heaths.

It’s a perfect breeding ground for a huge number of species and every inch of the island teems with life and nature.

Red deer roam freely on the hills, fallow deer wander under leafy canopies near Gruline and Saline and white goats are often spotted dotted around the moors near Grass Point.

In the skies above, the blue expanse is abuzz with activity. Majestic White-tailed eagles swoop between the clouds, the kestrels hover completely motionless and short-eared owls perch on branches scrutinising their kingdom.

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A Rich Heritage

The history of Mull stretches back to the end of the last Ice Age – around 8000 years ago – when it was inhabited very briefly. Our first foray onto Mull was cut short, though, and the island was to lay dormant for another 3000 years until humans made their return.

The first settlers arrived during the Bronze Age and their menhirs, brochs and stone circles still dot the landscape.

The next thousand years were particularly volatile as the numerous forts, duns and crannogs the islanders built attest to. Even today there are two excellent examples of the island’s tumultuous past: Duart Castle and the Baronial Torosay Castle. Both are open to the public between Easter and September.

During the Second World War the entire island was designated a Restricted Area and Tobermory was requisitioned as a naval base under Commodore Sir Gilbert Stephenson. His ferocious temper would eventually earn him the nickname “The Terror of Tobermory.”

Over its 8000-year life the island has built up a strong sense of legend. For example, some say the Spanish treasure galleon Florencia lies in the mud at the bottom of Tobermory Bay, its hold laden with gold.

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Culture

The Isle of Mull, like much of the Inner Hebrides, has a culture rooted in music. No matter the time of year you are always able to find fiddles dancing and guitars singing somewhere on the island. This musical tradition climaxes during the Mod, an annual competition of Gaelic culture.

Another hidden gem of the island is the Mull Theatre. Based at Druimfin, just outside Tobermory, the theatre is the epicentre for drama on the island. Over the years it has established the itself as one of Scotland’s leading touring companies.

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