- Saturday 5th March 2022
- Ardnamurchan Peninsula – Isle of Mull
“Happiness isn’t something ready made. It comes from your own actions”, Dalai Lama.
There had been silence most of the night and when we woke next day we still had the place to ourselves.
After breakfast we decided to take a stroll along the beach before heading off as it was such a beautiful morning.
Things were going our way when we saw the tide was heading out so we hung around for a short bit to wait on a spit of land opening up before crossing so we could visit the castle up close and personal.
Castle Tioram (pronounced “Chee-rum” meaning “dry castle”) is a ruined castle and entry inside was forbidden due to safety issues.
Nevertheless, this is a castle that is a fantastic place to visit and as it sits on its own tidal island which means you have a nice walk along the beach to get to it, it adds that extra bit of special. We had a good wander around before heading back along the beach to begin our road trip once more.
Back on the road we were reiterating once again how the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is a very beautiful, undisturbed and unspoiled area, it feels wild.
At the most westerly point here on the British mainland, sits Ardnamurchan Lighthouse which has been guiding ships safely through the waters off Scotland’s west coast since 1849. Can you imagine next stop west across the Atlantic from there is Nova Scotia and this was where we were heading to, the lighthouse not Nova Scotia!!
After visiting the lighthouse, we were going to have the opportunity to visit one of the best beaches on the West Coast of Scotland, Sanna Bay and I do mean one, as Scotland believe it or not has loads of very beautiful beaches, (especially on the west coast), and in my opinion some of the best in the world…and best of all is they are usually empty of people.
Alongside this stunning coastline, The Ardnamurchan peninsula is definitly somewhere you can immerse yourself in. It has a remote and beautiful landscape with loads of stunning scenery. Everywhere you look its picture perfect. And with ample wildlife watching opportunities (deer, eagles to name a few) from the coast to the hills there’s nothing else that could be wished for (well maybe more sunshine I guess).
The whole drive to this place was quite a journey, long and winding on a single track road for much of the way, but this accentuates its remoteness and provided us with some eye catching moments.
Every twist and turn there’s a new vista, another photograph to be taken – just as you imagine you’ve seen the best of it, it spellbinds you with another panorama.
Ardnamurchan’s geology is also of international importance as it has a world famous Volcanic ring complex, and we drove right through the centre of this huge and ancient volcanic crater, pretty spectacular. Some of the rocks found here are 60 million years old. We were in the solidified magma chamber of a great ancient volcano.
From here we were off to the lighthouse. Now, this lighthouse is a one of a kind and it was actually designed by Alan Stevenson, the uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson and whose family designed most of Scotland’s lighthouses over a period of 150 years. I told you this place had so much to offer!
At the end of the ‘hill of the great sea’, the 35 metre high Ardnamurchan lighthouse towers over the most westerly point in the British mainland. It stands guard over the ocean. It took some effort to get here, but the views and peacefulness were worth every mile.
This stunning viewpoint looks across towards the islands of Mull, Coll and the Small Isles, with hazy outlines of Skye and the Outer Hebrides visible on this fine clear day….we were so lucky.
After leaving the lighthouse we drove to Sanna Bay beach with its incredible white sands and clearest of blue waters with views over to the Small Isles of Eigg and Rum – it is absolutely stunning.
It was so peaceful here, sunny and relatively warm it was difficult to leave but we had to as we had a ferry to catch.
I have been to many beautiful places in the world but the natural beauty and peace here is something else. Ardnamurchan is a region renowned for its remoteness, ruggedness and dramatic landscapes and it really does have all three and so much more!
Its something of a hidden gem and I wonder how many visitors to Scotland and even some of its residents have heard of this off-the-beaten track place. This is the ultimate under-the-radar Scotland trip and I hope it stays that way.
It might just be turning into one of my favourite destinations, it has so much to love.
If your more likely to drive away from the tourist trail than towards it then this one is definitely for you! It leaves you escaping the crowds, staying off grid as theres hardly any wi-fi, so you are present in the moment and at one with nature…she says writing this smiling contentedly.
We drove to Kilchoan a small village with mostly small fixed farms which we call Crofts. Here we found a village store, coffee shop and the community centre, which hosts a regular Produce and Craft Market.
The ferry terminal for the crossing to Tobermory is also here.
You are never far away from a ferry terminal when you are down Ardnamurchan way. The Ardnamurchan Peninsula is surrounded by sea (Atlantic Ocean) on three sides providing a great opportunity to hop on board and sail away.
And we were about to hop on board as we were catching the ferry to the Isle of Mull. This would be my first time on Mull.
I have visited a fair few Scottish Islands over the years, its my intention to visit all, but it could take me a while as there are over 900 offshore islands, with approximately 94 permanently inhabited! Each of the islands can be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, the Inner Hebrides and the Outer Hebrides.
I was slightly disappointed to be leaving Ardnamurchan. I was enjoying its wild, remote, and astonishingly isolated feeling. It was easy to spend most of our time uninterrupted, and if you really wanted to, you could get completely lost and forget about the rest of the world there. The area is totally unspoilt, peaceful and perfect if you need to escape to regain some sanity. I certainly will be back.
Now though having arrived on Mull I instantly had a good feeling about this place and warmed to it straight away. We were straight off the ferry and in Tobermory.
Tobermory is the main town (capital) on Mull. Its certainly charming, characterised by its idylic harbour front and brightly coloured buildings which are home to a variety of shops, restuarants, pubs, tearooms and The Mull Museum, its so picturesque. We wondered around exploring for quite sometime.
Before we knew it it was time to park up as it felt like it had been a long day.
Once again due to no light pollution here its pitch black all around. With more clear skies we were pleasantly provided with the most amazing full on starry sky. Huge and bright, and everywhere, in what felt like just above our heads. The moon added to the show, simply sitting there in its perfectly crescent shape, like a painting.