- Day 3, Sunday 6th March 2022
- Ben More, Isle of Mull
“The absent Scot who seldom sees,
Their mountains, rivers, lochs and trees,
Still carries deep in heart and soul,
Their country’s gift to keep them whole,
To find contentment in their lot,
Thats what it is to be a Scot”.
The Isle of Mull is the second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides and lies off the west coast of Scotland in the area of Argyll and Bute. Mull is the fourth-largest island in both Scotland and the UK.
It became well known from the C’Beebies programme Balamory (“what’s the story…”), based around the colourful and beautiful houses of Tobermory.
Gordon Buchanan a famous Scottish wildlife filmmaker and presenter is also from Mull and still has a family home here, I am led to believe. I watch his many documentaries so hopefully I’ll bump into him once again and not be so shy this time like I was enroute to Russia when we crossed paths a few years back!
So todays main adventure was going to be a hike. We could not come to magnificent Mull and miss this one out! The “Big Hill” (in gaelic), Ben More.
Ben More is the highest mountain and the only Munro on the Isle of Mull. It is also the highest peak in the Scottish Isles and is the only island Munro outside of Skye.
Simply by having to catch a ferry over here to hike this Munro makes bagging this one feel that extra bit special.
Ben More is sometimes referred to as ‘the last Munro’ because some ‘Munro-baggers’ leave it until they have climbed all the other 281 Munros on the mainland and Skye…but my motto is ‘why wait if you can do it today’!
Ben More, Britain’s last active volcano, blew its top 60 million years ago but still dominates much of Mull and is quite capable of creating its own weather.
Today the weather was amazing, mostly clear blue skies with very little wind, so we were off to climb this one great, rocky mountain which dominates the landscape and one which will definitely offer some fantastic views of the many islands dotted around the Minches and further afield.
The mountain is situated close to the centre of the island, above the shores of Loch na Keal, its stunning.
Unlike some of the many other mountains, this climb begins at sea level, so by the time we reach the summit we will have climbed every foot or metre of its height!
Today due to the fine weather we would not need our compass which is just aswell as they are known to be inaccurate on this volcanic rock which has magnetic qualities – so be careful!
We parked up just across the road from where our journey begun. After crossing the road we began our steady climb upwards following a river. The climb basically continued all the way up taking us past some beautiful waterfalls. We continued to look backwards as views across the sea just got better and better the further up we went.
After leaving the boggy grassland, although today it wasn’t so bad as the ground was still icy from the cold night before, we were soon on to rockier steeper ground.
This took us up and up until eventually we hit a bealach which led us on to a steeper stonier section.
After this part just when you thought it couldn’t get steeper, it did and we went up through patches of snow until we hit a small cairn.
From here we could see over to our true summit which was just slightly straight ahead of us.
With no neighbouring mountains of comparable height, Ben More really does feel like the highest point around. And her summit is the only one with snow.
On this fine day the views from the top of this Island allowed us to see the Outer Hebrides and to the north east Ben Nevis and to the east Ben Cruachan.
Locally we saw the Isles of Iona, Staffa, Inch Kenneth, Treshnish Isles, Coll, Tiree, Rhum, Eigg, Islay and the Paps of Jura. To the north the jagged, saw-edged, black Cuillins.
Behind its impressive contours were layer upon layer of the big rounded hills, bare and ancient, which lie at the very heart of Mull, its pretty rugged and its breathtakingly beautiful. I really did appreciate the 360 degree view this had to offer…I love mountains like this.
After sitting on top for quite some time admiring our surroundings, simply enjoying the moment, watching eagles soar above us we reluctantly headed back down but I could honestly have sat here forever.
Every single step taken downwards we continued to admire the view further.
Days like these always leave me with a memorable experience and that feeling of contentment, feelings I sometimes cannot explain but it certainly makes it all well worth the effort.
In the evening we drove to Ulva Sound a small hamlet and watched another beautiful sunset before darkness came and with the darkness once again we had the dreamy magical sky to sit under and admire!
Hope you enjoyed the video above 👆😍