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In 2005 I finally arranged my first trip to Scotland, a two week holiday on Mull and visits to some of the film locations seen in the 1945 film ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’. After travelling up the M6 from Birmingham and staying overnight in Stirling, the drive to Oban gave a taster of what was to come...picturesque villages, lochs and beautiful scenery.

 

For the first week of the holiday I was based in Beach Bridge Cottage - a self-catering cottage on the Pennyghael estate. It’s just off the main road about four miles past the Carsaig turn-off and perfectly situated for exploring the south of Mull and Iona. This reasonably-priced, well equipped cottage has two double / one single bedrooms, bathroom, large kitchen and a very generous living room with an open fire. There’s no television reception, but you can plug in your own DVD player if you like. I can’t recommend Beach Bridge Cottage highly enough, it was a real home from home.

 

 

The beautiful view from Beach Bridge Cottage’s living room.

 

I decided to walk the four miles from Pennyghael to Carsaig. There are steep inclines either end of the Carsaig road and few passing places, so I’m glad I left the car behind. There are also red deer in the forest bordering the road, which you’re more likely to see on foot. It ending up being a pleasant two hour walk to make it to the pier. Left is a picture of the road leading down to the pier. A similar shot appears in IKWIG when Joan is being chauffeured to the Erraig. It was quite boggy climbing up the hill to get this picture and I got soaking wet trousers for my troubles.

 

The telephone box on the road leading down towards the pier. The noise of the waterfall really can be heard on the other end of the line when making a phone call.

 

The path leading out of the woods, past the boathouse to the pier. The pier appears to have been completely neglected for many years and you pass a sign warning visitors that you venture onto the pier at your own risk.

 

When I reached the pier the sky was overcast and it was drizzling rain…

 

However, within minutes the clouds had cleared, and the rain was replaced by bright sunshine. This was a typical of my stay on Mull. Almost every day was both sunny and rainy.

 

My IKWIG picture. Despite the sun coming out, it was still a bit chilly, hence the hat and coat!

 

The steps leading down to (what’s left of) the pier.

 

The boathouse.

 

“Virtue Mine Honour”.

 

View of the boathouse and pier from the shoreline.

 

I’d considered renting a cottage in the Lochbuie area, but was glad I didn’t after driving the eight miles down the minor road to reach it. The castle is situated along the bank of Loch Buie, flanked by trees and hills.

 

In a reverse of my visit to Carsaig, the weather started off fine but then turned to rain (see the rainbow on the left of the picture).

 

Moy Castle through the trees.

 

The castle door…

 

padlocked!

                                                                                            

Well it’s clearly marked on the Ordnance Survey map – a seven mile public footpath between Lochbuie and Carsaig. So whilst the rest of the family drove back to Pennyghael I set off from Moy Castle determined to walk to the pier. It didn’t start off too badly. I followed a muddy track along the edge of the loch before reaching a semi-abandoned farm. Where the footpath went from there I do not know, but I ended up walking along the rocky shoreline.

 

It was quite a trek trying to negotiate the boggy grassland and rocks. At one stage the only way to safely continue the walk was by using a rope already tied around a rock to lower myself down a short but steep drop. I’d only recommend attempting this walk in a group and ideally during the dry season.  I was glad to make it to Carsaig in good time to take one last picture of the pier. As you can see, the pier is sadly now in a very bad state and is falling into the sea.

 

If you are in the south of Mull then it’s also well worth visiting Iona. There were relatively few tourists in November, but I imagine the island and roads leading to the coast would be packed during the summer months.

 

I spent the second week of the holiday in Salen, on the east coast of Mull. The cottage was just down the road from Aros Castle (pictured).

 

The Western Isles Hotels sits high above Tobermory bay.

 

Mull is littered with picturesque walks. One such walk starts near the Tobermory distillery and leads up through the woods to Aros park, giving this view of Tobermory bay. I can also recommend the scones and raspberry jam in the Mull Pottery shop just outside Tobermory and the fish and chips from the van parked in the harbour.

 

Calgary Bay, just before the heavens opened. A drive around the north circuit of Mull offers stunning coastal views of the island.