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2 weeks Isle of Mull in Aug - have I made a mistake?

(55 Posts)
mommybunny Wed 01-Jun-16 20:50:03

Family (me, DH, DS(11) and DD(9)) desperately need a holiday. We left it late to book for a few reasons - my dad died in March and I spent a lot of March in the US with that, we thought my brother was coming from the US but now isn't, DH and I have our own business from home, we're lazy buggers, lots of reasons. I just found a cottage that looks nice near Craignure and can also accommodate our German Shepherd and we grabbed it for 2 weeks in mid August. Having had time to think about it, here's what scares me:

1. Being trapped on the island with a £65 ferry ride to get to the mainland.

2. I'm in Surrey now and ready to slit my wrists as it is with all this rain and cold - will I have to handle that FOR TWO WEEKS??

3. I didn't know till after I'd booked how bad the midges can be at that time of year. Can I do anything to make it less bad?

To be fair, I'm the one with the issues - my DH and DCs are pretty hardy and up for anything. So long as there's rockpooling (is there?) and I have the necessary mod cons like washer/dryer, wifi, TV etc (and all are present) the accommodation should be ok. But it would be great to have some reassurance/suggestions on what to do, where to go ...


Dowser Fri 03-Jun-16 18:42:18

Good luck with that ;-)

Never been but hope you have a lovely time.

Dollius01 Fri 03-Jun-16 18:44:16

I spent the two most blissful weeks ever on mull. Granted was ten years ago but was lovely....

Ginmakesitallok Fri 03-Jun-16 18:45:22

Mull is beautiful- even with the midgies! Can't guarantee good weather of course, but it's unlikely to rain for the whole fortnight. If you get cabin fever and need to leave the island, can you go as foot passengers?

IrenetheQuaint Fri 03-Jun-16 18:51:56

Mull is big, there is lots to do! If you get bored then Iona is lovely, and the Staffa boat trip is fun. We went on a sea eagle watching trip too.

I don't remember the midges being a problem, I think they're worse on the mainland.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 03-Jun-16 18:57:29

There's lots to do on Mull. You can do the Fingals Cave boat trip, there's loads of hiking, horse riding, loads. Midges is only when overcast and windless, so if windy and/or sunny you are fine. And you could get lucky - we had stunning hot weather and sunbathed on the beach!

Philoslothy Fri 03-Jun-16 18:59:50

We have holidayed on Mull and other islands in August. No midge problems on the coast.

We always wild camp, the kids love it

DoinItFine Fri 03-Jun-16 18:59:59

DH went to Mull on holidays when he was about 12 and is still going on about how great it was 30 years later. smile

Watto1 Fri 03-Jun-16 19:02:42

Avon 'Skin-so-Soft' dry oil body spray is supposed to be brilliant at deterring midges. Apparently the SAS use it!

emummy Fri 03-Jun-16 19:03:18

Mull is brilliant! Plenty of rock pooling, beautiful beaches, wildlife, great food, stunning scenery. We had a day trip to Iona, hired bikes from a wee shop next to the ferry, cycled a couple of miles to a deserted beach for the day. Great holiday, our kids also still talk about it. Relax and enjoy OP!

mommybunny Fri 03-Jun-16 19:18:12

You're all brilliant. Thanks so much for suggestions/reassurance! flowers

Northernlurker Fri 03-Jun-16 19:36:25

Brilliant choice OP!

We will be heading to Mull this summer again having gone every year since 2001. We usually stay near Tobermory but you'll find Craignure a very handy location. This is going to be a long post:

Craignure itself - there is a pool and spa stuff at the Isle of Mull Hotel. You need to check opening times if the schools are back because they use it for lessons. The food in the bar is very nice for post swimming starving hungry feelings. We've seen a otter a number of times in the bay there. Worth walking down to the old pier and having a good look. Duart Castle is quite a interesting browse and there is a tea shop there. The water is very deep just off the castle point so it's a good place to spot dolphins and porpoise.
You will find Craignure handy for both the south and north of the island. South you have Iona which is fantastic but also lots of lovely beaches.
We've also had some lovely trips to Lochbuie as well.
You could go to Carsaig, there's a good walk to the arches there which is very interesting apparently but I have to say a) the road there was DREADFUL and the only road on Mull I've ever felt actually alarmed and b) it was midgy. Generally speaking though the midges don't bother us unless we accidentally walk in to a bog.
Don't underestimate how long it takes to get anywhere. The road from Craignure to Iona is reasonably quick for a single track road but if you turn off and go round the west side of the island at Pennyghael it's a long, long way. Don't play fast and loose with petrol supplies either. The road round the west is lovely btw.
We've always enjoyed trips to Ulva. There's a tea shop there too and a tiny ferry for the minute crossing. I think there is a place still near there which does pony trekking too. Up in the north you have Tobermory and another couple of lovely beaches - Calgary and Langamull. Langamull sounds like it would be right up your street and it's an easy walk of about a mile down to the beach from where you park. There are also some nice walks (and a teashop) at Glengorm castle in the north. You can walk right down to the sea there too.

Boat trips run from Ulva ferry or from Tobermory or you could go as foot passengers back to Oban and go from there. Depends what you want to see.

Weather - Mull has it's own climate and what is very important to know is that the weather is usually better on the western side. Tbh in Craignure the day will often start grey. Don't worry, get in your car and head west and south and you will find the sun. This has the advantage too of meaning you don't need to feel you have to be up at the crack of dawn to catch the 'best' of the day.

Eagles - they are relatively easy to see but it's also easy to mistake buzzards for them at first. If it's on a telegraph pole it's a buzzard. If it looks like a flying door it's an eagle.

Seals - very easy wildlife spot for the kids - as you drive out of Salen look out to see. The seals loll around there and there is a parking place you can stop and watch them.

Driving - patience is needed. Reverse readily but don't ever let your wheels leave the tarmac unless you are sure what you're driving on to is solid. Lovely green verges are actually very soft peat and will sink under your car. We've never had a problem but you do need to keep your wits about you and if in doubt pull over and wait.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Jun-16 19:38:26

Don't get Skin So Soft. Use Jungle. It's the only thing that really deters midgies. And get midgie nets. Those are lovely, too. I'm allergic to the bites - I have two right now that are great big welts on my arms. If you are, too, take some Eurax cream and Piriton along.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 03-Jun-16 19:42:05

Based on our experience of camping in the most midge-infested valley in Wales for the last few summers, get yourself some Jungle formula grade 4 (hard core). Don't mess about with anything less!

islandtime Fri 03-Jun-16 19:43:16

We are just coming to the end of a weeks holiday in Mull and it has been absolutely glorious. The weather has been spectacular which helps! I would recommend Calgary Beach, the beach near Croig Harbour (forget the name but you have to walk up a private road) and a day trip to Ulva for the walks and the seafood at the Boat House. I can't wait to come back you will have a fantastic time!

DoinItFine Fri 03-Jun-16 19:46:00

Having serious Mull envy envy

islandtime Fri 03-Jun-16 19:46:11

This is the two minute ferry journey to Ulva

Northernlurker Fri 03-Jun-16 19:51:52

Beach near Croig Harbour - tell me more! Or do you mean Langamull - which is past the Croig turning and before you get to Calgary?

I forgot to say Op - pack plenty of hoodies etc for the kids. The beaches can be windy.

ocelot41 Fri 03-Jun-16 19:53:50

I want to go to Mull now!

islandtime Fri 03-Jun-16 19:55:54

I might mean Langamull but I can't remember the name ops. We parked at the 'harbour' (tiny but this is how it was described to me! And walked through the gate and it was a mile or two to the beach. I have a picture!

islandtime Fri 03-Jun-16 19:58:23

It is one of the loveliest places I have ever been!

averylongtimeago Fri 03-Jun-16 20:05:45

I love mull! Camped many many times in the Ross of Mull accross from Iona. The beaches there are fantastic - white sand, rock pools the lot.
Craignure is more in the middle of the east coast, so the near by beaches are rocky but will be teaming with wildlife.
There is lots to do, but not "organised" stuff iykwim. Don't underestimate how big the island is or how long it takes to drive round it, most roads are single track with passing places.
Go fishing, walking, eagle watching, whale and seal spotting. Visit Tobermoray, Iona and that castle near the ferry shoes name escapes me! Do the boat trip to Staffa and Fingals Cave, a must see.

Take jungle formula nudge repellent and bite cream - remember they are much worse inland when it is still. Also vital - good quality waterproof and boots, including waterproof trousers.

Enjoy, it's a great place!

Northernlurker Fri 03-Jun-16 20:08:17

Ah I see. That looks a lot like Langamull but that is further down the coast than you describe. I suspect Langamull is basically the other side of the rocky peninsula in your picture. Excellent - somewhere new for us to find when we go smile That's the thing about Mull - 16 years and counting and there's STILL stuff to find.

Igneococcus Fri 03-Jun-16 20:13:47

I can actually see Mull if I look out of my window.
If you like cheese make sure you visit the Mull cheddar company. They have a cheddar with blue cheese veins which I could eat till I burst.

expatinscotland Fri 03-Jun-16 20:37:27

I want to go to Iona, but man, the ferry fees are so dear to get to Mull if you want to take your car (duh). Oban is a couple of hours drive from here so we go and watch the ferries take off enviously. So jealous. We live in the same council, but Oban has a Lidl, a wee Tesco, a decent-sized Superdrug whilst we are second only to Bute for having FA.

The midgies aren't too bad just now because it's been so hot, dry and sunny. But I have been bitten by a few at night.

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