Guided Walk on Mull

Read international travel writer Robin McKelvie's blog on the Mull Guided Walk.

Scotland excels in world-class walks, but none are more thrilling than the brand new Stevenson Way, which is being aptly described as ‘Scotland’s Wilderness Walk’. This new 230 mile epic is intriguingly based around Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel ‘Kidnapped’ and it offers a swathe of adventures and spectacular scenery every bit as dramatic as anything one of Scotland’s most romantic writers could ever have dreamt up as it ventures from the Isle of Mull all the way to Edinburgh on the opposite coast.

Experienced walkers will be able to tackle the route on their own, but we are also organising guided walks. In 2013 we will be organising a guided trip setting out in Stevenson’s footsteps across the Isle of Mull. It starts at the very beginning of the Stevenson Way, where the novel’s protagonist David Balfour is shipwrecked, and spends a week wrapped in this Hebridean isle’s mystical charms.

You can choose whether to stay in a hotel, B&B or to camp. Whichever you opt for you can enjoy the same rugged mountain and coastal scenery as your leader guides you across an ever changing wildscape of heather moor, peat bog and rocky beaches. En route the island’s rich and flora and fauna add an extra dimension with deer and eagles to look out for on land and in the air and otters, seals and dolphins to spot in the water. As you go you can scan your imagination for glimpses of the hunted Balfour eking his way across the same landscape.

Walking Trip

Day 1  Saturday – Arrival on Mull

We kick off the trip by really delving below the surface of Stevenson’s novel, as well as giving the background to the Stevenson Way and what the week will involve. There is plenty of opportunity to ask any questions that you may have as well as to meet the rest of the group.

 

 

 

 

Ben More from Erraid

Day 2  Sunday – Island of Erraid and Balfour’s Bay

 

 

The day starts off travelling by boat to Erraid, landing on Balfour's Bay imagining David Balfour scrambling ashore on Erraid, an island separated from Mull by 100m of sand. We then push east along the Ross of Mull. Our destination is Ardalanish, which is reached across moors and hills, with the intriguing abandoned villages of Breac Achadh and Tir Fhearagain to explore on the way. There is evidence of even earlier human inhabitation in the form of an Iron Age fort too. The evening is spent being regaled with local history and colourful anecdotes from a local guide.

Day 3  Monday  – From Uisken to Shiaba

Today we push on from Uisken and leave its sandy bay and crofting community behind. We keep a keen eye out for eagles as we go as they are known to nest in the area. There are fascinating little villages to explore as we continue on towards Shiaba. Perhaps the day’s highlight is Kilvickeon Chapel, a ruin that dates back to medieval times, pre-dating Kidnapped of course, but only adding to the drama of the Way. We end the day with a talk on Mull’s rich treasure trove of wildlife from our wildlife guide.

 

                                                          Looking West towards Uisken

Day 4  Tuesday – From Assapol to Loch Scridain

The walk continues heading east along the south of Mull with the Atlantic Ocean never far away. Highlights today include the stunning cliffs of Malcolm’s Point. It is a breathtaking experience being humbled by the size of these mighty cliffs. We continue north through the forest to Loch Scridain. The evening is wrapped up with a lively talk from a local guide.

 

 

Malcolm's Point

Day 5  Wednesday – Optional Excursion to Iona or to the Sea Eagles and Tobermory - A day of choice.

And what a choice! Iona is a world famous place of pilgrimage for many reasons, not just to its stunning abbey. It is swathed in history and romance. You could spend a whole day exploring the abbey and its grounds and the island is also home to white sand beaches and moorland, with sweeping views back across to Mull. The other option takes in a sea eagle hide, where we have the privilege of seeing these majestic birds up close. We then head for the relative bright lights of Tobermory, the island capital and a delightful coastal town of pastel hued buildings and boutique shops, with its own whisky distillery too. We end the day in the welcoming arms of the Craignure Inn, the sort of little drinking den that Stevenson’s himself would no doubt have approved of.                                           

                                                                                         Paps of Jura

 

Day 6  Thursday – From Carsaig to Lochbuie and up Glen More

A coastal walk to start the day over to postcard pretty Lochbuie where we turn our back on the water and head north inland up Glen More. There is a good chance to see deer and golden eagles too as we plunge deeper and deeper into the glen. Imaginations are fired up at night with ‘Tall Tales of Mull’ following in the footsteps of the expansive imagination of the great writer who inspired this walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7  Friday – Glen More through Glen Forsa and on to Pennygowan

Our last day is certainly no anticlimax as we scythe right through the centre of the island, cutting first through Glen More and then on into Glen Forsa. Glen Forsa rather surprisingly boasts its own airport, well at least a perfectly passable landing strip for small aircraft. The Sound of Mull is reached at Pennygowan. That is not the end of the trip though. Far from it as an evening of gaelic music or local entertainment awaits a walking group who by this time have been welded together both by the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, but also an appreciation of the spectacular landscapes that so fired his imagination.

 

                                                                                           Glen Forsa

Day 8  Saturday – Depart Mull

What We Include:

  • All guided walks (Day 5’s optional trips extra).
  • All meals.
  • All transport and transfers within Mull.
  • Services of a qualified Mountain Leader.
  • Evening sessions with local historians, wildlife experts, story tellers and Rangers.
  • Four nights Ross of Mull, three nights Craignure.

Please note that the walking will be over some rough and difficult terrain. You need to be physically fit and experienced in walking over rough terrain.