With just one day left of our mini Scotland trip, we had decided not to do the Isle of Mull. It’s a tiny place but jam packed with lots to see and do, so we were going to be sensible and take it easy and we had agreed that we would come back again one day and do a trip especially for it. We were going to pop to Inveraray castle instead and have a potter about.
Then we changed our minds around lunchtime and decided to just “pop over” to Mull and see what it was like. A kind of small taster where we could explore but take it very easy. We were so close it would be a waste not to take the ferry at least! By the time we had lunch and got over to Oban, it was mid afternoon so we didn’t really leave much time but we didn’t mind and bought tickets to take the ferry to Craignure. I’ve never sat on a ferry before (and I’m not even sure how!) so I was pretty excited, especially as our destination was going to be Tobermory, where they film Balamory. Little Z had been obsessed with it when he was younger and so this would be so much fun for him. We told him in the car about how we were going to see Balamory and his response was a blank look followed by “what’s that?”. Uh oh. He’d obviously moved on and forgotten all about it and didn’t look too interested in visiting this magical place from his toddlerhood. Maybe he would be excited when we got there?
Tobermory is at the very eastern point of Mull so takes the longest to get there. It’s about 40 minutes in the car and the drive is just beautiful. You pass all sorts of stunning views, as well as sheep, cyclists, caravans and people so it ends up being a longer drive than you expect. It’s a lovely little fishing town founded in 1788, with only a population of about a 1000 and it doesn’t take very long to make you way around. We decided to stick to all the main roads but there is a map you can follow to find all the houses from Balamory. Some are now different colours to what they were in the CBeebies series but it’s a fun little thing to do if you’re completely bonkers about the programme. You should be aware that Archie’s castle scenes were all filmed in North Berwick (shock, horror) so you won’t be able to spot the tower in Tobermory.
There is a little museum, distillery and a few nice looking restaurants (the fish ones look particularly nice). The dolphin and whale centre and tours caught my eye and it would have been something I’d have loved to have done if we were there for longer. I’ve seen dolphins before but never a whale in its natural habitat so I think I’d really like to do that one day. You can also do boat tours to different places and one place on my list is the fingal caves. It’s a sea cave on the Isle of Staffa and known for its natural acoustics. The cave is formed from lots of basalt hexagonal looking columns. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before in another post but I think it’s one thing we’ll definitely go back for.
Little Z had a nice little run about Tobermory but kept looking at me funny each time I emphasised “it’s Balamory!”. He definitely wasn’t bothered by it and looked pretty fed up after an hour. I think it’s at that point that i began to worry about CBeebies frying my brains a bit. Still, I was really happy to have finally seen it all and so glad we decided to pop in even if it was just to the one place. It’s a charming little place and well worth a visit.
A little video of our trip…