5 Reasons to Make Mull Your Next Adventure Destination

The little Isle of Mull is an underrated Hebridean gem, often overshadowed by the grandeur of Skye and the remoteness of Harris and Lewis. Which makes it a winner for adventure-lovers and crowd-haters...

10th November 2021 | Words and photos by Elliott Waring

The west coast of Scotland, along with its many islands, are renowned as a brilliant destination for outdoorsy types in search of exhilarating clifftop walks and hidden beaches, not to mention rolling hills, craggy mountains and vast, empty moorland. You could spend weeks, if not months, exploring every nook and cranny of these epic landscapes. Unfortunately, for most of us, that’s just not possible. And when time is limited, it’s important to pack as much as possible into even a short trip.

Last summer, with a hunger for adventure and four days to fill, I decided to devote my time to exploring one of the Scottish isles. That short window felt like the perfect timeframe to go and visit a single island. I picked out the Isle of Mull. What I found was a true Hebridean gem. Here are five reasons to make this underrated island your next adventure destination.

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1. The 'Right to Roam'

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 was a ground-breaking piece of legislation. Amongst other freedoms, it means that camping is permitted on most unenclosed land in Scotland. For the humble adventure seeker, this opens up a vast proportion of Mull as your campground. Pick any beach, any hillside or even the roadside if you’re after convenience, and you can stay for free. Of course this doesn’t apply to enclosed farmland or private property, so make sure you’re sticking to the rules when choosing your home for the night. If you’re still not sure about wild camping, check out our handy guide here.

During our stay on Mull we camped on beautiful, deserted beaches and under the peak of a Munro at the side of a loch. This second camp was perfectly positioned for an early morning ascent of the mighty Ben More – another of my reasons to visit Mull.

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2. Go Munro-bagging

Ben More is the highest mountain on Mull and the isle’s only Munro (a Scottish mountain over 3,000ft). It’s also the highest peak in the Hebrides apart from those on Skye. So, whether you’re ticking the Munros off one by one, or have never even climbed one, you should make the journey to Ben More’s summit a priority.

Rising to a height of 966m, the peak offers wide open views over the Ross of Mull, the surrounding islands and, on a clear day, views of the Cuillin ridge on nearby Skye. There are two distinct trails to follow: one from Dhiseig and one that follows the A‘Choich Ridge. Neither of these trails are technical but both require a decent level of fitness – well, it is a Munro after all.

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3. Visit incredible beaches

The coastline of Mull stretches for some 480km and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the British Isles, and maybe the world. The wind-scoured coast is home to an abundance of wildlife, from seals to dolphins and countless birds. If you’re really lucky and keep your eyes to the sky you can even spot Golden Eagles at certain times of the year.

Most of the more dramatic beaches lie on the south-west shore of the island – the Ross of Mull. One of our favourites was Knockvologan beach near to Fionnphort. Only a short walk over the dunes from a nearby lane where you can park your car, the beach is absolutely breath-taking. On our first night on the island, we decided to camp here and were treated to an incredible sunset and moonrise as we BBQ’d on the beach.

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4. Experience phenomenal driving roads

Whether you’re driving a VW camper or a performance sports car, the roads on Mull are a joy to drive. Most of the transport network comprises single track lanes with passing bays and not much else. The landscapes through which these lanes meander are mind-bendingly beautiful – within the space of an hour you could be driving from winding mountain passes to unspoilt coastal stretches.

Just wait for the road to open up and put your foot down…

Phenomenal driving roads

5. Find true wilderness

With a population of less than 3,000, Mull feels blissfully remote most of the time. Ancient forests give way to wide open moorland and you get a genuine feeling of wilderness once off the small network of roads. And so, with very few people and such a rugged landscape to explore, Mull really is the perfect tonic to a busy life.

And there you have it; five simple reasons why you should absolutely add Mull as your next UK adventure destination. You won’t regret it.

Elliott Waring is an outdoor writer and photographer. You can check out more of his work at elliottwaring.com.

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