Episode 20 (Season 2): ‘Wild Isle’
Let’s go back to the roots and hop over to the Isle of Mull for a road trip down a scenic route off the beaten path.
‘Wild Isle’ is a story about a day trip to the Isle of Mull – from wild-landscapes to wild-life, the island is showing off its “untamed side”.
We start with a hike in the hills of south Mull, discovering the plants of the bog, swimming in a mountain loch and exploring the corries of the coast. Then, we’re hitting the road and make our way along the scenic route from Pennyghael to Salen.
But the real stars of this episode are the animals we see along the way – from eagles to otters, from Highland coos to herons. You’re in for a safari!
After the story, I’ll tell how my top tips to visit the Isle of Mull for yourself and make the most of it.
Are you ready? Great – let’s travel to Scotland!
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Plan a trip with my Isle of Mull guide.
Go off the beaten path to the Ross of Mull.
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Written and hosted by Kathi Kamleitner.
Produced and edited by Fran Turauskis.
Cover Art illustrated by Lizzie Vaughan-Knight.
All original music composed by Bruce Wallace.
Additional sound effects from Zapsplat, Pond5 and SoundBoard.
All photographs by Kathi Kamleitner.
Tips for a trip to the Isle of Mull
1) Explore southwest Mull
Most people, when they arrive on Mull, head straight for the north of the island, to Tobermory or Calgary Bay. And those are beautiful places. But if you want to experience the island off the beaten path, it’s worth exploring the island’s quieter corners.
The scenic roads on the west coast are a good place to start, but the southwest of Mull, the so-called Ross of Mull peninsula is even better. That’s where I went on my most recent trip and I loved every second of it – I went sea kayaking and wild swimming, hopped over to the Isle of Iona and feasted on the most delicious local produce. And there were no crowds in sight!
2) Watch out for wildlife
From eagles and hen harriers to otters and seals, you can see lots of wildlife on the Isle of Mull if you just pay close attention and travel slowly enough.
You could even hire a local wildlife guide who knows the best spots. Which brings me to…
3) Hire a local guide
We hiked with Tony Mclean who runs Walk Mull and offers guided hikes all over the island. He customised the route entirely to fit our needs – me, hungry for adventure and my parents who are a little slower afoot. Tony is super knowledgeable about plants and animals, but also the history of Mull.
There’s really nothing quite like heading out with a local guide to really experience a place. Our hike would have never been the same without.
4) Book your ferry in advance
This is a biggy. Even though there are several ferry crossings from Oban to Mull per day, it is important that you book your preferred sailing ahead of time.
It’s a popular crossing and I wouldn’t rely on getting a last-minute spot.
5) Add plenty of time on the road
If you use GPS or Google Maps to calculate how long it takes to drive from A to B on Mull, I suggest adding extra time on top of the estimate. Not only because you’ll want to stop for scenic views or wildlife spotting all the time, but also because most roads on Mull are single-track. That means you’ll automatically drive slower and might have to stop for oncoming traffic a lot.