After a really exhausting drive to the Isle of Mull, the arrival at our B&B felt like heaven. Despite our hopes, the little one decided to wake up extraordinary early the next day so that Karsten and I went for a small walk with her at 7am before we gathered for breakfast. Aaaah, it felt so good to just sit down and have breakfast each morning. No preparation, no getting up and fetching something, no cleaning afterwards…instead, a warm fireside (it was surprisingly cold on the island, even for Scottish conditions), coffee, porridge, fresh, self-made and still warm rhubarb sauce, boiled eggs, self-made, delicious bread. We were, by the way, staying at the Mornish Schoolhouse, in case any of you is looking for a truly wonderful accommodation on Mull. It is run by a German/English couple with two children who are extremely welcoming and make you feel at home immediately. It is located near Calgary Beach which is a nice maybe 20 minute walk away.
There are plenty of things to do on the Isle of Mull, and we knew from the very beginning that three days will only allow a small glimpse of all the options. We checked out the beautiful Calgary Beach and the Arts and Nature Café nearby. We also checked out Tobermory, the cute little capital of Mull, where Karsten and our friends visited the local distillery and I and the little one discovered the seawater aquarium. Both places are highly commendable – while I can’t drink whisky at the moment, I was assured that it is a very good one, and the seawater aquarium catches the content of its tanks right from the sea, displays it for two weeks and then releases every creature back into the sea. An approach I really liked, not only because it’s very sustainable, but also because it allows to show a large variety of seasonal sea life. The most fascinating animal for the little one were the big scallops which she could pet on the back and which then squirted water…great fun! Afterwards we went to Glengorm, which is only a short ride away from Tobermory (although short is kind of a vague description on Mull). We didn’t visit the castle, but went for a walk to the beach and some standing stones. Well, I didn’t actually manage to see the beach because of an extraordinary bad mood of the little one which I tried to escape after the seventh or eight tantrum…
That was, admittedly, one of the drawbacks of our holiday. We tried to spend those days as relaxed as possible. However, due to the remoteness of many places and the single-track-roads (and all the sheep on the roads) the little one often had to sleep in between in the car or the baby carrier which resulted in a lack of sleep and, consequently, in a unsual amount of crying from her side. We also somehow didn’t keep in mind that staying at a B&B means going out for dinner every evening – and while we had some fantastic food on Mull, it again meant that we had to drive a lot and that the little one went to bed one or two hours later than usual every evening. Which again left me feeling quite stressed and tired.
Therefore, we made some adjustments for the third day. Our friends happily (at least I hope so :-)) took over the little one in the morning so that Karsten and I could drive along the coast to the Isle of Ulva. Ulva is a small, private island which can be reached by ferry within 2 minutes. There are some beautiful walks on the island, and a nice little café, The Boathouse, where you can enjoy seafood and a view over to Ben More, the highest mountain on Mull. At lunchtime, we were back at the hostel were the little one was having a nice, long lunch nap. The our friends then went for a coastal hike around Calgary Beach while Karsten and I went back to the beach with the little one (and back to the Calgary café to enjoy some “babyccino”). Even the weather was dry for the whole day!
In the evening, all of us went a superb small restaurant near Ulva ferry – the Ballygown. It is run by a couple who simply turned their living room into a restaurant and offers three or four different courses each day. There are only four tables, the food is delicious, the view splendid, the owners extremely welcoming and hearty and we were well entertained by their little son who even gave me one of his drawings as a gift. The little one was happy, even though it meant going to bed an hour late again, and the rest of us was happy too. What a precious, wonderful day!
Looking back, the Isle of Mull (and of course Scotland in general) is a stunning, beautiful place to spend your holidays. It’s remoteness, the coast, the beaches, the woodlands, the villages – as picturesque as you can wish for. Hundreds of beautiful walks, wildlife to discover, castles to visit, delicious food to eat (yes! delicious food! Seafood! And we are glad to report that the little one was even eating haggis). But! Yes, there is a but! One week is not enough. Spending four days out of seven on arrival and departure is crazy. The little one needs her naps and she needs a normal bedtime, otherwise she and I suffer. Next time, we will have a holiday flat with a kitchen so that we can do some self-catering and we don’t need to go out every evening (which we would have done on Mull too, but the self-catering flats couldn’t be rent for less than a week). Though I will indeed miss the ready-made breakfast in the morning….And as soon as the kids are a bit older, I will always return to the Mornish Schoolhouse.