Mull

Mull is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is in the Argyll and Bute Council Area.

Mull is the fourth largest Scottish island, with an area of 338 square miles and a resident population around 2000. Mull itself is the largest of an archipelago of islands which includes Iona, Staffa and Ulva.

Mull is a popular destination for tourists, and also many people from Central Scotland have holiday homes here.

Cities

Villages

It can hardly be called too congested!

There are many small villages on the roads going around the coast of the island, the more notable of which are:

Understand

Talk

Although Mull has a Gaelic-speaking community as with the rest of Western Scotland - everyone will speak English. Natives of the area will speak with a strong Highland or Western Isles accent which may be difficult to understand at first.

Get in

Unless you have your own boat or plane, the only way in is on one of the Calmac ferries:

By ferry

Calmac run 3 ferries connecting Mull with the mainland, and one to Iona.

Get around

By car

By far, car is the only realistic method of getting around Mull as public transport is sparse and not very frequent. As in all the Scottish islands, the vast majority of the roads on Mull are single track and are full of blind crests and tight bends - therefore a much more defensive driving technique has to be adopted. The following guidelines should be heeded. Countless accidents happen on Mull every year due to inexperienced mainland drivers not paying attention or driving too fast for the conditions. The two main rules are:

Fuel is hideously expensive on Mull from the few filling stations that exist; as much as 15p-20p per litre more than on the mainland. Due to the stop-start nature of driving on single track roads, and the long distances that need to be driven to get between seemingly close destinations - fuel consumption will be higher. If you are planning to be on the island for any more than a couple of days, it pays to fill up before leaving the mainland.

By bus

Local buses are operated by West Coast Motors, who also run tours. Buses to Tobermory and also to Fionnphort connect with many of the ferries at Craignure. There are no Sunday services in winter.

See

Do

Buy

Currency

Mull uses the pound sterling as with the rest of the UK. Note that many of the smaller businesses on the island do not accept credit/debit cards or if they do – will impose additional charges on low value transactions. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are few ATMs on the island, and with the exception of the Clydesdale Bank in Tobermory – they are all located within grocers’ shops or post offices, so don’t rely on them being available when you want them, and most levy withdrawal fees. In short, cash is king so make sure you’ve got plenty to sustain you during your visit.

Shopping

Prices on Mull are generally higher than on the mainland, so expect to pay more for consumables such as groceries, alcohol and fuel. If you are going to be self-catering, bear in mind that the level of choice of fresh produce will be more limited, and sporadic in terms of what is available – it sells out quickly at height of holiday season so make sure you get to the shops early. Apart from independents, there are only two national grocery chains operating on the island:

Eat

Sleep

See Tobermory, Bunessan and Calgary articles for details of places there.

Hostels

Holiday Homes

Hotels

Drink

Stay safe

Mull is very safe and is largely free of serious crime, and the police presence on the island is relatively sparse. Most crime on the island is of the petty variety, and indeed the locals are known to unofficially deal with "problems" themselves. Police presence increases during summer season to patrol the island's roads which are prone to accidents by inexperienced visiting drivers.

When out rambling or walking on the hills the rules are the same as on the mainland - always inform someone (preferably the police or mountain rescue) of your planned route and what time you are expected to return - and don't forget to inform them of your safe return. Note that mobile phone coverage on the island is extremely patchy so don't rely on it when in the remote areas of the island - Vodafone and O2 are the best of a bad bunch for reliability of reception, with the lesser networks such as T-Mobile/Virgin and Three having virtually no coverage on the island at all.

Ensure you have sufficient food, water and suitbale clothing for any walking trip - the North West of Scotland has notoriously changeable weather and inclement conditions can quickly close in from seemingly nowhere.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.