Mull and Iona

Visit these islands to see the cradle of Christianity in Scotland

Just off the west coast of Scotland, it’s been said that the Isle of Mull and Iona are Britain in miniature. From the multi coloured houses of the island’s capital Tobermory to the spectacular crystal clear water at Calgary beach, you won’t be disappointed if you make the time to properly visit Mull. In Tobermory itself, check out the bay at low tide to see if you can see the wreck of a Spanish galleon from the 16th century or even be the first to find the gold that it was carrying. You can also enjoy the town’s TV heritage as the location for the children’s series Balamory or try to catch a glimpse of the Tobermory Cat at the local distillery.

Alternatively, head west to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of this inner hebridean island and take in the island of Ulva as part of your visit. Accessible by boat from the town of Oban or across from the village of Lochaline, Mull can be visited by car or by organised tour. Known as Scotland’s ‘eagle island’ due to the number of these spectacular birds that all it home, the island is a real paradise for nature lovers of all types.

Then, just a further short ferry ride from Mull, visit the little island of Iona, the home of St Columba’s abbey and the site where Christianity spread from in Scotland 1500 years ago. Hear about the battles with the Vikings and work out for yourself if the Book of Kells, now jealously protected by the Irish in Dublin, should really be kept where it was written in a monk’s cell in Iona. And before you leave, take a boat trip to the nearby uninhabited island of Staffa to see the magical Fingal’s cave where the composer Mendelssohn sought inspiration for his famous Hebridean Overture.

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