Mulling in Tobermory

The experience of a female trying to get away from it all on a Scottish island.


Mulling in Tobermory

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by milliebell on November 29, 2003

Tobermory Bay is very pretty, and has some interesting shops, though it won't keep you for more than a few hours. One of my favourites was the Island Bakery. This had an extensive range of locally produced cheeses that are not widely available in other places. You buy them by loose weight, so ideal for the lone caterer.

The Mull Musuem on the Main Street is excellent, small but lots of detail and interest. The whale and dolphin centre is also a good place for looking around. Tobermory is a useful base with plenty of shops, restaurants, youth hostels, etc., but it is out of the way of other parts of the Island.

Tobermory is often very busy and bustling, but one of my best moments was early Sunday morning, when I strolled along the bay enjoying it mainly to myself, without either cars or people. It was so still and tranquil, and so very pretty without the noise and bustle. ${QuickSuggestions} If you are getting around on public transport, make your stay a mid-week rather than a weekend one. There is little going on anywhere on Sundays. Mull is most enjoyable in nice weather, but it rains a lot. Look out for the "Mull Rain" postcard in the museum. That I could certainly understand!

Internet access is limited. The bar at the end of the bay near the car park has a few terminals, and so does Posh Nosh Cafe at the ferry terminal, though I don't recommend this place.

Tobermory is the setting for popular BBC1 children's programme, "Balamory" in the UK. The corner shop on the main street sells offical merchandise, though at a price. ${BestWay} It is possible to get around on public transport, but it is limited. Limited buses run from Craignure Ferry Terminal (four a day Monday to Saturday, one a day Sunday) - from where there are frequent ferries to Oban - to Tobermory and Fionnphort (for Iona). For foot passengers, it is £6.45 return on the ferry from Oban, and £6 return on the bus from the ferry terminal to Tobermory. Bikes can be hired easily, but be warned: it is very hilly. The Isle of Mull is beautiful and has lots of scenic walks, stunning views and peaceful spots, but accessing the starting points without transport can be difficult.


Tobermory Youth Hostel

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by milliebell on November 29, 2003

Tobermory Youth Hostel is on Main Street. The building is painted pink (okay, not everything is perfect).

I was in a six-bed female dorm on the second floor, which provided a lovely view over the harbour. The room was large with plenty of space. There is a comfortable TV lounge with lots of magazines, newspapers, tourist info, etc. The kitchen is well-equipped and was uncrowded. There are plenty of shops close by to stock up on supplies. The dining room was comfortable and relaxing. There is a laundry and drying room. If it ever stops raining long enough, there is an outdoor seating area. No Internet access. I found the hostel to be very clean. When I was there in September 2003, it was quiet. On my second night, I had the whole dorm room to myself.

The hostel turned out to be good for cyclists. There is a bike store, and the hostel rents out bikes (I think it was something like 10 pounds a day). The receptionist was very helpful in suggesting local walks in the area.

My only complaint was the showers - they produced about as much water as a dripping tap and tended to be either cold or lukewarm.

It was £11 per night when I stayed there in September 2003. Check-out is by 11am. Check-in is from 5pm. The hostel closes at 11:45pm.

Tobermory Youth Hostel
Main Street
Isle of Mull, Scotland

Posh Nosh

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by milliebell on November 29, 2003

This dive is the only place open on Sunday mornings, and it has Internet access, which is limited in Tobermory. It is located at the ferry terminal. There is also an Internet terminal available. Drinks from 60p. Main courses around £5 (fish and chips, steak pie, quiche, etc.), jacket potatoes from £4.50, sandwiches and toasties from £2, desserts from £1. I just had some chips - they were freshly cooked and a good-sized portion. However, this place is not cheap.

My really big gripe about this place and the reason I do not recommend it is the service. It became clear to me after I had ordered that this is very much the territory of local people and is seen as being off-limits to tourists. Although it was very quiet, I was ignored for ages at the counter by the woman serving. Just as I was about to leave, she decided to serve me. That was done very much WITHOUT a smile. A man in there who was well known and obviously local made a point of immediately sitting down in someone's seat as soon as they got up to go to the counter, and he did this throughout the time I was there, constantly moving tables. The other people thought it was hilarious. A girl from the youth hostel where I was staying was on the Internet terminal, and a local man kept going up behind her and reading closely what she was doing. When she left, he made a really negative comment about her, to laughter from the locals. I decided not to bother using the Internet after all at this stage. Unless you're really desperate for an early Sunday breakfast or Internet access, I really DON'T recommend this place.

Posh Nosh
Ferry Terminal
Isle of Mull, Scotland

Mull Musuem

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by milliebell on November 29, 2003

I didn't go in expecting much from this, as it was so small, but this is a perfect example of what can be achieved with good planning. There were various sections with lots of information - geology, with information on the Staffa Isles and Mull's development, and photos of the existing site. One of an Iron Age settlement site looked like a random collection of rocks on a clifftop, so it was interesting to see how it actually was hundreds of years ago. There were models and diagrams of Iron Age brochs, the forerunner to the castles. Even then, the coast was frequently subject to Irish and Viking invasion. This went onto a historical exhibition of clans and clan wars in Mull.

There was also plenty of stuff on social history. In 1588, a ship sank off the bay, and the tresure hunt was still going on in the 1980s, though nothing has yet been found. There was lots of stuff on fishing, wartime Mull, aspects like education (the old school log books made interesting browsing), and for a whisky fan, the exhibit on illegal whisky distilling was especially interesting. This was largely due to problems when it became drunk for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. Some things never change. Lots of info on the Tobermory distillery. Find out what man was like in 1608. Sorry guys, he makes modern man look like fairy godmothers. This place kept me for a few hours. There was plenty of additional reading material provided. The woman looking after the musuem was very friendly. When she found out I was here on my own, she invited me to Ulva the next day with her. I highly recommend this place.

Mull Museum
Main Street
Isle of Mull, Scotland

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Conservation Trust

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by milliebell on November 29, 2003

It is a small place on the Main Street. There are exhibits regarding local whale and dolphin life, including skeletal displays, sightings charts, a computer set up for finding out more information and breeds, and wall charts and displays showing how they live, their social life, what they eat, the threats and dangers they face, and how we can help. Ever wondered what to do if you come across a distressed dolphin or whale? You do now.

It is free, but they do ask for donations, as it is entirely funded on voluntary contributions and staffed by volunteers. There are gifts available, of course - postcards, videos, jewellery, greeting cards, cuddly toys, etc., all with local wildlife themes. They also have information on local whale-watching trips.

I highly recommend this place. Okay, it won't provide a full day's entertainment, but this is highly informative, set out in an easily accessible and interesting way, and it benefits the local wildlife a lot. If you don't know a lot about sea mammals, you will learn a lot.

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Conservation Trust
Main Street
Isle of Mull, Scotland

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