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Why life’s a beach on Mull!

Why life’s a beach on Mull!
Mull has it all: a towering munro, ancient castles and picture-postcard villages. But one of the best things about this beautiful Hebridean island is its beaches. The coastline is dotted with stunning sandy bays lapped by turquoise water and backed by forest and moorland. Some are easy to access and others require a hike to reach them, but they’re all worth the effort. You’ll find white sands, views to the islands and wildlife galore. What’s more, Mull’s beaches are crowd-free, even at the height of summer. So this year, make a bee-line for Mull’s beaches!

North Mull
Some of Mull’s finest beaches are found at the north of the island, and Calgary Bay is arguably the best of them all. It’s a beach buff’s paradise, with beautiful soft sand, clear seas and a lovely sheltered location. The beach is easily accessible, with parking, public toilets and a wild camping area, but it still feels wild and remote. Stroll to the north end of the beach and you’ll see a stone pier originally built to allow puffers to bring supplies to and from the area. When you feel peckish, Calgary Farmhouse, home to a fantastic café and art gallery, is just a ten-minute walk from the beach. It's also the start of a sculpture trail that winds through the woods.

For a more secluded stretch of sand, make the trip to Langamull Beach. Pack a picnic and spend the day on this beautiful bay complete with rock pools and hidden coves to explore. Park at West Mull Community Woodland car park and make the 20-minute walk along the track to the shore. You’ll be treated to fabulous views to Ardnamurchan, Rum, Eigg and Canna.

Another beach worth the walk is Port na Ba (‘Beach of the Cattle’) near Croig Harbour. This is where cattle from Tiree and Coll swam ashore en route to the mainland markets. It’s a short amble (about 1.5km) along an ancient drove road to the coast. The beach is a beautiful place to spend the day, with magnificent views to Rum.

Ross of Mull
Uisken Beach near Bunessan is one of the most popular beaches on the Ross of Mull, the 17-mile-long peninsula that constitutes the south western part of the island. With its shimmering white sands and views to Colonsay and Jura, it’s not hard to see why people love it so much! The Uisken Beach Games are held here every August with a raft race and beach games for all the family.

Neighbouring Ardalanish Beach is equally beguiling. It’s also the venue for the annual New Year’s Day ‘shinty’ match, when players turn up with an array of unconventional shinty sticks and play until the tide comes in.

At Fidden, near Fionnphort, there are several secluded sandy bays characterized by their pink granite outcrops. The setting is glorious with beautiful views to Iona. It’s a great place to bring children, who can while away the hours playing in rock pools, building sandcastles and paddling in the crystal clear water. It’s also a good place for spotting wildlife; look out for the seals basking on the rocks. Take a stroll along the beach in the evening and you’ll be treated to the most incredible sunsets. If you facy camping by the beach, there's a great campsite at Fidden Farm.

You’ll find more fine sandy beaches at Knockvologan, which is a couple of miles beyond Fidden. Take the road to Knockvologan Farm, park up here and follow the track for about ten minutes to reach the coast. Prepare to be stunned by the huge expanse of white sand. Sunbathe, paddle, relax and enjoy the views. You can reach the Isle of Erraid – the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped – at low tide.

If it’s splendid isolation you’re after, then strike out for Traigh Ghael. This wonderfully remote sandy beach at Tireragan on the south of the Ross of Mull will fulfil all your Robinson Crusoe dreams. It’s a good two- to three-hour walk through Tireragan Nature Reserve to get there, but the rewards amply justify the effort. Maps are available from an honesty box at Knockvologan Farm. Alternatively, on a calm day you could take a boat trip to the beach.

If you’re a wildlife lover, then Laggan Sands at Lochbuie should be firmly on your list. The Guardian voted it the UK’s 9th best beach for wildlife spotting. Scan the cliffs and sky for sea eagles and golden eagles and look out for seals in the bay.

Most of Mull’s beaches have gleaming white shell-sand, but if you head west to Torloisk you’ll discover the Black Beach, where the sand is made from basalt. It’s an excellent beach for swimming or paddling with the water warming up nicely as it comes in over the dark sand.

Find out more about things to see and do on Mull, Iona, Coll & Tiree.
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