Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

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NoodleJam
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Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby NoodleJam » 16 Jul 2015, 1:28pm

I know there are numerous posts on this topic as I've read many, but having recently completed my LeJoG, I've decided to return to Scotland for a bit of solo cycle-tour camping, as my experience was simply magical (though missed the western Highlands - Altnaharra being the most westerly I got).
With a start in Fort William and end Inverness over five days the intention was to visit Skye and the western Highlands (in part), see route.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8793871
However, through research and because so many have excellent opinions on this site, I'm debating as to whether I should head down to Mull instead. Perhaps, I should leave Mull for another trip? Next year?
As always, thank you in advance for any and all advice.
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heatonrider
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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby heatonrider » 16 Jul 2015, 2:32pm

Mull is great - less busy and less tourists than Skye ..

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby PH » 16 Jul 2015, 2:43pm

I don't think you can really go wrong, take a bike to Scotland and ride around and if the weather and midges let you, you'll have a good time.
I prefer Mull for the same reasons as heatonrider, plus if you can spend a night on Iona after the day trippers have left even better. Mull would also give you a chance to nip across to Ardnamurchan to bag the Westerly point to go with the North & South you already have.

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby NoodleJam » 16 Jul 2015, 11:33pm

Thank you for those very useful suggestions.

Now tweaked my route to Mull instead of Skye based on less tourists and hopefully less midges (I will be taking two cans of Smidge and ASSS to keep the pests at bay) with a ride back up to Inverness via a small part of Skye instead.

Part 1
Fort William to Mull and back up to Mallaig
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314504

Part 2
Armadale to Inverness
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314660

I haven't included the road onto Iona and will play it my ear depending on time, I like the idea of a night on the island after day trippers.

Thanks again.
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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby matt2matt2002 » 17 Jul 2015, 5:18am

I remember Mull having smooth roads.
Skye, mixed and hillier.
Just an impression I came away with.
Certainly less busy on Mull.
Known for retired army majors living there.
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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby PH » 17 Jul 2015, 1:37pm

NoodleJam wrote:Thank you for those very useful suggestions.

Now tweaked my route to Mull instead of Skye based on less tourists and hopefully less midges (I will be taking two cans of Smidge and ASSS to keep the pests at bay) with a ride back up to Inverness via a small part of Skye instead.

Part 1
Fort William to Mull and back up to Mallaig
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314504

Part 2
Armadale to Inverness
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314660

I haven't included the road onto Iona and will play it my ear depending on time, I like the idea of a night on the island after day trippers.

Thanks again.


You're going to have a good time and that route covers loads of ground. If you're only ever going to do one tour of this part of Scotland that's a pretty good route.
But... If at a later date you want to go to the places you missed (Like Iona or Ardnamurchan or North Skye) you end up going over ground you've already covered. I've learnt that I prefer to see more of an area on tour even if that makes it a smaller area. So if it was me doing that tour, I'd finish in Mallaig and spend the mileage saved on the islands.
Last edited by PH on 17 Jul 2015, 1:46pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby PH » 17 Jul 2015, 1:43pm

Just so you know what you might miss...

ImageDeserted Beech on Iona by Paul, on Flickr

...Iona when the day trippers have gone home :wink:

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Jimstar79
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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby Jimstar79 » 17 Jul 2015, 8:46pm

NoodleJam wrote:Thank you for those very useful suggestions.

Now tweaked my route to Mull instead of Skye based on less tourists and hopefully less midges (I will be taking two cans of Smidge and ASSS to keep the pests at bay) with a ride back up to Inverness via a small part of Skye instead.

Part 1
Fort William to Mull and back up to Mallaig
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314504

Part 2
Armadale to Inverness
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/9314660

I haven't included the road onto Iona and will play it my ear depending on time, I like the idea of a night on the island after day trippers.

Thanks again.



Hey NoodleJam,

Just want to say a big thanks for the routes you posted. The Fort William to Mull route is especially helpful. I'm planning on cycling from south Lakes to Androssan, across to Campbeltown and wriggling all the way up to Durness/Cape Wrath and across to JoG but would love to try and travel to Mull and Iona if I get the chance along the way (have no idea about the return route as of yet - via Norway, Sweden etc?!). Getting excited and very nervous about setting off! Some of the storms up in the west and north west of Scotland have me a bit worried - wild camping when there is a thunder and lightening storm for example!

Have a great trip btw!
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Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby TrevA » 17 Jul 2015, 10:18pm

I did a CTC tour of the Western isles including Arran, Kintyre, Islay, Jura, Mull and Ardnamurchan. We spent a night on Iona but it was rather spoilt by being double booked at the youth hostel and having to scrabble round for accommodation after the last ferry back to Mull had gone! My wife and I were lucky, being the only couple, we got a double bed in a B&B. Everyone else had to camp. The North Coast of the Ross of Mull is especially beautiful and quite remote.
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NoodleJam
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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby NoodleJam » 17 Jul 2015, 11:34pm

Thank you all for the recommendations and Paul the fantastic photograph of Iona. Indeed you're wisdom regarding wanting to return and going back over old ground, is sound advice. I have five days and not precious about route/time other than needing be in Inverness on the fifth day.
I did consider the infamous Applecross Pass, but if I was not ladened with my full camping kit, I might give it an attempt... though the single carriageway looks tight.
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don1
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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby don1 » 18 Jul 2015, 10:31pm

I'm off to Mull at the end of the month.
I've only got 3 nights to spare so just a flying visit.
I think I'm going to base myself in Killiechronan camping, and do some day rides around the island.

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby ambodach » 19 Jul 2015, 9:51am

Hi don1. You may already be aware that Killiechronan is very exposed in bad weather so check forecasts. I would also describe it as "primitive". The nearest shop is Salen so stock up before you get there. Very nice situation in good weather tho'. IMO the northern circuit is easiest done anticlockwise ( no idea why) and the southern one is best clockwise to get the "main " road section over first. Also can be useful to check ferry times and if a ferry is just in find somewhere to sit anod admire the scenery until the touroid have gone past. The terrified ones at the end are often the most dangerous tho' they are also often to be found at the front causing frustration and rage to those behind.I am sure you will enjoy your visit anyway.

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby don1 » 19 Jul 2015, 1:45pm

ambodach wrote:Hi don1. You may already be aware that Killiechronan is very exposed in bad weather so check forecasts. I would also describe it as "primitive". The nearest shop is Salen so stock up before you get there. Very nice situation in good weather tho'. IMO the northern circuit is easiest done anticlockwise ( no idea why) and the southern one is best clockwise to get the "main " road section over first. Also can be useful to check ferry times and if a ferry is just in find somewhere to sit anod admire the scenery until the touroid have gone past. The terrified ones at the end are often the most dangerous tho' they are also often to be found at the front causing frustration and rage to those behind.I am sure you will enjoy your visit anyway.


Thanks. Nothing is set in stone yet. I had read that the site is pretty basic, but that's ok with me. Where would be your own recommendation for camping on Mull ?

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby ambodach » 19 Jul 2015, 2:47pm

Where would I camp on Mull? Difficult since I live here and have never tried any apart from Fionnphort some years ago. The site at Craignure is said to be good but expensive. There is also a site just outside Tobermory. Killiechronan is pretty central for the north part of the island so if you do not mind it being a bit primitive it would suit you fine.There are numerous possibilities for wild camping and Loch na Keal in the Iona direction is often used but a bit stoney for tent pegs and also of course exposed to bad weather.Calgary is also a possible place but I think a bit overused and probably crowded. As said earlier there are lots of wild camping spots if you are used to that type of camping. Security should be ok for your tent if left but in summer there are so many strangers around that it difficult to be sure of this as anywhere. Our crime rate is pretty low tho'.

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Re: Isle of Mull or Isle of Skye over five days?

Postby Jimstar79 » 20 Jul 2015, 6:12pm

ambodach wrote:IMO the northern circuit is easiest done anticlockwise ( no idea why) and the southern one is best clockwise to get the "main " road section over first.



Hi ambodach,

Just wondering what you meant when you wrote the above. My plan was to cycle north up the west coast, visiting some islands along the way, and then going on for Durness, Cape Wrath and maybe across to John O Groats - I have never been certain about the route back. Via Loch Ness route, maybe? Do you think it could be best to head up through central, eastern Scotland first and then come 'anti-clockwise' down the west coast? If I do this then it blows any option for potentially getting the ferry across to Norway, you see. Hmmm. Look forward to your advice/ideas on this. Cheers.
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