islands surrounding Mull are full of interest; huge numbers
of seabirds, fascinating history, important geology and unspoilt
scenery. See Bookings page for details
on boat trips to Staffa & Treshnish.
is an uninhabited island lying to the west of Mull, 6
miles north of Iona. The Nature Conservancy described
it as a "spectacular example of columnar jointing in Tertiary
plateau lava flow." It is a site of special scientific
columns were formed with a single, massive flow of lava
and it cooled and solidified in a very gradual controlled
manner. The columns are an almost uniform hexagonal shape,
giving the spectacular look. Staffa, the name, comes from
the Viking/Norse word for vertical stave.
unique structure, there is no other sea cave formed completely
in hexagonally jointed basalt. It is 227 feet long. One
of the worlds wonders, the impact the cave has on entering
it is likely to be remembered for life. The popularity
of Mendelssohn's "Hebridean Overture" (Fingal's Cave)
provides a stirring reminder of this wonder. The origin
of the name "Fingal's Cave" is wrapped in myth.
Fingal was possibly an Irish giant
who migrated to Scotland. Soon he became revered in Scotland
and boosted by heroic verse and song his name was a natural
choice to give to this dramatic and awe-inspiring cavern.
Treshnish Isles are formed from 8 main islands of
varying sizes of which Lunga is the largest and
main bird sanctuary.
islands axis run NE to SW for approximately 11km.
The closest part to the Isle of Mull mainland is
from North Island, a distance of 3km west.
islands are unusual to the eye and are mainly famous
for the large colonies of breeding seabirds in summer.
In Autumn they are the breeding ground of Atlantic
Gray seals, which give birth to their white pups
along their shores.
area has been designated as a site of special scientific
interest and is a Special Protection Area under
he E.C. Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
With assistance of a grant from the Heritage Lottery
Fund they are looked after by the Hebridean Trust.
are no rats, cats or mink on the Treshnish Isles
so they provide ideal breeding grounds for large
concentrations of seabirds. On Lunga there are dense
aggregations of fulmar, shag, kittwaks and breeding
storm petrels, puffins, gullimots, razorbills and
barnacle geese. The corncrake can be heard in summer.
spectacularly shaped isles are formed from basaltic
lavas that flowed from the volcano on Mull. The
Treshnish, with Staffa, are all that remains today
of these once massive plateau lavas. After this,
glaciation gouged out most of the lavas leaving
small bits which include the Treshnish Isles.
level changes have left the islands with a spectacular
feature of fossil beaches separated by sheer cliffs
with sea caves above the current sea level. In particular,
the island now known as the "Dutchman's Cap",
the brim of the cap is the lava flow, and the top
of the cap has been a beach or shallow reef.
is a great deal of evidence of human occupation on
some of the islands up to the 19th century.
Lunga there is an abandoned village, sheilings on
the Dutchman's Cap, on Fladda an early Christian chapel
and a medieval castle on North Island. The names of
the islands reflect their importance to the Vikings
who ruled the Hebrides.
Treshnish Isles have been sufficiently isolated
to avoid development and the introduction of foreign
legends, an ancient castle, an abandoned village and the
non stop call of seabirds give the islands an atmosphere
of their own.
Grant marine of Iona operates a summer ferry service on
M.V. Ullin or M.V. Ossian to Lunga and Staffa from approximately
7th May until 1st August on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays,
leaving Fionnphort at 10.00 and returning 15.30. All weather
the south western tip of the Ross of Mull, 5 minutes drive
from Seaview lies the island of Erraid. For an hour or
two either side of low water it is linked to the Ross
by a broad expanse of sand. The views from Erraid to Iona
and surrounding rocks are breathtaking.
Louis Stevenson was brought up on Erraid. His father was
the engineer who quarried the islands grey granite for
use in constructing Skerryvore and Dubh Artach lighthouses.
Visitors can see the disused quarry and granite blocks
and the magnificent stone cottages of the lighthouse keepers.
to the observatory, which was the only means of communication
between Dubh Artach Lighthouise (10 miles away) and mainland
Erraid. From here the views are stunning panorama of the surrounding
In Stevenson's Kidnapped the hero, eighteen year old David Balfour,
is shipwrecked and marooned on Erraid. If you would like to
explore Erraid we can provide you with the necessary information
to get there and provide a guided walk
of the island.