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Duart Castle

Slipping out of Oban Bay on the ferry to Mull your stresses and strains begin to fall away; cross the sound to Iona and they disappear completely.

The Isle of Mull is a place of high, heather-clad mountains, sweeping bays, dramatic seascapes and a silence that is broken only by the calling of birds and the bleating of the sheep. From our base at the comfortable Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, conveniently located close to the ferry terminal with superb views of the Sound of Mull, the Morvern hills and the Firth of Lorne, we will explore some of the highlights of the island.

The multi-coloured buildings that ring the harbour of the island’s principal town, Tobermory, will be familiar from a hundred calendars and travelogues  and it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours wandering around the local arts and crafts outlets.

Duart Castle, the 13th century home of the Chief of Clan MacLean, sits imposingly on its headland, offerin  stunning views across the Firth of Lorn to Ben Cruachan. Lying just off the Ross of Mull, the sacred isle of Iona is famous the world over for its tranquil Abbey, a place of calm and contemplation, the perfect antidote to the stress of modern life. We also sail out to the little island of Staffa, whose natural cathedral of volcanic columns is one of the wonders of the west coast.

*If you would like to enjoy an extended nine-day tour of some of Scotland’s finest Islands you could combine this tour with our six-day Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides which departs on  8 & 29 May and 10 July 2016 from £695pp - please ask for details.

Available departure dates and prices


Day 1 

We depart from our designated pick up points and head for the Western Highlands, stopping en route for refreshments. On arrival in Oban we will board the late afternoon ferry for Craignure on Mull. Our base is the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, conveniently located close to the ferry terminal with superb views of the Sound of Mull, the Morvern Hills and, across the bay,DuartCastle. Please note this hotel now offers excellent spa and leisure facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, steam room, Norwegian Spruce Sauna and hydro foot spa.  A range of reasonably priced treatments is also available.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Day 2

Today we will drive along the Ross of Mull to Fionnphort, where we cross as foot passengers to the ‘sacred isle’ of Iona. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Abbey and wander over the island, taking in the atmosphere of calm and contemplation which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Dinner is served back at our hotel in the evening.

Day 3

After our full Scottish breakfast we will depart for a tour of Mull, stopping first in Tobermory, the island’s ‘capital’. The multi-hued buildings that line the waterfront will be familiar from a hundred calendars, and it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours wandering around the shops, which include local arts and crafts outlets. For many, a pint in the Mishnish is an essential part of any visit to the town.

In the afternoon we drive to the Ulva Ferry pier at Oskamull and depart on a cruise to the little islandof Staffa. Sailing out of Loch na Keal beneath the towering bulk of Ben More, keep an eye open for otters, seals, porpoises, dolphins and basking sharks – these waters are rich in wildlife. There are also great numbers of seabirds, with puffins, guillemots and razorbills among the most common. The Isle of Staffa was formed by volcanic eruptions over 50 million years ago and as the basaltic lava cooled it formed an extraordinary pattern of predominantly hexagonal columns which form the faces and walls of the principal caves. We will have around an hour ashore to explore the island, in particular the massive natural cathedral known as Fingal’s Cave, following in the footsteps of illustrious tourists from Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson to Jules Verne and Queen Victoria.

(Please note a reasonable degree of mobility is required to go ashore but the less adventurous are welcome to stay on board and are usually taken on a short seabird/seal-watch cruise. There is a toilet on board) 

We sail back to Ulva Ferry pier and return by coach to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 4

Following breakfast we will visit Duart Castle, the 13th century home of the Chief of Clan MacLean. We can explore the dungeons, the state rooms and appreciate the strategic position of the castle from the top of the keep. Thereafter we will take the short ferry crossing from Fishnish to Lochaline and drive through the magnificent mountain scenery of Morvern, before crossing Loch Linnhe by the Corran ferry and continuing our homeward journey via Glen Coe and Loch Lomond, arriving back at our original pick-up points during the evening.

Included in the price

  • 3 nights’ dinner, bed and full breakfast at the comfortable Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, Craignure. All rooms have private facilities
  • Visits to Tobermory, Staffa, Iona and Duart Castle
  • All coaching and ferry transfers
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager

Not included (per person)

  • Single room                                              £75.00
  • July and Sep supplement                          £40.00
  • August supplement                                   £70.00
  • Insurance                                                 £18.50 (under 65); £37.00 (65-74); £55.50 (75-90)
  • Rail/air travel and overnight accommodation in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth before or after the tour available on request

The same four-day package including flights from London (and other airports on request) to Glasgow is also available from £525pp. (single supplement £75.00pp)


Departure points and times:      

Depart Return
Aberdeen (Skene Street, opposite Denburn Car Park) 0600 2245
Montrose (Railway Station) 0645 2200
Arbroath (Railway Station) 0705 2140
Dundee (outside Discovery Point) 0730 2115
Perth (Bus stop on Canal Street, Tay Street end) 0800 2045
Kinross (Kinross Services) 0900 1945
Dunfermline (outside Carnegie College) 0915 1930
Edinburgh (Marriott Hotel, Glasgow Road) 0930 1915
Glasgow (Millennium, George Square) 1045 1800


Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

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Really enjoyed the tour - Staffa was the highlight - Wullie's driving skillful and patient.

Mr and Mrs Crammond, Motherwell

Excellent trip, loved Iona and Duart Castle - made new friends and had a lovely time.

Alex and Edith Hunter, London

Our Driver Alastair was a calm and excellent driver, our room and the food at the hotel on Mull was very good, indeed the whole holiday was flawless, thank you so much.

Mr Lamont, East Kilbride
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