Holidaying on the Islands of Mull and Iona - Part 1
Holidaying in Scotland at Easter is a bit of a risk. Actually, holidaying in Scotland at any time of the year is a risk. Mainly due to the unpredictable weather. I've had sunburn at Easter but I've also built snowmen. This unpredictability makes it very difficult to pack for a Scottish holiday, even more so if you are heading off as a family of 4 in a VW camper van. Space is at a premium.
Nevertheless, heading off in the van to have adventures around Scotland is my favourite thing to do. Packed to the hilt with clothing for every type of weather, some maps, an abundance of food and the necessary bottle of wine (necessary because l have two kids), we made our way to Oban, a small town on the firth of Lorn, which benefits from spectacular views in every direction and some of the best fish and chips I've tasted in Scotland.
We spent a couple of nights here before catching the ferry to the island of Mull. This 50 minute ferry ride takes in some beautiful sights. Up on the observation decks, you can view the island of Kerrera, look back to the town of Oban itself and the imposing Dunollie Castle or the rounded amphitheatre like monument: McCaig's tower or simply gaze at the beautiful Mull mountains in the distance.
Upon disembarking at the town of Craignure, we set off on the incredibly scenic road linking Craignure to Fionnphort breathing in sights such as Duart Castle, highland cows, rolling moorland and craggy hills, lochs and bogs and the many winding passes, turns and corners that took us to our campsite that night. There are three main roads in Mull and this was definitely my favourite. We oohed and ahhed around most corners.
Love these little mileage markers on the road.
We parked up at the beautiful campsite, Fidden Farm close to Fionnphort. This must be quite the place on a beautiful summer's day. Even at this time of year and in freezing temperatures, it was a little slice of heaven. The kids played in the sand, played tag with the waves and went looking for curiosities in the rock pools. A few hardy souls were out canoeing.
In the evening, whilst supping some Malbec (okay, I lie - it was a bottle of mojito cocktail from Sainsbury's), we were treated to a brief but glorious sunset. I've held myself back from sharing too many pictures. The island which the sun is setting behind is Iona.
Our van was made for pictures like this. Modern vehicles just don't have the same wow factor as this beauty.
The next morning the kids played down on the beach whilst l packed up camp. You can see our little van here, 3rd one in from the left. These sheep meandered around camp. l think sheep in Scotland have access to some of the finest accommodation and views in the world.
Just as we were about to leave for the ferry to Iona, the heavens opened. You can see the rain falling over Iona here. It was a very intense and heavy rain shower lasting about 30 minutes. The changeable weather meant we had to dress for every eventuality for visiting Iona for the day. You can't take vehicles over to Iona so there was no ready access to additional clothes. We dressed the kids up in their snowsuits, put on lots of layers and made out way to the ferry.
To give you an idea of where we travelled to in the van:
Part 2 to follow.