Tobermory is the capital settlement of the isle of Mull with attractive sea front buildings, all brightly painted, forming a friendly main street stretching along the harbour wall filled with shops and places to eat. It is well worth a visit, and is a pleasant 45 minute drive from Treshnish via Calgary and Dervaig.
With a population of around 700, the small town was founded in 1788 as a fishing port, based on plans by Thomas Telford. As well as the bank, garage and small supermarket, there is an excellent local museum and An Tobar the island art gallery, there is a good selection of gift and craft shops along with the well stocked ship chandlers and the old fashioned hardware shop.
Tobermory reflects the importance of the sea to an island economy like Mull. There is a small but dedicated fishing fleet based here and you can wander along the fishermen’s pier to look at the boats, and you may even meet the occasional sea gull. The bay is filled with yachts in summer – you can take a boat trip from here to look for whales and dolphins, or to go sea fishing. You can take a ferry to Kilchaon on Ardnamurchan or visit Taigh Solais, the Tobermory Harbour building, which has an excellent marine exhibition downstairs.
Tobermory is colourful all year round, and whatever the weather, even on a dark winter’s afternoon the sea front is bright. And the fish and chips are delicious from the Van on the pier. In the winter you can expect a lot of places to be closed, but there is always somewhere open to eat (during the day and in the evening), just not quite the big choice you would find in the summer.
To find out what is happening you can always look in ‘Browns’ window’.
At the end of the Old year, or the beginning of the New, whichever way you look at it, there is a great party around the clock tower for ‘the Bells’ on Hogmanay. Crowds gather to hear the bells, watch the fireworks and see in the New Year with friends, family, neighbours and visitors too.
I nearly forgot… there is a distillery too!!