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The Isle of Mull is one of the best adventure destinations in the UK, whether it’s scrambling up Ben More from A’Chioch or exploring the smaller islands by kayak, we can’t get enough of it.

We recently spent 72 hours on the Island making the most of the longer days and shorter nights, so whether you’re hiring our Land Rover Camper or heading up in your own campervan here’s our guide to spending time on the island.

Taking the ferry across from Oban to Craignure

Day One

We' caught the 7am ferry out of Oban, and from the moment we drove aboard it felt like the adventure had started. Stood on deck we watched the small islands pass by as the hills of Mull drew nearer. The forecast for the day was looking settled so we decided to make a climb of Ben More our first stop of the trip.

Ben More is the only munro on Mull (a munro is a Scottish mountain that is at least 3000ft high), and visible from across a lot of the Island.

The traditional ascent is a straightforward (and fairly dull) path up the north west face of the mountain. However we’d heard about a much more interesting route that also starts from the shores of Loch Na Kael that takes you first up A’Chioch (a rocky outcrop to the east of Ben More), and then up a dramatic Grade 1 scramble to the peak of Ben More.

The peak kept drifting in and out of cloud as we ascended, but once we got there it cleared for long enough to give us amazing views along the Ross of Mull to the SW, across Loch Na Kael to Ulva, and westwards out to Staffa.

Admiring the view before starting the scramble from A’chioch to the summit of Ben More

As soon as we were down off the peak the temperature really started to pick up and we were keen to find some way to cool down. As the path drops back down towards the shores of the Loch it starts to follow the line of a stream which contains some small waterfalls and beautiful pools. The temptation was too much, so we took off our shoes and shirts and jumped into the pool.

After a full day of climbing and swimming we were ready to cook up the steaks we’d brought with us and open up a cold beer from the fridge, but first of all we needed to decide where we were going to camp for the night.

There’s no legal right to wild camp in/on a vehicle in Scotland, but it’s tolerated in many places as long as you’re considerate about where you pitch up and how you behave. The islands have seen a huge increase in campervans and motorhomes over the last few years, and unfortunately not everyone has behaved well. This means that you’ll now see a lot of ‘No Overnight Parking’ signs alongside lay-bys or coastal car parks.

However it definitely is still possible to find some incredible overnight camping spots, and after a few false-starts we finally found a beautiful location all to ourselves.

Roof Top Tent up, awning out, fire pit lit, beer open and as we leant back against the Land Rover all we could see were trees and mountains, and all we could hear were the sounds of nature.

The Fieldtrip Defender Camper admiring the early-morning view

Day Two

After two cups of freshly brewed coffee, and an excellent sausage sandwich, we were ready for day two. Our plan was to take the kayak down to the south west corner of Mull and explore the coastline and small islands there.

Mull is sheltered from a lot of the Atlantic swell by the outlying islands which means it’s no good for surfing, but a beautiful spot for kayaking. The inflatable kayak takes only a few minutes to pump up, so once we’d packed a few supplies for a picnic lunch we set out to explore along the coast.

It’s only once you’re on the water that you realise how much coastline Scotland has, with every corner revealing another small island or inlet. In fact there’s over 11,000 miles of coastline in Scotland, so taking to the water really is an amazing way to see it from a different perspective.

We’d hoped to paddle all the way around Erraid (a tidal island made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson), but there was a strong swell coming in from the south, so instead we found ourselves a secluded beach to stop at for lunch.

Being able to take to the water allows you to explore incredible spots like this isolated beach

There had definitely been some discussion about trying to fish for our supper, but after a day of paddling it seemed like there was a good chance we might end up going hungry. Instead we headed to the Creel Seafood bar in Fionnphort, a small shack perched on the roadside next to the Iona ferry landing. In 2021 they won ‘Scotland’s best Seafood Establishment’ at the Scottish Food Awards, and they source all of their seafood fresh from the west coast.

Everything on the menu looked incredible, but we ended up going for the battered scallops. Sounds odd, but tastes incredible. If you are on Mull then it’s definitely worth a visit.

This is probably a good point to mention the distances and time involved in driving around Mull. Nearly all of the roads are single track with regular passing places. If you are a tourist and there is a car close behind you then it’s good manners to pull over at a layby and let them go past - it’s probably a local who will be grateful not to get stuck behind a Defender for the next 30 miles. From Fionnphort in the SW, up to Tobermory in the NW of Mull will take around 1.5 hours of driving (plus any time you spend stopping the car to look at Eagles/Mountains/Waterfalls etc).

The driving on Mull is an attraction in itself, with beautiful loch side roads and incredible mountain views

Day Three

Our final full day on Mull was going to be one of exploring. Having climbed the highest peak and paddled some of the incredible coastline, we wanted to visit picturesque Tobermory as well as hopefully get a good sighting of some eagles.

It was Sunday morning though so we took our time packing up the Land Rover and the roof top tent. There was a full fry up cooked on the camp kitchen, and we made sure to savour the experience of eating our breakfast in such a wild location.

Tobermory on a Sunday is a quiet place, but after the isolation of the last couple of days the coloured harbour front buildings felt like a metropolis.

The idyllic harbour in Tobermory

The North West of Mull has a very different feel to the mountains of the centre, with lush broadleaf woodlands and it’s beautiful beaches. The most famous of these beaches is Calgary Bay, a wide beach of fine white sand, with incredible views out to Coll and Tiree.

There’s permitted wild camping here for both tents and campers (for one night only) with toilets near the car park and a fantastic ice cream shop made out of an upturned wooden boat.

From here the road winds along the north shore of Loch Na Keal, with views across to Ulva, and passing a number of stunning waterfalls (the upper and lower falls of Eas Fors are especially worth a stop for).

At the far eastern end of the Loch we considered a stop at another permitted wild camping spot (Killiechronan -£5 per person/night payable to the farmer who comes round each evening) but there were already a few vans parked up and we decided we’d rather push on to find our own nook for the night.

It took us longer than planned to find somewhere that met our exacting standards. With mountains on one side of us and the forest on the other this ended up being our favourite spot of the trip. Just as we were starting to prepare some food we saw an eagle lift up from trees behind us, beating it’s wings to gain height before it could start soaring. It was one of several we saw over us that evening as the sun started to set and the last of the light hit the mountains behind us.


Nestled between the forest and the mountains, this was our favourite place to camp in the Defender this trip

The eagles weren’t the only thing we saw overhead that night. Once the sky had dimmed enough we saw an incredible display of stars, completely untouched by light pollution. It was a perfect opportunity to get the telescope set up giving us an even better view of the night sky, plus we had a great view of the International space station crossing overhead.

Despite knowing that we had to catch the early ferry to Oban it was hard to put the whisky down and bring an end to this trip. It had been an incredible 72 hours exploring in the Defender, and we’ll absolutely be back as soon as we can.

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