Oban, Island of Mull and the Sacred Isle of Iona
Mon 02 July 2018
Oban derives Its name from the Gaelic language and means 'little bay', but when it comes to having an unforgettable break, Oban is definitely a place which is big on things to see and do. Surrounded by miles of dramatic coast and beautiful countryside, the seaside town is also known as the Gateway to the Isles, as a number of ferries depart from its main port and travel to the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. The Isle of Mull and the neighbouring Island of Iona lie just off the west coast of Scotland, in the United Kingdom.
The Isle of Mull has become well known by all who view the BBC programmes Springwatch and Coast. The presenter Gordon Buchanan is from Mull and still has family and a house here. Mull is also now very well known as the home of the CBeebies programme Balamory, based around the coloured houses of Tobermory. Iona the isle of Colm Cille, an Irish priest and prince who was to become revered as Saint Columba. A tiny island, of typically Hebridean beauty, it holds a unique place in the story of Scotland and kindles the imagination of thousands who journey there each year. Yet it is also where people have lived, worked and worshipped over many centuries. To and from its shores have come monks and pilgrims, clan chiefs and kings, artists and craftsmen, farmers and fishermen.
We head North making our first comfort stop at Moffat where you will have time to visit the town centre or the visitor centre. We continue on past Glasgow to the shores of Loch Lomond where we stop for lunch. Our route then takes us along the western shore of Loch Lomond to Tyndrum for a comfort stop before we pass Loch Awe arriving in Oban late afternoon and our harbourside hotel, The Columba . Dinner is served tonight.
Today after a hearty Scottish breakfast in our waterside hotel we have the morning free to explore Oban. After lunch we make the short journey to Seil Island which is reached by the famous Bridge over the Atlantic. As we venture further onto the Island we head for Easedale where a collection of houses, shops and of course a pub make up this small community. In Easedale you can take the ferry over to Easedale Island but to do this you have to ring the bell and the ferryman will come across. Easedale is also famous as the starting point for Seafaris which head out into the North Atlantic in search of wildlife and sealife with doplhins and whales often being spotted. One trip even goes to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool. After free time we return to Oban in time to freshen up for Dinner.
Following breakfast today we board our coach and journey along the Harbour to the ferry for the crossing to Mull. Our Island excursion takes us South past the imposing Duart Castle to Fionnphort. Here we become foot passengers as we make the short crossing to the small and sacred Island of Iona. Wander around the Island with its sandy beaches and pathways at your leisure. Iona has been a point of pilgrimage and is the recognised birthplace of Christianity in the UK. We include entry into the famous Abbey which is the resting place of over 100 Scottish Kings. We make the return journey to arrive back early evening. Dinner is again served in the hotel.
After breakfast we head North crossing the Connel Bridge as we follow the coast passing the mysterious Island of Castle Stalker on our way to Fort William where we have free time for lunch and to explore the town. In the afternoon we head west a short distance along the Road to the Isles until we reach Neptunes staircase a flight of locks linking the upper reaches of Loch Linnhe with the Caledonian Canal. Here boats of all sizes can be seen negotiating the Lochs on the staircase. We continue alongside the Canal to Gairlochy and on to the Commando Memorial which on a good day offers superb views on the UK's highest mountain Ben Nevis which towers above Fort William. We return via Spean Bridge and through Fort William as we return to Oban in time for Dinner.
Alas we begin our journey homewards we have comfort stops en route to Glasgow where we stop for lunch. After some free time we continue South to arrive back in Cumbria late afternoon.
4 Nights Dinner, Bed and Breakfast in
Visit to Seil Island and Easedale
Return ferry to the isle of Mull
Return ferry to the Isle of Iona (included entry to the Abbey on Iona)
Visit to Fort William, Neptunes Staircase and The Commando Memorial
Visit to Loch Lomond Visitor Centre
Visit to Glasgow
Luxury Executive Coach travel throughout
Price £ per person based 2 passengers sharing a twin or double bedroom
Single supplement £
Date 21st May 2018 (5 days)