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Seaview Cottage

Seaview is located right beside the coast in the Isle of Mull’s south west. A sparsely populated area known as the Ross of Mull, the area is renowned for its excellent coastline, marine life and small crofting communities. In fact, stay at Seaview and you can step straight through the gate and down to the sea!

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3 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms Saturday Changeover Bed linen and towels are provided Wifi Access Pet Friendly (maximum of two dogs, £25 each per week) Superb sea views This detached stone cottage is in a private and peaceful position, with a fully enclosed garden. On the approach to the house, guests will find there is a large parking area at the rear of the cottage with a lawned area, as well as a patio with outdoor dining table, and a gate that gives direct access to the sea, which is ideal for kayaking or walking along the shore. It's tempting to park the car and start exploring straight away!

Dogfriendly Magazine Review

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Seaview Cottage, Ross of Mull, Argyle
Reviewers: Richard and Angie Aspinall

Mull is one of the finest of the Scottish Islands. It is an easy-to-reach destination, yet at the same time, and somewhat paradoxically, it is replete with wide-open spaces and views and vistas that make you feel that you’re the only person alive and all the other folk you saw on the ferry have mysteriously gone somewhere else. Angie and I love this remarkable island and we’ve explored here before, but for Henry, our ever-so-boisterous and confident Westie, it was his first time so far north and west, and little did he know it, but he was in for a treat.

But first, a few things to do en-route. The majority of people travelling to Mull will take the ferry from Oban. Oban is a charming town and if you’ve had a long journey I’d recommend staying overnight. Coming from the east of Scotland we found it easy enough to travel over and arrive for a midday crossing, but there’s a lot to be said for sleeping off a long drive and getting on the ferry first thing in the morning, refreshed and ready to go. Helpfully, the coffee on board the Mull ferries is surprisingly good if the morning comes a little too early for you. Oban has some great restaurants and if you’re a fan of seafood you will be very happy. You might try the Seafood Hut on the pier – no issues with dogs as you’ll be eating al-fresco. We chose the famous Ee-Usk restaurant located on the North Pier, for its commitment to serving the more environment -friendly, hand-caught scallops (Ee-Usk is Gaelic for ‘fish’). The restaurant has several outdoor tables where dogs are welcome. On a good day, these are the best seats in the house with a wide view of the bay and the ferries coming and going. After eating you can take in a lovely view of the town from McCaig’s Tower, or McCaig’s Folly as it is also known. McCaig’s vision for an amphitheatre-like structure didn’t pan out, so only the outer walls were finished. It was constructed in the late 1890s.

Ferry services from Oban to Mull are operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, known to everyone as Calmac. The good-natured staff at the pier are well used to tourists and ‘ferry novices’ and got us all sorted and lined up ready to drive aboard. Booking is recommended, but you might be able to just turn up and get a spot on some quieter days. I’m fairly sure that all Calmac boats have dog friendly areas where dogs on leads are welcome. Some dogs won’t be happy, though, what with the noise, vibration and the usual cacophony of car alarms that trigger as the ferry moves. Happily, it’s only a 45-minute journey or so. I should add that if you’re travelling down to Mull from the northwest, you may choose the Kilchoan to Tobermory, or Lochaline to Fishnish ferries. In no time at all we were driving off the ferry at Craignure on Mull. We took on a bit of juice at the electric car charging station by the car park and called in for a coffee and cake at Arlene’s Coffee Shop.

If you look at a map of Scotland you’ll note the Great Glen, a great fissure where two land masses have rubbed against each other over the aeons. Follow the line of the Glen southwest and you’ll see that it runs just below Mull, specifically the long tongue of land, known as the Ross of Mull. This was to be our destination, and as we drove down the quiet (often single track) roads we marvelled at the scenery, though some of the higher peaks such as Ben More, the island’s tallest and only Munro, were often cloaked in cloud.

As we followed the quiet road, making way for locals with busier days than ours using the passing places, following signs to Bunessan and Fionnphort, along the side of Loch Scridain, we eventually found the small collection of houses known as Ardtun. Our cottage, Seaview, was down a small track with gate and a cattle grid. It was well-described, sitting within a few dozen feet of the sea.

Henry was straight into the seaweed, though I suspect he wasn’t really sure of what was going on. He has a look of curiosity about him sometimes. He’d later find that seaweed was a great substance. The cottage is a much-remodelled traditional house, now spacious and well appointed.

We were hoping to spend time here, just relaxing and walking nearby and we chose well. We particularly liked the large lounge windows that provided a view across the shallow Loch na Lathaic, an inlet off Loch Scridain which once offered shelter to the former fishing village of Bunassen. 

In fact, what looks like ditches just offshore are where people have emptied their boats of stone ballast over the centuries to create narrow fingers of piled up stones, separated by thin channels. Being able to watch the tide come and go was relaxing and for the first few days we just soaked in the view. On one day we were lucky and watched a pair of White-tailed Eagles from the lounge. These birds have done well on Mull, since their successful reintroduction. You can join guided trips to view them and other wildlife, though dogs may not be welcome on all the trips. With a little research, though, you may well see a lot of wildlife on your walks, with otters and seals often seen just off the coastline and plenty of seabirds, waders and even a raven or two. Drive slowly, though, otters are often killed on Mull’s roads.

Not only was our cottage comfortable it was well fitted out with a great kitchen and comfortable beds (two doubles and a room with two singles). It was also warm with easily controlled electric heating, just what’s needed after a bracing beach walk. Some self-catering accommodation can be lacking in the kitchen department, with cheap, blunt knives and cafetieres that have seen better days. That was not the case in Seaview.

My first walk took me through the garden along a quiet road and to the shoreline. I kept Henry on his lead as sheep were free to wander along the beach. This proved to be a lovely morning routine and I learned that I could tell what the weather was going to do by how many of the hills beyond I could make out. 

The land here is fairly fertile, being largely on volcanic soils. Crofting and fishing supported a lot of people at one time. It’s hard to imagine now, but Ardtun makes the most westerly point of some serious volcanic eruptions and flows of lava, all related to the Great Glen I mentioned earlier. You can see this in some of the nearby hills as well, what look to be step-like layers in the rock are one spill of lava over another.

After settling in we started to travel a little more. There’d been an uptick in tourism after the Covid restrictions were lifted, but at the same time many businesses were struggling to find staff, so we were unable to book restaurants, but we did manage to buy some astounding mussels directly from the farm at Inverlussa. We were passing by and bought a huge bag for £2.50, before we stopped off at Duart Castle, which you pass as you approach Craignure on the ferry. Duart is well worth a visit, with walls three metres thick in places, this redoubtable structure has stood on a peninsula looking across the Sound of Mull for seven centuries. If you visit, I hope the tearoom is open.

The weather on Mull can be somewhat less than perfect, but when the sun comes out, the beaches of Mull are superb. Perhaps the best on Mull is Ardalanish Bay, a short drive from Ardtun. It has a small car park, located near the Ardalanish Farm and Isle of Mull Weavers, who make some beautiful cloth.  The walk down to the beach is easy with flower-rich machair grassland. The sand is silver-grey with huge chunks of water worn rock. I quickly discovered some excellent rockpools and had a pootle about, looking for crabs, blennies and shrimps.As a former biologist and scuba diver I was as happy as a pig in the proverbial. Henry was learning that rockpools and the thick growths of seaweed must have some sort of value and decided to come and stand in every pool I found.

The following day took me to the small island of Staffa on a boat from Fionnphort.  It is also where you catch the ferry to Iona. I was unsure about taking Henry to Staffa. Some trip operators will take dogs, but I knew I wanted to climb along the potentially slippy rocks to see Fingle’s cave up close and I was worried it would stress Henry. In the end it was fine, and he would have been okay, but not all dogs will enjoy it, I suspect. The boat trip was excellent, if a little misty. We saw several dolphins and even a Minke whale, albeit briefly. This took place on a trip to Iona, which I’ll visit next time.

Returning to Fionnphort (pronounced ‘fin a fort’) gave us a chance to enjoy another beach and like many a tourist we posed with the massive block of granite rent in two. Known as the ‘split rock’ it is reckoned the boulder was dropped by a retreating glacier. The beach is great, with pink granite outcrops and a good running space for dogs. The pale sand gives the village its name, which is an anglicised version of the Gaelic for ‘white harbour’. Fionnphort has an EV charger also and a nice wee coffee hut on the pier side.

My last trip out before the weather closed in and became what the Scots describe as ‘dreich’ was to another superb beach, this time, a spot close to Fionnphort, called Fidden. Again, this is a rocky, complex coastline where granite rocks reach tentacle-like towards the west. Fidden is partly protected from the worst of the Atlantic weather by Iona, but when the prevailing winds whip up a storm, the waves can crash in with quite some force.

With luck, though, the sea will be calm and Fidden plays host to sea birds, from Curlew to Eagles. 

Henry, now aware of the interest value of rockpools, was most engaged with the piles of seaweed, that he soon discovered hid crabs. As we passed by they’d scuttle under the rocks, and as they did so would trigger his ‘terrier’ instincts. Fortunately, he learned quickly that crabs are not to be trifled with. I’m happy to say his potential prey walked away in fine health, but Henry learned a lesson that not all critters welcome his investigations and would rather be left alone. Now, if only I could explore the rockpools without him deciding to stand in the middle of the water!

Mull is a unique destination, easy to get to, but far enough to feel like an adventure. For dog owners with a love of beaches and rocky coastlines, it has to be one of the finest spots in Scotland, add to that the food – if you can get a restaurant reservation – and any trip to Mull will be remarkable. Do be aware though that the weather can be changeable. As Billy Connolly said: “There’s only two seasons in Scotland, June and winter.” Keep this in mind and pack a raincoat, and you’ll be fine.

Seaview Cottage, Ardtun, Ross of Mull, Argyle reviewed by Richard and Angie Aspinall and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 71.  For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit  https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine

 


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Listing Updated: 08/06/2022


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Listing Address

Ardtun
Ross of Mull
Isle of Mull
Argyll and Bute
PA67 6DG
Scotland
01688 400682
Website

Listing Details

No. Of Dogs Allowed

2


Charge For Dogs

Yes


Bedrooms

3


Bathrooms

2


Sleeps

6


Dog Welcome Pack

No

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