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Showing posts from July, 2017

Calgary Art in Nature

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Calgary Art in Nature is a wonderful web of winding, woodland trails packed with sculptures and surprises. Sculpture walks in Scotland can be a bit hit and miss, but this is one of the best we've seen, both in craftsmanship and scale. Higher parts include great views over Calgary Bay, while back in the trees there are shelters and tunnels constructed out of branches - and even a zip wire (great for kids). At the west end the path eventually emerges near the beach, so you could combine the two for an excellent half-day outing. The main car park is on the east side, next to the art gallery responsible for dreaming up the scheme in 1999. There's also a handy café here, and you can pick up a map of the trails for a small fee (recommended).


Name: Calgary Art in Nature★★★☆☆
Location (art gallery): B8073 just east of Calgary Bay, G.R.: NM 378516 ///snug.boldest.curbed. Alternative access to the sculpture trail from the west side at G.R.: NM 375514 ///scooters.attend.leaflet (park at C…

Calgary Bay

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Keep heading north and west on the Isle of Mull and you'll eventually reach Calgary Bay (Beach of the meadow): a little hive of activity on the otherwise quiet Mornish peninsula. Exposed to the Atlantic, it can be a wild place when storms roll in off the sea, but in sunshine at low tide it's the best beach for miles - and popular enough that there's even a shop (well, shack) selling ice creams. For peace and quiet, stroll along the track heading west along the coast from the car park, soon reaching a ramshackle pier. There's also an excellent sculpture trail behind the beach, described separately.


Name: Calgary Bay ★★★☆☆
Location: B8073 5 miles west of Dervaig, G.R.: NM 372512 ///lodge.daydreams.files




Kilmore Church

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The pencil-shaped spire of Kilmore Church glistens in the sun as you approach the village of Dervaig from the surrounding hillside. This handsome, whitewashed building seems out of place in such a remote settlement as this, and looks better than ever thanks to recent repairs. Perhaps surprisingly, the church only dates back to the early 1900's, designed in the image of an Irish watchtower, and is still used as the village parish church. It's equally lovely inside, with beautiful stained-glass windows and a brightly painted apse. Dervaig itself is also worth wandering around: an attractive village with a smart village shop at one end and the Bellachroy Hotel at the other. The latter is apparently Mull's oldest inn, serving first-rate food (and they know it!).

Name: Kilmore Church ★★☆☆☆
Location: B8073, south side of Dervaig, G.R.: NM 431518 ///arrives.yesterday.sedative
Open (2017): Daily
Cost: Free



Walk: Eas Fors - triple-tier treat

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The Isle of Mull has countless waterfalls, but many involve a long walk to reach them. The triple-decker Eas Fors waterfall (Waterfall waterfall waterfall in Gaelic, Norse and English!) is conveniently situated right next to the coast road around Loch Tuath (though it still involves a fair drive on single track roads to get there). When swollen from heavy rain, all three parts of the fall are impressive, but the best of the bunch is the lower, 100-foot drop, almost directly into the sea below. With extreme care you can peer over the edge from the top, but a better (and safer) alternative is to take the mile-long hike (each way) to see the torrent from below.


Name: Walk: Eas Fors - triple-tier treat ★★★☆☆
Length: 4 km / 2 miles
Ascent: 60 metres
Points of interest: Eas Fors upper, middle & lower falls
Start / finish: Layby on B8073 a mile south-east of Ballygown, G.R.: NM 446423 ///blaze.credit.roadways

Route: Layby - detour west to upper, middle & lower falls (lower falls from abov…

Walk: How far to the Fossil Tree?

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At the remote western tip of the Ardmeanach Peninsula, the imprint of a 50 million year-old, fossilised tree is engraved into towering cliffs. The base of the trunk has miraculously survived the waves from countless storms, turned to charcoal by the heat of the surrounding lava before it cooled into basalt. Goats eke out an existence on boulder beaches, grazing on seaweed washed up by the tide and using nearby caves as natural shelters; fresh water is abundant thanks to waterfalls thundering down the cliffs from the slopes of Bearraich above. The final mile to the tree is quite an adventure. An increasingly rough and exposed path leads suddenly to a steep ladder descending to a tidal beach section, so you have to time your arrival here carefully. The rest of the walk has less dramatic scenery, but crosses easier terrain with plenty of historic interest: ruined townships, an iron age fort, a remote bothy and old schoolhouse are the legacy of tough island life. The National Trust (whic…