Walk: Carsaig to Glenbyre - Mull's Jurassic Park

Mull | Carsaig | Full day walk | ★★★

[Basalt cliffs east of Carsaig]

Mull's southern coastline at Carsaig is nothing short of stunning. While most people head west from the pier to visit the well-known Carsaig Arches, the cliffs to the east are equally amazing. Gnarly old trees and lush ferns grow betwixt basalt rock formations, unexpected waterfalls, contorted caves and stranded sea stacks, giving a wilderness feel which wouldn't seem out of place in Jurassic Park. A walking time (for us) of over 5 hours for 7 miles tells you something about the terrain; an old coast path hugs the base of the cliffs on raised beaches, but certainly doesn't guarantee swift passage. And you have to return the same way - unless you can leave a second car at Lochbuie, a couple of miles further on. On the plus side, once away from the start you're more likely to see an eagle than another walker.

[Thick vegetation and high cliffs give the route a real wilderness feel]

📌 Walk: Carsaig to Glenbyre - Mull's Jurassic Park ★★★
Start / finish at very rough car park (risk of grounding for cars with low ground clearance) by minor road end at Carsaig Pier, Mull, G.R.: NM 545214 ///stale.jugs.difficult

▶ 11 km / 7 mi | ▲ 120 m | ⌚ Full day | Tough
Features: Carsaig to Glenbyre coastline, waterfalls & caves
Terrain: Path throughout is usually clear to follow but very rough and often boggy. Many boggy sections can however be bypassed on the rocky shore; stones and planks help with other sections. A couple of very short sections near the far end are just below the high tide mark. A rope helps with an easy scramble up a rock lip; a couple of burn crossings require a leap of faith or wet feet.

Route & map

Car park & Carsaig Pier - Glenbyre farmhouse by coast path - return by outward route

Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)
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On our visit

Wildlife: At least one eagle soaring above the cliffs; sheep and lambs, tadpoles and tiny frogs.
Weather: Surprisingly dry and mostly sunny with fairly light winds, despite forecast!

Chronological photo guide

[Carsaig Pier at the start]

[The path begins promisingly...]

[...but soon deteriorates with frequent boggy sections]

[View back towards Carsaig]

[Basalt cliffs east of Carsaig]

[Basalt cave and cliffs]

[Several waterfalls cascade down the cliffs en route]

[Coastal scenery]

[The path usually follows the narrow raised beach between the sea and high cliffs]

[Rock stack - the small cave has a bench inside]

[This burn could be tricky to ford in spate without getting wet feet]

[Thick vegetation and high cliffs give the route a real wilderness feel]

[View along the coast towards Glenbyre & Lochbuie]

[Rocky shoreline]

[Waterfall on the remote middle section]

[A rope aids ascent off a tidal beach at one point]

[Eagle soaring above the cliffs]

[There are good views out to sea, taking in the Garvellachs (pictured) and the Paps of Jura]

[Pebble beach]

[Rock stack]

[Finally reaching the beach at Glenbyre...]

[...but a final burn has to be crossed to reach the farmhouse]

[The abandoned farmhouse at Glenbyre]

[Sheep on the beach]

[Contemplating the long return journey]

[Back through the woods on the home straight]


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