Even passengers who arrive with a car might want to take a 20-minute excursion on the Mull Railway, Old Pier Station, Craignure (tel. 01680/812-494; www.mullrail.co.uk), the only passenger rail in the Hebrides. It was inaugurated in 1983, but its puffing engine and narrow-gauge tracks are thoroughly old-fashioned. The tracks begin at the Old Pier in Craignure, running 2.5km (1 1/2 miles) to Torosay Castle and its famous gardens. The view is one of unspoiled mountains, glens, and seaside; you can sometimes see otters, eagles, and deer. The trains operate from late March to mid-October; the most frequent service is from June to mid-September, when daily trips begin around 11am. One-way fares are £3.50 for adults, £2 for children 5 to 15, and £9 for families. For details, call the Mull & West Highland Railway Company at tel. 01680/812-494.
A good way to see the sights of Mull is to book a ticket for "The Mull Experience," a tour offered by Caledonian MacBrayne. For information, call Torosay Castle (tel. 01680/812-421). The tour begins in Oban, where you board a ferry for Craignure. Once in Craignure, you catch the train to Torosay Castle, where you'll spend a few hours exploring. The next stop is the castle of Duart. You then return to Oban by ferry. The tour is offered from May to September at a cost of £25 for adults and £15 for children 5 to 15.
Near Salen are the ruins of Aros Castle, once a stronghold of the lords of the Isles, the MacDonalds. It dates from the 14th century and was last occupied in the 17th century. Most of the former castle has been carted off, but the site is still visible 18km (11 miles) southeast of Tobermory.
Founded as a fishing village in 1789, Tobermory, one of the most sheltered harbors in Scotland, is the unofficial capital of Mull. Its little bright-pastel buildings open onto a boat-filled harbor, and the village is set against a backdrop of wooded hills. Great photo ops abound. Yachts and ferry boats to and from Kilchoan arrive here in the summer, and Tobermory is a busy little bustling village with its shops, hotels, and pubs.
Mull Museum (tel. 01688/301-100; www.mullmuseum.org.uk) exhibits material relating to the island in an old bakery building on Main Street. From Easter to mid-October, it's open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Admission is £1 for adults and 20p for children 5 to 15.
Isle of Mull Silver, Main Street (tel. 01688/302-345; www.mullsilver.co.uk), stocks jewelry made by a number of Scottish designers. Among the unique items made on the premises are traditional Scottish silver quaich (drinking vessels) and christening spoons. Mull Pottery, Main Street (tel. 01688/302-057; www.mullpottery.com), features tableware, ovenware, and lamps in seashore, seagull, and turquoise patterns. Tackle & Books, Main Street (tel. 01688/302-336; www.tackleandbooks.co.uk), carries fishing gear, bait, and an impressive array of reading materials -- especially works by local authors and anything in print about Mull.
The Western Isle Golf Course dates from the 1930s and is said to have possibly the best views of any course in the world.
The loveliest village on Mull, Dervaig (Little Grove) is a 13km (8-mile) drive west from Tobermory. The Old Byre Heritage Centre (tel. 01688/400-229; www.old-byre.co.uk) houses one of the most charming museums you could hope to find. The main exhibit features 25 scale models, painstakingly made by a local historian, showing the history of Mull from the first settlers to the Highland Clearances. A fully licensed tearoom serves light meals. Admission is £3 for adults, £2 for seniors and students, and £1.50 for children 5 to 12. From Easter to October, it's open daily from 10:30am to 6:30pm. Take the twice-daily bus from Tobermory.
Just outside Dervaig is the 43-seat Mull Little Theatre, founded in 1966. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this makes it the smallest professional theater in Great Britain.
From Dervaig, you can cruise to the lonely Treshnish Isles, a sanctuary for seabirds and seals. From April to September, a local entrepreneur operates the Turus Mara (tel. 01688/400-297; www.turusmara.com), carrying up to 60 passengers on half-day visits, at £45 each. The boat departs from the Ulva Ferry Piers, on the west side of Mull. The Treshnish Isles are murky, muddy, and boggy, so bring dry clothes, boots, and a sense of humor.
At the western tip of the Ross of Mull is Fionnphort, a tiny port that sees a lot of traffic. This is where the road ends, and regular ferry passage is available across the 1.6km (1 mile) Sound of Iona to the Isle of Iona, one of the most visited attractions in Scotland. Less than 3km (1 3/4 miles) to the south is the tidal island of Erraid, where David Balfour had adventures in Stevenson's Kidnapped.
Close to Ben More, Mull's highest mountain, Tiroran is isolated in the countryside. It's on the north shore of Loch Scridain, on the southern part of the island, and is reached along B8035.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.