The Isle Mull has a coastline of 480 kilometres (300 mi) and its climate is moderated by the Gulf Stream. The island has a mountainous core, the highest peak on the island being Ben More, which reaches 966 metres (3,169 ft.). Various peninsulas, which are predominantly moorland, radiate from the centre.
Numerous islands lie off the West Coast of Mull, including Erraid, Inch Kenneth, Iona, Gometra, and Ulva. The Treshnish Isles and Staffa of Fingal’s Cave fame. Calve Island is an uninhabited island in Tobermory Bay.
Mull is constructed rather like a multi-tiered wedding cake. Thick layers of basalt lava sit on top of a complicated basement of much older rocks which peep out around the edges of Mull rather like the silver base does on the lowest wedding cake tier. Geologists love Mull because it has such a long and interesting history (its oldest rocks on Iona are about 2000 million years old), and it has unique structures and rocks found nowhere else in the world (such as the Loch Ba Ring Dyke and felsite).
In the 14th century Mull became part of the Lordship of the Isles. After the collapse of the Lordship in 1493 the island was taken over by the clan MacLean, and in 1681 by the clan Campbell.
Legend has it that the wreck of a Spanish galleon, laden with gold, lies somewhere in the mud at the bottom of Tobermory Bay — although the ship’s true identity, and cargo, are in dispute. Whatever the true story, numerous searches for the wreck, and its rumoured treasure, took place from the mid-17th century to the end of the 20th century. No significant treasure has ever been recovered in Tobermory Bay.
Mull boasts such historic buildings as Glengorm Castle, Torosay Castle and Duart Castle. Moy Castle is a small distressed castle on the shore of Lochbuie and is worth a visit.
The mausoleum of Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1809 to 1822, and known as “The Father of Australia”, may be found near his old patrimonial estate in the village of Gruline. Macquarie had been born on the nearby island of Ulva, ancient seat of clan MacQuarrie.