Erraid, near Fionnphort.

Start. Toba Bhreaca.

Route. Toba Bhreaca - Cul-a-Bhaile - Knockvologan - Erraid Sound - Dun Aoidhean - Cnoc Mor - Observatory - Dun Aoidhean - Knockvologan - Cul-a-Bhaile - Toba Bhreaca.

Notes. Not my words but the first paragraph from the Walking Highlands page on Erraid, “On a sunny day this short walk must compete as one of the most beautiful in Britain” I'll not be picking an argument with the author, as we had a sunny day we saw it at it's best, as probably did Robert Louis Stevenson when a visit to the island inspired him to pen Kidnapped. Join us on this stunning short walk to a tidal island with staggering views over Iona and the many surrounding islands and islets, just be prepared, the stunning beaches may stop us in our tracks, the walk may be a lot shorter than expected.

I start with a gripe, Walking Highlands a site I've used for years suggested walking from near Toba Bhreaca, a small parking space just after the bungalow next to the track leading to Pottie. We did to find a good mile of tarmac walking delivered us to a popular parking area at Knockvologan Farm, it was commented on but the weather was nice and the object of the exercise was to walk.

So passed the parked cars and farm buildings we walked, when the tarmac ended a stoney track guided us to the coast to be welcomed by a number of stunningly beautiful beaches, we hung around, did we really want to walk any further. After a great deal of soul searching we traversed Erraid Sound, the white strand that splits Erraid from Mull. At the north end of the sound we stepped onto a green trod that was to guide us along the loch shore. We stopped to chat to one of the islands residents, she informed us we crossed at high tide so would have no problem returning.

On we walked passed the lighthouse keepers cottages, built for the lighthouse keepers and their families, now part of the Findhorn Foundation, you may remember them from a walk we did on the Moray coast. From the row of delightful cottages we climbed to a disused quarry, here stone was quarried for the cottages and two lighthouses, Skerryvore and Dubh Artach, 15 and 28 miles off shore. At a ruined building we turned south ascending through bracken to gain Cnoc Mor the highest ground on Erraid, from the tiny cairn the views were staggering. To the east the mountainous landscape of Mull, spectacular sea cliffs and sparkling lochs and lochans, to the north, south and west a sprinkling of islets and islands including the holy island of Iona.

This was a place that was hard to leave, but leave we did, re-tracing our steps visiting a strange white metal building on our descent, the Observatory was used to communicate with the two lighthouses. Once we reached Erraid Sound we crossed the beach, passed through a metal gate, then let field boundaries guide us over boggy ground, scaffold planks aided our crossing of the really bad stuff, we emerged onto the road at Knockvologan Farm, all that remained to drag tired legs a mile back to the parked car.

view route map.


From the winding grey ribbon guiding us to Knockvologan the landscape of south Mull.

Ben More seen from near Knockvologan Farm.

Bagh a' Chnoic Mhaoileanaich seen from the stoney track at Knockvologan.

At least it's not plastic.

Viewing Eilean Dubh (Black Island) from the beach at Bagh a' Chnoic Mhaoileanaich.

Looking to Erriad from one of the stunning beaches on the Mull side of the bay.

It doesn't get much better than this, Erriad Sound.

Looking through An Caolas (narrows) to Iona with Fidden to the right.

The north end of Erraid Sound, looking to the buildings at Knockvologan checking our route back, which if all goes to plan will be to the right of the telegraph poles.

The first sign of civilisation on Erraid, I didn't catch the name of the dwelling but it's in a stunning location.

View taken from near the bungalow in the shot above, On the skyline the sea cliffs of Ardmeanach with Bearraich being the high ground to the left, blue/grey far right Ben Mor.

As seen from the houses of the Findhorn Foundation, the Isle of Iona through An Caolas.

The Lighthouse keepers cottages now part of the Findhorn Foundation, despite the sign below we were made welcome.

I believe that's £2 in today's money.

Probably a ruinous quarry building, whatever it marked the point we turned up hill.

Stunning views from the ascent of Cnoc Mor, the white building is the Observatory, once used to communicate to two lighthouses off shore.

We're loving this, the climb is easy the views breath-taking, looking to Ben Mor and the cliffs of the Burg on the Ardmeanach peninsula.

Sue drinks in the views from Cnoc Mor the highest ground on Erraid.

The summit of Cnoc Mor, a small cairn with fabulous views.

To the west a liberal sprinkling od islands and islets.

Stunning views across the Sound of Iona, taking in Iona and it's abbey, the high ground being Dun I, tomorrows outing. For some reason I stopped taking photos here even though on the way down we visited the Observatory, sorry.

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