Walk 214 – Tobermory Lighthouse Circular Walk – 3.6 miles

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Looking towards Tobermory Lighthouse at low tide
Approaching Tobermory Lighthouse

Tobermory has become famous as the setting for popular children’s TV series Balamory. It is also home to an attractive row of colourful shopfronts, its very own gin, and the Isle of Mull whisky distillery. This circular walk starts at the distillery and heads along a good path to Tobermory lighthouse. The return takes you onto higher ground and along the edge of the golf course for fantastic views down into the village. Terrain: a mixture of roadside pavements and earth footpaths. First half pretty much level all the way to the lighthouse, with the return section much hillier.

orange circle with white dog icon inside Dog-friendly route (Note: one section crosses a golf course – please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code – and a short section of footpath made from shells which might not suit all paws. If in doubt you could walk to the lighthouse and back via the same route to avoid both of the above)

Public car park beside Tobermory Distillery (PA75 6NR). Local bus service stops at the Distillery.

black icon of a figure walking, a zig zag line with arrow on one end and a location pin on the other endRoute: From the car park walk out past Tobermory Distillery onto the main road A848. Turn right (NE) and walk along the pavement for 500m to the pier. At the end of the road, pick up a gravel footpath signposted “Lighthouse Path 2km”. Follow this path through the trees and along the edge of the water (the Sound of Mull) until you reach the lighthouse. Return via the same route to start with, but then after 230m, turn right (SE) onto a narrower earth path which goes uphill. The path takes you in a general SE then S direction for the next 1.5km, up onto higher ground and over a stile to skirt around the edge of Tobermory Golf Course. After leaving the golf course behind, when you reach a path junction, turn left (SE). This path leads you to Memorial Road, taking you downhill past a number of houses. At the bottom of the road, keep right to walk up Back Brae/B882. Where the road bends left (S), follow it round onto Argyll Terrace. At the end of this pleasant residential street, continue ahead (SW) onto a quiet lane signposted “Main Street”. It bends to the left and leads you down onto Main Street as promised. Turn right (SW) then almost immediately left (SE) to return to the car park.

Route map Tobermory Lighthouse Circular Walk

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You can’t go to Mull and not visit Tobermory, right?!

I’d walked along to the lighthouse many moons ago with a friend on a miserable wet Sunday when we came over from Oban on a day trip and everything was closed. Memorable for all the wrong reasons.

A very different experience this time around in the spring sunshine!

It took my mum, sister and I a long time to get going with this one because the very first section along the main street in Tobermory goes past lots of inviting, must-visit, multi-coloured little shops. We went into most of them and I stocked up on Tobermory chocolate (obviously), a birthday card for a friend which wasn’t needed until June and some Isle of Mull soap. My sister bought a new buff….. I mean, all the essentials.

We finally got to the start of the Lighthouse Path, popped a donation into the tin and enjoyed a lovely easy stroll along a gorse-lined woodland path to the lighthouse.

We stayed a while at the lighthouse, getting up close and reading about its fascinating history on the onsite information board. I learned that it was built back in 1857 and is one of only two lighthouses in Scotland to be accessed via a small metal bridge between the causeway and the door. I wondered what it must have been like for the lighthouse keeper and their family who would once have stayed in the nearby cottage. The lighthouse has been automated since 1960 and the keepers cottage – Rubha Nan Gall – is now holiday accommodation available to rent by the week!

The return route was more challenging. It started with a slightly dodgy uneven path leading us up a steep embankment. I worried my mum might not manage it with her weak knee but she was determined and had her walking pole with her so managed just fine.

The next stage took us around the edge of Tobermory Golf Course. We remarked at how hilly the course was, how windy it must get up here and we wondered whether our dad would like to play it… The views were certainly impressive.

Tobermory Golf Course

A short woodland section followed and I was quite taken by the footpath: it looked white from a distance, and on closer inspection I realised that it was made from broken pieces of shell! I’d never seen anything quite like it on all the routes I’d walked.

We soon started seeing signs of civilisation again beginning with some large mansion houses and then some really nice views down into Tobermory itself.

On the way back down into the village I noticed that themed gates seemed to be a thing for the houses on the hill! Look out for them if you do this walk and I’d love to see your photos of any others you spot!

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