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The Guardian Travel Awards Winner Logo

Mull Wildlife Experience

Our most popular wildlife holiday in search of whales, otters and eagles

*As featured in the Guardian Travel  from 13th June 2015*

“You never forget spotting your first whale!” Emma Cook – The Guardian

A chance to immerse yourself in the fabulously variant fauna and flora of the Isle of Mull and enjoy wonderful opportunities to see the wide variety of wildlife found on this beautiful island.  Includes a day’s whale-watching, where you’ll have the chance to see Minke whales, as well as basking sharks, porpoise and a multitude of seabirds.  Then a “wildlife safari” where expert local guides will help you track down some of Mull’s many other birds and mammals – including elusive otters and majestic golden and white-tailed eagles.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Late April to late Sept

Why not...

live like a laird by chosing to stay in Glengorm Castle?

Prices From


No of Nights

4 nights

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Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

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A sheer paradise for lovers of Scotland’s natural heritage, Mull is an island gem, with an enviable diversity of wildlife thriving everywhere from dense woodland glens to the grassy slopes of Ben More. Its many miles of coastline boast fantastic sandy beaches – particularly at Calgary and Ardalanish – whilst off-shore is one of Europe’s prime habitats for whales and dolphins, not to mention seals and porpoises.

Meanwhile, lively Tobermory has a bustling vitality and is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening, with plenty of friendly bars and places to eat and a real night-time buzz. Brightly painted houses provide a colourful backdrop to the picture-postcard harbour and the ‘craic’ in waterfront bars rivals anything on the mainland. A world away from all this, but in reality just a short ferry crossing, tiny Iona is a deeply spiritual place, a historic Christian pilgrimage and another peaceful wildlife habitat with glorious beaches.

Day One

Your holiday starts with a memorable ferry trip from Oban, on the West Coast of Scotland, to the island of Mull, your base for the next four days.

Day Two

Today’s full-day ‘wildlife safari’ will not only introduce you to Mull’s most spectacular wildlife hotspots, but is a great way to explore some of the more remote and hidden scenic highlights of this wildly beautiful island.  Your friendly and knowledgeable guides, Pam and Arthur, will take you to the best wildlife spots, tucked away in secret locations that you would never otherwise discover.  Look out for golden eagles soaring in silent glens and swooping down to protect their chicks….white tailed sea eagles hunting in coastal bays… black, red and great northern divers… hen harriers gliding over scrub and marshes… merlin and peregrine falcon stooping for prey… otters, seals and perhaps even porpoises sunning themselves in seaweed-strewn bays.  There is always plenty of wildlife to look out for and enjoy some of the most glorious scenery in the world.  Coffee and tea are supplied en route, binoculars are provided and Pam’s homemade soup and buns are legendary!

Day Three

Spotting a whale in the wild is still one of the greatest thrills in nature, and this holiday includes a full day whale-watch in co-operation with one of the UK’s most experienced companies.  All trips are part of an active research programme focused on minke whales and contributing directly to marine conservation.  Marine biologists on board will help you spot minke whales and porpoises and you can do your bit as well by helping out with data collection.  These waters are also frequented by several different species of dolphins and increasingly by the perfectly harmless basking shark.  Rarer, but occasional visitors, are magnificent Orca (Killer Whales). You will spend about six hours at sea, perhaps landing on a remote island or cove, with chances to view sleek seals at close quarters, while experiencing the peace and tranquillity of this remarkable corner of the British Isles.

Day Four

Day at leisure, perhaps to practice new-found bird spotting skills, or to explore the coastline, beaches and mountains of the island. You may also consider a day trip to the peaceful and spiritual neighbouring island of Iona.

Day Five

Return by ferry to the mainland taking special memories and newly-discovered skills with you.

Hotel Option A – Dervaig

This cosy 17th century droving inn, is ideally situated between Tobermory and Calgary in the pretty Victorian village of Dervaig.  Popular with the locals, who come from far and wide to soak up its convivial atmosphere, this is a place where visitors can enjoy traditional island hospitality, regular live music and wholesome highland fayre.  Hearty meals and lighter bar snacks both feature fresh seafood and the finest Mull beef and venison.  Accommodation (including family rooms) is quietly situated away from the hustle and bustle of the bar, and residents can escape to a private lounge/TV room with glorious views over the village and glen.

Hotel Option B – Tobermory

Basking in the picture-postcard charm of Tobermory’s stunning waterfront, your hotel has been cleverly converted from a row of fisherman’s cottages into a delightful family-run establishment.  Comfortable lounges and bedrooms offer a warm welcome just a stone’s throw from one of the world’s prettiest working harbours.  Tobermory itself is a lively little town with several friendly bars and other places to eat and has a real night-time buzz.

Hotel Option C – Glengorm

Do you dream of staying in a romantic Scottish castle, far from the cares of the world, with nooks and crannies and turrets and sweeping sea views? Make that dream reality, but without the stuffiness and airs and graces you might expect. Here, you will receive a very warm welcome – you are not just a visitor, but a special guest in a family home. The owners are passionate about the whole estate, and take great pride in introducing you to its many delights – from the café and coffee shop secluded in the grounds, to the wonderful wildlife (guided walks available), from the Victorian bathing pools by the seashore to the distinctive volcano on the ridge.


Map Mull

Based on the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland.  This holiday can be self-drive and is also perfectly feasible using public transport, providing you choose to stay in Tobermory. There is a regular train and bus service from Glasgow to Oban, from where you can travel as a foot passenger to Mull. Local bus services connect with selected ferries and take you direct to Tobermory.



2016: £430 per person for April, £445 per person for May to September,  if staying in Dervaig.
If you choose to stay in Tobermory, add £90 per person.
If you choose to stay in Glengorm, add £164 per person. This price also includes a 6 hour guided wildlife walk in the castle grounds.

2017: £460 per person for April, £475 per person for May to September,  if staying in Dervaig.
If you choose to stay in Tobermory, add £100 per person.
If you choose to stay in Glengorm, add £164 per person. This price also includes a 6 hour guided wildlife walk in the castle grounds.

Price includes:

  • 4 nights accommodation based on two adults sharing a twin or double room ensuite on a bed & breakfast basis.
  • Return ferry crossing for a car and two adult passengers.
  • Full day wildlife tour with a naturalist, including picnic lunch.
  • Full day whale-watching trip, with 6 hours at sea – bring your own packed lunch for this.

This holiday is perfectly feasible using public transport, providing you choose to stay in Tobermory. There is a regular train and bus service from Glasgow to Oban, from where you can travel as a foot passenger. Local bus services connect with selected ferries and take you direct to Tobermory.

The price for this holiday without a car is £595 per person, based on two sharing a double room ensuite in Tobermory. This includes return train travel from Glasgow.

Note for wildlife trips:

We of course cannot guarantee that you will see any of the wildlife described – these are wild animals and as such cannot be called to order, and no refund will be made if you are unlucky enough not to see any of the animals described, despite the very best efforts of the guides.

All our touring holidays include a map of Scotland with recommended routes from your specified starting point, suggestions on places to see and visit depending on your personal interests and our expertise to help you get the most from your holiday.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

Check availability for Mull Wildlife Experience

This holiday is available from mid April to mid September

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