Iona and St Columba
The Island of Iona was where St Columba founded a monastery with twelve companions in 563AD, bringing Celtic
Christianity to mainland Britain. The monastery later became an abbey and is now an ecumenical church which
receives pilgrims from all over the world. The ferry operates year-round and there are regular guided tours of the
Abbey and its museum. The Columba Centre in Fionnphort is well worth a visit, whilst a trip to Iona is a fantastic
experience – not just for the history, but the sheer beauty of the island.
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
The nearby island of Erraid was where Robert Louis Stevenson set his classic novel Kidnapped. Erraid is
just a couple of miles past Fidden, to the south, and is served by a small private ferry at high tide.
The disused quarry over the hill behind Dungrianach is where the pink granite for the Albert Memorial, Hyde
Park, London, was quarried. There's an information point at the quarry itself.
Where to begin with the natural history of the Isle of Mull? The whole island is rich in fascinating geological
features (some of them unique) and wildlife. For example, the Isle of Staffa with its volcanic rock formations and Fingal's Cave are world-famous; the latter having inspired composer Felix Mendelssohn to write the Hebrides Overture (also known as Fingal's Cave).
So far as the wildlife goes, the following species inhabit or visit Mull: puffins, pilot whales, minke whales,
sea eagles, sea otters, dolphins, grey seals.
For more details on trips to Staffa and for whale-watching wildlife tours, see Activities.