ISLE OF MULL
Day 3 – option 3
Craignure to Carsaig
19.4 miles (31.2 km) approx 8.5 hrs
This is the wild way! It is very challenging and should only be attempted by experienced walkers. You will be rewarded with the most spectacular coastal scenery and a wonderful opportunity to observe wildlife – otters, porpoises and dolphins and on the land red deer and wild goats; and up above golden and sea eagles!
Remember to check Carsaig Bay tides as this route is not passable at high tide.
Starting at Craignure take the A849 for 6.4 miles as far as the Lochbuie Crossroads (684308) (from Craignure to Lochbuie turn off approx 2hrs). You then turn left to take the 8 mile single track road to Lochbuie (608249) This route at first starts to climb steeply and takes you through a beautiful forest down onto the shores of Loch Spelve.
Further along just off the road at the head of Loch Uisg on the ridge of land separating Loch Spelve from Loch Uisg, there is a war memorial and the former Loch Spelve Church (built 1828), which is now a private dwelling. Continuing along the road to Lochbuie you will pass Lochbuie Standing Stones which date back to the Neolithic or Bronze age. The Standing Stones are about 20 mins walk from the Lochbuie standing stones parking.
There is a campsite for wild camping in Lochbuie but no B & B, only self-catering ; however, there is an ‘honesty’ shop where you can replenish vital supplies. There is much of interest to see in the small village especially St Kilda’s Episcopal church which is well worth a visit.
Lochbuie to Carsaig (5 miles) (approx 2hrs 35 mins)
You now take the 5 mile coastal footpath to Carsaig (538216). About a mile on and near to the track is St Columba’s well (590244). There is a rope-assisted step on this section, impassable at high tides (Lochbuie to rope- 1hr 15 mins, rope to Carsaig - 1hr 20 mins). The scenery is stunning and a
geologist’s delight – basalt cliffs, stacks & dykes; and the sea views get even better as you approach Carsaig looking across to Islay and Jura. On the foreshore of beautiful Carsaig bay you can visit the site of St Mary’s chapel and well; and also the burial ground (528216). From here, if you have the time
you can visit the Nuns’ cave (523204) which has remarkable carvings similar to those in the Scoor cave later on, on the route (418186). Some are believed to date back to the 7th century. In times of persecution the nuns from Iona
had to seek refuge in this cave. From here pilgrims can continue to Malcom’s Point either by the coast or by the Nun’s Pass (521204).
Lochbuie to Carsaig
NB If accommodaton is not available in Carsaig you could choose to continue walking to Pennyghael, taking the road inland from Carsaig, approx a further 2 hours)
Craignure to Lochbuie Crossroads – 6.4 miles (10.3 km)
Crossroads to Lochbuie – 8 miles (13 km)
Lochbuie to Carsaig - 5 miles (8km)
St Conan's Pilgrim Way