A new walking and cycling route is being planned for the beautiful Scottish Isle of Mull. Scottish Natural Heritage is behind the route, which will be aimed at encouraging more walkers and cyclists to come to the island. It’s hoped that the trail will attract 10,000 part-way walkers, 2,500 full length walkers and 1,000 cyclists each year – and it’s estimated that this will generate close to £1million annually.
Ian Ross, a former forester on Mull who became the new chairman of SNH this week, is delighted by the proposal. He said: “Scotland’s growing network of trails is creating improved opportunities for people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits associated with being outdoors. “This in turn helps to deliver Scottish Government targets to increase outdoor physical activity.” He added: “We’ve been working with the Mull and Iona Community Trust to help develop their plans for the route and one of the great things about this proposal is that it has come from the local community. “The people living here know that it is a special place and they want visitors to come and enjoy Mull and Iona’s spectacular environment for themselves.” Moray Finch, from the Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT), explained that the islanders are keen to see a pathway linking the main ferry port at Craignure with the ferry port to Iona at Fionnphort.
The proposed route would also connect directly with the Oban to Fort William section of the National Cycle Network. This section will link, via a ferry, with the proposed Tyndrum to Oban path, which will then link to the West Highland Way. Work is currently taking place to identify the best route for the Tyndrum path. In addition, it’s hoped that the trail would become part of a longer UK pilgrimage route to St Andrews. Moray said. “Ideally the Mull route will be mostly off tarmac road, use existing infrastructure where possible and directly link villages on the island. We are about to start work on considering the most appropriate name for the route”.
Scottish island holidays
The islands of Scotland offer fabulous attractions for walkers and cyclists. Here are five great trips to take a look at: