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Worth knowing ...
Banks
The only permanent bank on Mull is the Clydesdale Bank in Tobermory. The Bank of Scotland operates a mobile van which usually visits Fionnphort on Wednesday. The Ferry Shop in Fionnphort, just two minutes’ walk from Staffa House, has an ATM machine in its front foyer (summer opening times: 9am-6pm). Here at Staffa House we accept credit and debit cards (except American Express cards). Having said all this, it’s a good idea to bring enough cash with you to cover most expenses and emergencies, so as not to spend precious holiday time worrying about how to access cash.
Beaches
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Boat Trips
There are several great boat trips to choose from, all departing from Fionnphort jetty. Some are in fast boats, intended to get you further out to sea, some prefer a slower pace, hugging the coast line and allowing you to explore secret bays and deserted beaches. Maybe you’ll manage more than one! We have all the contact details and information at Staffa House. Please just ask.
MB Iolaire Staffa-bound.
Car Hire
Car hire is available at:
Mackay’s Garage, Tobermory (J Mackay: Tel: 01688 302103)
Mull Self Drive, Glenforsa (David Howitt: Tel 01681 300402) - will meet from Craignure ferry.
Castles
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Church Services
Bunessan Baptist Church Sundays, 11am
Bunessan (Church of Scotland) alternate Sundays with Creich, 2.30pm
Creich (Church of Scotland) alternate Sundays with Bunessan, 2.30pm
Iona Parish Church Sundays, 11am in winter, 12.00 noon in summer
Iona Catholic House of Prayer contact the warden: Tel: 01681 700369
Gruline (Episcopalian Church) Sundays, 11am
Iona Abbey*Iona Abbey.
Summer Monday to Thursday: 9.00am and 7.30pm, also 2pm from June-August
Friday: 8.10am and 7.30pm, also 2pm from June-August
Saturday: 9.00am and 9.00pm, also 2pm from June-August
Sunday: 10.30am and 7.30pm
Winter Daily except Sunday: 9.30am
Tuesday & Thursday: 7.30pm
*Please ask us for further details of services held by the Iona Community, we’ll be delighted to tell you a little more. We both worked on Iona as resident members of the Community before we moved to Staffa House in October 2007. Visitors are always made very welcome at the services and it’s an excellent opportunity chance to find out what goes on at the Abbey.
see also ‘Iona Community’ below
Deserted Villages
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Doctor
The Ross of Mull and Iona Medical Practice holds surgeries on the following days:
Monday (Bunessan): 9 – 12 noon
Tuesday (Bunessan): 9 - 11am
Wednesday (Bunessan):9 - 10am and 4.30 - 5.30pm
Thursday (Iona): 10.30 - 1.30pm
Friday (Bunessan): 9 - 11am
Visitors who are on holiday and need to see a doctor are able to attend any of these surgeries. Appointments are not necessary but you may have to wait.
Driving on Mull
Assuming you’re travelling by car, here are some realistic timings which will help you to plan your journeys. Travel generally takes longer in the summer months because there is more traffic on the roads. Please be aware that almost all of the roads on Mull are single track with passing places. These roads follow some of the historic drove roads used for generations to transport cattle across Mull. There is much to enjoy as you drive, so it’s best to leave plenty of time for your journey rather than to rush. Please use the passing places provided to allow cars behind you to get past (more often than not these are driven by locals who know the road well and have a day’s work in front of them, or a ferry to catch!).

Fionnphort to Craignure35 miles1¼ hours
Fionnphort to Tobermory (via Craignure)48 miles2 hours
Fionnphort to Tobermory (via Calgary)67 miles3 hours (at least)
Fionnphort to Salen (via Craignure)46 miles 1½ hours
Fionnphort to Salen (via Gruline) 39 miles1¾ hours
Eating out
We love seeking out good restaurants and tearooms! We’ll enjoy sharing recommendations and information with you, whether you’re looking for somewhere on the Ross of Mull, Iona, somewhere further afield in the north of Mull or even beyond…!
Ferry Bookings
There are three Caledonian Macbrayne routes which serve the island of Mull:
Oban to Craignure (sailing time - 46 minutes)
Lochaline to Fishnish (sailing time - 15 minutes)
Kilchoan to Tobermory (sailing time - 35 minutes)

The most popular route by far is that between Oban - Craignure and it’s essential to book both your outward and return journeys if you’re travelling by car. The other two routes cannot be booked in advance, you simply turn up and wait in a queue. At peak times it’s advisable therefore to turn up with plenty of time to spare if you need to catch a specific ferry for these routes.
Hopscotch tickets are available if you would like to arrive on Mull by one ferry route and leave by another. Obviously this depends on the rest of your holiday plans, before and after your stay on Mull. Foot passengers are not required to make any reservations beforehand.
Details of sailing times and fares can be obtained either from the Caledonian Macbrayne website (www.calmac.co.uk) or by phoning Caledonian Macbrayne’s reservation department on 08000 665000.

Gaelic
Gaelic is a fascinating and beautiful language and its influence is embedded in the music and culture of Mull and Iona, not to mention the place names. Gillian has now attended several Beginners' Gaelic courses! She mightn’t be able to answer difficult questions about pronunciation and grammar, but she knows someone who can!
Garages
Petrol is available nearby at:
Ardfenaig Garage,, 1 mile from Staffa House (Robin McCallum: Tel: 01681 70206)
MacDougall’s Garage, ½ mile from Staffa House (Alistair MacDougall: Tel: 01681 700294)

There are also petrol pumps in Craignure, Salen and Tobermory, but there’s no 24-hour opening on Mull so it’s well worth keeping your petrol tank at least half full whilst on the island so as not to run short.

Gardens
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Golf Courses
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Iona
Visitors travel from all over the world to visit this small island, perched on the edge of Europe.
Iona holds a very special place in our hearts too and we have a little sheet called ‘Our favourite places on Iona’, a copy of which we give to B&B guests staying at Staffa House for them to take with them when they visit the island.
The Iona Community
The story of the Iona Community is a fascinating one and we love to tell it to our guests if they’re interested. At Staffa House we also have plenty of reading material on Iona Abbey and the Iona Community as well as books and CDs of some of the music, poems, prayers and liturgies produced by Wild Goose Publications, the publishing arm of the Iona Community. Whether you’re interested in the history of the Community, its worship, its modern-day presence on Iona or its work on the mainland, please do ask us and we’ll be pleased to chat.
see also ‘Church services’ above
Iona Community.
Local food producers
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Mobile phone coverage
The only reliable network in Fionnphort and the surrounding area is O2. Other networks tend to be extremely patchy, or there is no coverage at all. Don’t worry, if you’re stuck please ask to borrow our phone at Staffa House.
Museums and Heritage Centres
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Music
There is no regular pattern of concerts, folk nights or gigs on the Ross of Mull or Iona, but we receive information on any events which are happening and will be sure to let you know. Meanwhile we have a wide range of CDs at Staffa House, featuring early, ‘classical’ and Scottish traditional music and we’ll be pleased to try and hunt down any particular favourites of yours to enjoy whilst you’re in the house!
Parking
There’s parking space for all our guests at Staffa House. If you’re staying with us and wish to arrive early (i.e. before checking in), in order to visit Iona or Staffa, you can leave your car here before setting off – please just contact us beforehand to arrange this. There’s a free public car park just round the corner from Staffa House – this is where folk leave their cars if they’re staying overnight on Iona. In the summer the parking bays down towards the jetty require an hourly parking fee. There are a small number of parking bays reserved for visitors with disabilities very near the jetty itself.
Photography
Keen photographers may like to consider the possibility of a day out with a local professional photographer. We can put you in touch with one who can tailor a day to suit your needs and requirements. It will also be a way of exploring the landscape and having something very personal to take away with you. Please ask us for details.
Public Transport
It’s perfectly possible to travel from Euston station, London all the way to Staffa House by public transport! There are good coach and train links from Glasgow to Oban and we are fortunate in having a very reliable bus service run by West Coast Motors on the island of Mull. Most popular ferry sailings during the summer are met by a connecting bus which takes you all the way to Fionnphort jetty, just 5 minutes’ walk from our front door! What’s more, we offer a £2.00 discount on every bednight for those travelling entirely by public transport during their holiday. Obviously a car might be useful to you once you’re here, particularly if you want to explore off the beaten track, but if you’re just coming to Mull for a couple of nights in order to visit Iona, Staffa and Tobermory, it’s worth remembering that buses and ferries can do all the work!
Please note that winter timetables for both bus and ferry are greatly reduced. You’ll need to check carefully before you travel. for more details and links to timetables, please see Travel page. see also ‘Taxi’ below.
Shopping
There’s just the one shop in Fionnphort, but it’s a very good shop! The Ferry Shop, which also operates as a post office, sells groceries, snacks, card, souvenirs, CDs of traditional Scottish music and has an excellent selection of local books. It also boasts a photocopier and internet access. It’s just two minutes down the road from us. Opening times (weekdays) 9am-6pm.
There are also a number of delightful craft shops and studios within easy reach of Staffa House – on Iona, at Creich, and at Ardalanish Farm. We love visiting them, so we’ll be only too happy to point you in the right direction!
Swimming
The beautiful beaches on the Ross of Mull and Iona provide stunning places for swimming. However, the water is extremely cold and it’s essential that you’re a strong swimmer if you intend to do more than paddle. They say that the water warms up by September, so if you’re keen, please ask us, and we’ll show you some of the most tucked-away little gems – you might have the beach all to yourself!
There’s a 17-metre indoor swimming pool at the Isle of Mull Hotel in Craignure (Tel: 01680 812544) which is open to the public.
Taxis
Taxi services are available on Iona and the Ross of Mull and can be very useful if you’ve travelled to Staffa House by public transport, or are planning a linear walk. We’ll be pleased to provide further information if you contact us in advance, or when you’re here.
Weather
It would be a brave person who claimed to hold the key to predicting Mull and Iona’s weather! However, there are general patterns in and near Fionnphort which help in planning a visit to the area:
January – Marchoften windy, not much snow at ground level although there is often snow on mountains and hills above 2000’
April – Junefresh, often dry and sunny weather
July – Augustmild, but more rainfall than in May & June
September – Octobercooler but we can have some lovely clear and dry days
November – Decemberoften windy, cold, but rarely snow and ice at ground level
Of course there are exceptions! For example, there were very few strong winds during the winter of 2009-10, and instead we had day after day of clear, frosty weather. It’s also true that the weather can change dramatically within a couple of hours – for better or for worse! And the weather in other parts of Mull – Tobermory, Craignure, or even Pennyghael, can be quite different to the weather in Fionnphort! Generally we tend to experience less rainfall than on the east side of the island (honestly, it’s true!).

Each day we display an updated weather forecast from the Met Offfice, in order to help guests to plan their day.

What to bring
Aha! It depends on how you hope to spend your time here, and how much space you have in your suitcase or rucksack! However, here are some items which may prove very useful:
· Drinking bottle
· Gloves
· Lunch box (Staffa House packed lunches require a large one!)
· Suncream (very important for boat trips on sunny days)
· Swimming costume
· Thermos flask
· Torch (winter only)
· Walking boots
· Warm clothes (lots of thin layers are better than one thick one)
· Waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers (especially if you’re planning to take a boat trip)
· Woolly hat (again, invaluable for boat trips)
Wildlife tours
As with boat trips, we can put you in touch with tour operators. Please just ask.
Walking
We love walking on Mull and Iona! There’s far too much to put on this page, please see our Walking page
Wi-fi
Wi-fi is available at Staffa House. We have a good broadband speed – better than many places in much less remote locations!
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