Tostarie House is part of a small hamlet (4 houses in total) on the west of Mull. It enjoys stunning views over mountains, sea lochs and islands and is only a few minutes drive away from the wonderful beach at Calgary Bay (but of course there are many other beaches to choose from). The House is in one of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas – a landscape designation reserved for the most stunning and special landscapes in Scotland.
There are a range of exciting and interesting walks across rolling moor land, loch sides and cliff tops, and for the adventurous Mull has its own Munro (Ben More) with magnificent views from the top.
Natural and cultural history
There are excellent wildlife viewing opportunities (Golden and Sea Eagles, Otter, Red Deer, seals and whale watching), and Sea Eagles (as well as Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Raven and other birds) can all be seen from the house. A range of guided tours are available (see links) and local experts can guide you to the best wildlife sites and experiences.
Whale watching trips are available from the Sealife centre in Tobermory (see links)
Update – Information about White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing in 2012
The RSPBs guided Sea Eagle tours start on Monday 2nd April 2012 and will now be at a new and exciting location – Glen Seilisdeir – amongst stunning forestry, lochs and a whole host of wildlife. The RSPB promises visitors a fantastic view of a pair of nesting white-tailed eagles. Booking is essential and can be made through the VisitScotland Information Centre at Craignure on 01680 812556.
Trips run Monday to Friday at 10.00 and 13.00. Details of when and where to meet will be provided at the time of booking but the rendezvous is approx ½ km up the Forestry Commission Scotland track at Glen Seilisdeir off the B8035 Salen/Kinloch scenic route. There will be signs from the road to the track. Visitors will drive up to the hide, guided by the ranger, in their own car. Each trip lasts two hours. Adult tickets (including RSPB members) cost £6 and its £3 for under 16’s. (Entrance fees and any donations go towards local good causes on Mull and Iona by way of the Eagle Fund).
There is good sea fishing from shore and boat (boat trips can be arranged from Tackle and Books in Tobermory), as well as game fishing (trout and salmon) on local lochs, rivers and streams. Permits and advice can be obtained from Tackle and Books and other locations, and Guy (who lives in the adjacent Tostarie Croft) is an excellent fishing guide who can help out amateurs and experts alike
Swimming and water sports
There are plenty of beaches and good / safe places to swim including Kilninian and the magnificent beach at Calgary (but don’t let that beach stop you from exploring some of the other remoter and equally beautiful beaches such as Langamull).
There are plenty of opportunities to pony trek, the nearest being Killiechronan (near Salen).
Trips and excursions
The Island of Iona is an easy day trip from Tostarie and well worth the time (especially if you drive through the Great Glen / Gribun Road (B8035) on the outward journey)
The Treshnish Isles provide exceptional seabird viewing as well as an exciting boat trip (which can be combined with a tour to Staffa and Fingal’s Cave)
Tobermory is the inspiration for the children’s TV show Balamory but offers much more and is a picturesque harbour and town with a range of shops, restaurants and sights
Dervaig is the closest village (and closest shop), but is also the base for a range of interesting walks
The Island of Ulva provides a stunning day trip of walking ( or cycling). It is accessed via a small passenger ferry and offers peace and quiet (there are no cars) as well as great views of Staffa, Iona and the South of Mull. Do stop in at the cafe before catching the ferry back to Mull for home bakes, coffee or tea
Staffa and Fingals Cave can be reached by daily boat trips (including Turus Mara that leaves from Ulva Ferry) and is undoubtedly one of Mull’s highlights. In the summer month’s, sightings of Basking Sharks, porpoise and seals are not uncommon
Eating and drinking
The Belachroy in Dervaig does good pub food and the Dovecot at Calgary provides excellent value locally produced food / teas and lunches. There are a number of decent bars and restaurants in Tobermory. Tours of the Island’s Whisky distillery can also be arranged in Tobermory