Lochbuie Explorer Walk
Contrary to what you may have seen from this website thus far, not every walk has to start within 10 miles of Huddersfield! The Lochbuie Explorer walk is on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland and was completed during a week away from it all.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been out for a wander on the island. Last year, I climbed the catchily-named Beinn Chreagach and it was the most waterlogged walk I’d ever done. It was beautiful, remote, not often walked and not difficult but I didn’t half have wet feet. A walk I did a few days before the one featured in this writeup was similarly boggy, featured ferns as tall as me and had an unplanned diversion which required my climbing a wobbly 6′ fence. It was chucking it down and I only took two photos so it’s not getting a writeup! This walk, on the other hand, was a cracker.
About Lochbuie Explorer
The walk starts 8 miles from the main road, if you can call any road on Mull ‘main’! You’ll pass Loch Spelve and Loch Uisg on the way to a small car park right on the banks of the Loch Buie. The road is bumpy and full of dips so if your car hasn’t got very good ground clearance, you may find it tricky along here, though it is a beautiful drive. Parking is free and there is a small shop where you can buy drinks and snacks at reasonable prices. The shop is unmanned so you just pay via the honesty box. They also had a fine selection of meat in the freezer so if you have the means to store it, get some!
The first thing you’ll see on the walk is a memorial commemorating the coronation of King Edward VII. In fact, you’ll have seen it already as the car park’s behind it. As you walk along the track parallel to the loch, you’ll next come across a small church. Unfortunately this wasn’t open for us to have a peek inside but there’s more of that to come.
You’ll get to a fork in the road where the leftmost road goes into private property. Here you can walk along the beach for a short time. There is a cairn to visit on a raised area of ground, unusual for a beach in my experience.
The beach is very nice indeed. Flocks of chaffinches flit from rock to rock and there are plenty of shells to collect, if you like that kind of thing.
From here, you’ll see the large house whose road you weren’t allowed up earlier. It’s an impressive building with an even more impressive mountain, behind.
Onto the Chapel
The route continues alongside the beach and onto Caibeal Mheamhair, the Maclaine mausoleum. There is a turn off to the left you may take if you want to head back but the highlight of this walk is to be found by carrying on.
The Maclaine mausoleum is a small chapel with surrounding graveyard. There is a plaque near the entrance which, if you’re as lucky as we were, will be open for a quick explore.
There are numerous stones and crosses inside commemorating members of the Maclaine clan. Mysteriously and beautifully, there are stars cut into the roof of the chapel, each with a coloured filter. If the sun is shining in the correct way, you get some lovely beams of colour lighting the inside.
The route turns back along the path you follow to reach the chapel and turns off to the right to take the path mentioned earlier. From here, it’s woods and rivers for half a mile or so then you’re back into open land, on the road you used to get to the car park.
Following this road will, of course, take you back to the car. The original version of this walk, found on the WalkHighlands website, has you turn off across the open field to a stone circle. With it being very waterlogged during our visit, we passed up on this opportunity but some lovely photos can be found on the Geograph website page of the OS square it’s in.
Route Downloads, Image Gallery and Further Information
If you'd like to go on this walk, this is the place for you!
You can download the GPX file for your GPS device, smartphone or tablet below. For more information on GPX files, what they are and how great they are for walking, visit the GPX files page.
Click images for larger versions. Images of 1920px along the longest edge are available from the Lochbuie Explorer Walk Flickr album.