Tranquil Ulva is a beautiful drive from Mull holiday cottage Traigh Mhor and a fantastic day out.
This privately-owned island offers lovely but rugged walking, (no tarmac roads), with stunning views of the Treshnish Isles.
It also offers a real insight into how its crofting community used to live. Sheila’s Cottage is a reconstructed traditional thatched croft house, and visitors can also learn about the the history of the island’s kelp industry.
Today its community numbers around 26. But in 1837, the island had 16 villages, with over 600 inhabitants, buoyed by the demand for kelp (burned seaweed) for use in glass and soap production. However, when the kelp market collapsed, and the potato famine struck, many of Ulva’s crofters were cleared to other parts of Scotland, America and Australia.
The remains of the deserted villages and ruined crofts can still be seen and are a sad reminder of the island’s history.
Ulva’s licensed tea-room The Boathouse is definitely worth a visit too, serving everything from a cup of tea to oysters and Guinness.
The island’s ferry takes foot passengers only and operates on demand Monday to Fridays (9-5) and on Sundays from June 1st to the end of August. The ferry – closed all day Saturday – may not run if the the weather is poor.
You can camp on the island but must be booked ahead. Ulva also has an SYHA-affiliated hostel, which opened in 2014.