I was a Balamory dad.
When I went part time in the early 2000s to take James and Matthew to pubs, it was Balamory and those Thomas the Tank Engine videos voiced by Ringo Starr (the best post-Beatles output IMHO) that we watched together.
And I could leave the boys in front of the telly for an hour with a bag of Doritos watching woke BBC TV while I nipped out to
the pub do the washing up.
It hadn’t actually occurred to me that it was based on a real place, but suddenly last Friday here it was, stretched out in front of me, lacking only a GBG tick (but read on).
The main population centre for Mull, a thousand inhabitants and as many visitors, all headed for the whisky visitor centre (strangely not featured on the CBeebies shows).
High on Mrs RM’s bucket list, and worth the effort to get here but within 10 minutes she was looking at the estate agents ads,
and wondering whether we should head straight back to the ferry and catch another bus to Fingal’s Cave.
But I’d had enough bus, and thought the coastal walk to the lighthouse looked the thing to do.
And so it turned out, after another culinary highlight at the Pier Cafe.
As you see, not cheap (the £9.50 “supper” is the big portion), but I guess they have to bring the fish over from Grimsby.
At the pier, the nice CalMac people rechecked ferry availability and found us a space on the 17:10 crossing, which meant we didn’t have to spend four hours at Craignure drinking Guinness after all. Hoorah !
After a pub trip that deserves its own post but which you’ll have worked out for yourself, we walked the coastal path.
Well, here’s your famous west Scotland coastline. Look closely at the top of the OS extract and you’ll see where Irish “rockers” U2 recorded their famous 1983 live album.
Pleasingly, the coastal path has a warning at the start about instant death if you fall down the side but none of those obtrusive fences and barriers that spoil the view.
At Rubha nan Gall, you get the best view of the leaning lighthouse, a casualty of a tug of war contest that went badly wrong in Episode 27.
Ah, that’s better.
We took a walk up to the higher houses, above the bay, hoping for a locals boozer ignored by WhatPub. But it was mostly holiday lets for folk from Helensburgh.
Helensburgh is nice, apart from the queue for the Hill House tea rooms, but I reckon the view justifies their trip.
But what of “the pub”, coming next ?