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We had a long day of driving ahead of us today so we made a fairly early start, setting out straight after breakfast in the hotel. We were due to catch a ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull in the early evening and the journey from Whitehaven to Oban was around 227 miles. The first part of the journey was not very exciting as we drove across Cumbria towards Carlisle, then onto the motorway which would take us across southern Scotland towards Glasgow. We navigated the outskirts of Glasgow, before driving on a bridge across the river Clyde towards Dumbarton, where we wanted to visit the Asda superstore This is where we stopped to stock up on food when we were on our way to the Isle of Islay earlier this year and, while I hadn't seen any specific advice this time about it being difficult to buy food on the Isle of Mull, a bit of googling had identified that the biggest supermarket on the island seems to be a rather small Co-op on the high street in Tobermory. It seemed to make sense to stock up in advance! Once we'd bought a reasonable amount of non-perishable food and wine, we got back in the car and began the more scenic part of the journey, which took us along the shores of Loch Lomond. The weather forecast today had been sunshine and showers. The further we got into Scotland, the more we seemed to have showers rather than sunshine! We parked at the small village of Luss to stretch our legs near the lake. It's a pretty little place, but as you can see it was rather damp today. And Loch Lomond itself was looking rather misty! When the shower turned into heavy rain we got back in the car and continued northwards towards Oban. The rain was torrential for a while, but the sky began to clear up a bit as we got closer to our destination. We stopped about 25 miles outside Oban for a short walk. The path took us alongside Loch Awe; not as well known as Loch Lomond, but this is the third largest freshwater lake in Scotland. Behind us we could see a mountain with a large waterfall running down it... ...while in front of us we had a view towards Kilchurn Castle. The castle is a ruin but it still looks quite impressive And it's definitely in a really pretty location. As you can probably tell, the weather was still a bit windy even though the rain had eased off We walked around to the opposite side of the castle to get a better view of the loch. The rain was starting to pick up again by this point, so it was time to head back to the car. It took slightly longer to drive the remaining miles to Oban than I'd expected; the roads were quite slow and winding. In the end we arrived around 16.50, which gave us just an hour until the final check in time for our ferry. We'd been hoping to get a nice meal in the town, but given the time constraints all we were able to do was park the car and rush to the local Wetherspoons where we at least knew we'd be served quickly. Oban looks like a pleasant little town. Slightly bizarrely, there's what looks like a replica Colosseum on a hill behind the town We made it through our meal with plenty of time to check in for the ferry and soon we were on board for the short ferry journey to Mull. The trip only takes around 45 minutes from Oban, so it wasn't long before we got our first views of the island on the horizon. We sailed past what looked like a castle on our way into the port of Craignure. Before long we had arrived on a brand new island It's difficult to find accommodation on the Isle of Mull; at least, it's difficult in August and at short notice. So I'd struggled a bit with making bookings for this holiday. I managed to find what looked like a nice cottage to stay in, but unfortunately it was only available from Saturday night, and all the Saturday ferries to the island were completely booked up. I could get a slot on a ferry for this evening, so in the end I decided to go for it and spend the first night in a rather overpriced hotel just outside Craignure. As it was the only place on the island with availability when we needed it, we ended up paying a rather extortionate £200 for one night. This is what £200 gets you on the Isle of Mull Not exactly worth what we've paid, but we intend to try and get our money's worth out of breakfast in the morning!
When we woke up this morning the weather seemed distinctly better than it had last night After breakfast we had a little stroll around the gardens where we're staying and then set off in the car. We were heading towards Ennerdale Water, the most westerly lake in the Lake District, and also one of the least visited. It wasn't terribly easy to find, which perhaps sheds some light on why it's less visited, but we got there in the end - even if the journey was a little slow at times As soon as we parked and walked out of the car park, we had a beautiful view of the lake. While there were other cars in the car park, there weren't many other people visibly around, which was nice. I'd deliberately tried to find somewhere which would be reasonably quiet despite the fact that it was school holidays, and it seemed like I'd succeeded It's possible to follow a circular trail around the lake, which is about 6.5 miles in total. We decided not to do the full loop, because the final stage of the walk would involve climbing across Anglers Crag, which you can see in the photo below. The walk description referred to it as "a short exposed scramble" so I didn't really fancy it Instead we planned to walk along the opposite shore of the lake, turning around and retracing our steps before we got as far as Anglers Crag. It was a really lovely walk, even if the sky wasn't as blue in the Lake District as it had been nearer the coast. There were little bits of sunshine through the clouds at times though We reached the far end of the lake and crossed over a river. There were some spectacular views here. The path continued to be quite flat for a while, leading us towards a forest. We walked around the end of the lake... ...and then started walking alongside the other shore. The path started to get a bit rockier here... ...but the views were still really lovely. We continued walking for a while... ...but decided to turn around at the point I didn't fancy crossing this stream Then it was back the way we had come. Across the river again... ...and back to where we'd parked the car. From Ennerdale we drove back towards Whitehaven and decided to go and have a look at the coast. We ended up at a place called St Bees Head, a few miles south of Whitehaven. It was no longer looking quite so sunny at the coast... ...and there were some rather large waves! We walked along the sea front for a little way. There was a walk you could do along the cliffs here but it was incredibly windy by this point, so it didn't really feel like the day for it! Instead we decided to head back to the hotel and enjoy our nice room