Monday, 17 May 2010

Underneath The Arches

The following day I went to Carsaig on the south coast of Mull and paddled west along the cliffs towards the Carsaig Arches. In contrast to the previous day, all was calm here; sheltered from the northerly winds.

The road from Pennyghael to Carsaig is an adventure in itself, narrow and steep with few passing places.

There's some spectacular cliff scenery along this route. The cliffs are generally about 250 metres high and have pinnacles and towers along the highest parts. There are also lots of feral goats, I saw at least four bands each consisting of 15-20 goats.

I soon arrived at the arches. It's possible to land at the base of the main arch, or in the east entrance to the large open cave, or a little further to the east. All these landings are easier if it's near high water (it wasn't!) and would be very difficult in anything but calm conditions with no swell.

But what fantastic rock architecture! It's very well worth the effort of landing to explore on foot.

On the way back to Carsaig Bay, this triple waterfall is near the intriguingly named Nun's Pass - a break in the sheer rock of the upper cliffs below which is a cave where nuns from Iona are reputed to have hidden during the upheaval of the Reformation.

Returning to Carsaig bay, the sunlight was picking out Carsaig House and some lovely parkland trees.
This part of the Mull coast is exposed to the prevailing southwesterly weather, but today had provided shelter and warm sunlight when it remained windy elsewhere on the island.


  1. Looks spectacular Ian - again, it's on the list. Tried to reach the arches from Uisken two years ago but turned back in high winds before it was too late! Similar weather this year meant no attempt made. 3rd time lucky perhaps...

  2. Hi Will,

    It's worth a third shot! I'd intended this as part of a trip about a month ago but ended up going around Lismore due to the swell further out.

    Very calm at Carsaig in a northerly, F4-5 at Loch Scridain and F5-6 in the Sound of Mull on the same day.