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Another ferry change

I was checking my CalMac updates this morning and realized that because the MV Coruisk is now working the Oban-Craignure route, they've eliminated some of the ferries between Mallaig and Armadale. So my 3 pm booking is now gone, and is at 4 pm. Not a huge disaster but still inconvenient. I'm taking the 9:30 am ferry from Tobermory to Kilchoan and don't think I will be able to get to Mallaig by the earlier time slot. Since it's Sunday, there are only 4 ferries that day - 9:30, 11:30, 16:00 and 18:00.

I could try for the 11:30 am booking but not knowing what the roads are like between Kilchoan and Mallaig, I'm hesitant to even consider trying for that. Google says it would take 1 hr and 37 minutes but I haven't made Google's time yet, so I'm thinking more like 2 hours, depending on the roads. Does that sound about right?

Or maybe I should just take my time and enjoy the scenery. Any suggestions for places to stop along the way?

Posted by
4088 posts


I don't think you have a chance of making the 11.30. You land at 10.05 and need to be at Mallaig by 11.10 with a 40 odd mile drive to do. It's single track roads for almost the first half of the journey. I think that is seriously pushing it.
If it wasn't forecast to be a dreich day I'd say turn left off the ferry and divert to Ardnamurchan point and lighthouse first. But not much point in the forecast weather. At the A830 junction I might think about diverting the 12 miles or so east down to the Glenfinnan monument, if that's not in your schedule for later in the trip. As an aside your timings would be round about right to see the steam train somewhere round about Glenfinnan, probably not at the Viaduct (at 11.20) but somewhere not too far away.
If the weather front clears through time at the beaches at Arisaig or Morar, then visit Mallaig Heritage Centre while waiting for the ferry.
I think you can make a nice gentle day out of it.
You'll see the Spanish John on CalMac charter at 2 pm at Mallaig on the Small Isles service- the successor vessel to the Spanish John in the Soay book- exactly the same kind of vessel doing the same kind of work. Also at 2.15 pm you'll see the passenger ferry to the roadless village of Inverie on Knoydart leave.
Always an interesting fishing harbour to wander round
It'll be interesting to see what Jacqui thinks.

Posted by
5128 posts

Thank you, Stuart! I’m going to write all these out and take it with me on the drive.

It’s a fantastic day today. I don’t think I’ve seen it this lovely since I’ve been here. I’m sitting outside at Duart Castle with a cold drink and enjoying the beautiful views around here.

Posted by
1595 posts

As isn31c says it is mainly single track which is always going to slow you down. I do like Duart Castle and will be going back next time I can get to Mull.

Near the Tobermory ferry terminal if there is a small window of time is an Edward VIII postbox, a curio given the events of this last weekend of the king we dodged.

Posted by
5128 posts

MC, I’ll check out that post box tomorrow. That sounds interesting. I’ve got some time as I don’t have any real plans made. I’ll see how the day goes and what the weather is.

Posted by
1595 posts

Hi Mardee. Tobermory actually has two Edward VIII post boxes, but one is right by the Tobermory ferry terminal. To be fair Scotland has almost no Elizabeth II boxes and she was on the throne for 70 1/2 years and her uncle for about ten months. Scottish post boxes just have a crown embossed on them, so when Charles III ones come in they won't come in in Scotland.

Ah, Tobermory. Two things I always remember about Tobermory are a really beautiful steak cooked to perfection not far off the front, and running across the street to let a nice couple from North America that they could not park where they had parked because it had double yellow lines.