After saying our goodbyes at Stonefield Castle we are back on the road again…….Glengorm Castle here we come!
Tickets for the ferry to the Isle of Mull were booked for the 11.55am crossing, we also needed to be there no later than 30 minutes prior to check-in. Knowing our time keeping skills we ensured that we left Stonefield in plenty of time. The drive from Stonefield Castle to the ferry terminal in Oban takes around one hour and 15 minutes. I had read in a guidebook that, due to ferry traffic, there could be tailbacks - although we didn’t catch any traffic it is worth bearing in mind. You don’t want to be the one stood on the dock whilst the ferry sails of in the distance! The journey passed quickly as we were chatting away about our time at Stonefield and how we wished we could have stayed longer!
Once at the terminal we were instructed where to park the car and then we went off to collect our tickets. Jasmine saw a picture of Tobermory (Balamory) on the wall so started to get excited!
We could see Oban from the port with views of the McCaig's Tower (You could think you are in Rome with the Colosseum lookalike!) The Tower was built by a local banker in 1897 with the aim to provide work for local stonemasons and provide a lasting monument to his family. We did not get time to explore Oban, however if you do have time to visit there are several things to keep you entertained. You can take the walk uphill to the tower, visit the Oban Distillery or the Oban War and Peace museum and, for those who likes shops, Oban has those too!
We stand by the car to watch the ferry sail in, the turnaround was quick, cars off and then cars on. Once we drove on, we then headed upstairs in to the lounges. We went out on deck to watch the sail out, but the breeze was quite strong so we headed back inside to the lounges. There were some toys onboard to keep Jasmine amused for the short 45 minute journey.
Back in the car and off we drive (after docking of course!) and here we are on the Isle of Mull. The journey from Craignure Port to Glengorm Castle is around 45 minutes, the views along the way are wonderful. There are many sheep along the way to greet us!
The road up to the castle is long and winding, the rain falling hard on the windscreen with the wipers going ten-to-the-dozen, but a glimpse of the castle in the distance makes it all worthwhile. Wow, wow and wow again. I think we have arrived in paradise.
We dart in to the castle to avoid the rain (the bags can be brought in later!) and we are greeted by Pam. (a voice I have heard many times on the phone, so it was nice to be able to finally put a face to the name!) If no one is on hand when you arrive there is a large bell in the entrance hall for guests to ring! It is always good to phone ahead to advise the castle of your arrival time. I also got to meet Tom whose family home Glengorm is. How fantastic to grow up in a castle, which offers an amazing sense of freedom.
There is so much open space that you can imagine the fun being had growing up as a child on the estate. One of the bedroom doors is covered in childhood stickers which gives you the realisation that this is indeed a family home with lots of history.
The size of Glengorm is impressive and larger that I had anticipated. The castle only has 5 guest rooms so the assumption would be that it is quite small, however Glengorm is a family home. In addition, the Terrace Flat runs along the bottom of the castle offering self catering accommodation. Guests have full use of the great hall, the dining room and the library.
Pam showed us to the Crannach Room, the Crannach is a spacious room with a cast iron bed, with views of the castle lawns and the surrounding forest. The rooms are light and airy with spectacular views. Exploring the room we head to the bathroom which certainly meets the description of spacious. It has a deep Victorian bath and a separate walk-in shower. You could host a party in the bathroom enjoying beautiful views whilst getting ready!
After exploring the castle, we head in to the town of Tobermory to take a stroll around the town. The castle is around a 15-minute journey from Tobermory. Built as a fishing port in the late 18th century, Tobermory is now the main town on the Isle of Mull. There are a selection of shops and restaurants, and a chance to take boat rides to spot dolphins and whales. You can even try your hand at fishing. For whiskey-lovers, Tobermory has its own distillery. If whiskey isn’t your thing then you may prefer the chocolate shop or bakery in town!
If travelling with children they may better know the Tobermory as Balamory, the childrens television programme. They will enjoy spotting the coloured houses. We found a store selling Balamory goods where Jasmine bought herself a souvenir.
Heading back to the castle, I got chatting to a couple from New York Jennifer and Peter who were making the most of their stay on Mull, using the castle as a base to explore the Isle of Iona and visit other local attractions. They were relaxing in the timeless oak panelled library enjoying the views overlooking the sea whilst Peter was enjoying sampling the complimentary whisky. They were certainly enjoying their stay and praised the castle highly. It is the sort of place that you don’t want to leave.
Glengorm is a real unspoilt paradise, a haven for walkers and those who love the great outdoors. You can do as much or as little as you like. The castle is great for those only wanting to stay a night or two, but for those who want to stay a little longer there are several properties that can be rented for weekly periods on the Glengorm Estate. Definitely an option for those who wish to stay longer.
The fresh air was great for a good nights sleep, even Jasmine had a lie in! Breakfast is served in the dining room, again with spectacular views. Breakfast is delightful with many items on the menu sourced locally, even the jams are made at Glengorm. Lexi the resident dog was hoping for a treat from breakfast, but no such look as we ate it all up.
After breakfast we take the time to explore the grounds as the sun is now shining. There are several walks to take, from heading to the standing stones or down to the bathing pools. There is so much to explore if you have the time.
Jasmine makes a friend with Lexi becoming her new shadow!
The estate is also home to the Glengorm Coffee shop within walking distance from the castle and definitely worth a visit. They offer roasted coffee, fresh baking and lunches, with all of the food cooked on the premises using their own produce from the farm and walled garden. Items can be purchased from the Farm shop to take away as a souvenir of your visit ranging from meats, chutneys and jams.
In the same area you can visit the Steadings Art Gallery which displays work by local Artists. The gift shop offers a variety of craft items again made by local craftsmen and women.
It really is a delightful place to visit, I am just sorry that we are only there for the night as there is so much more to see which simply can’t be done justice in a day. It has given us a taste of what is on offer on the Isle of Mull, and I would certainly recommend a stay there to anyone. If time allows stay longer as I am sure once there you will wish to stay longer.
After exploring the grounds it is time to head back to catch the ferry. My time at Glengorm has been magical, what at amazing place. If you ever get the chance to visit, take it, I am sure like us you will love it.
So to the ferry we head for our journey back to the mainland. Can this trip get any better?
For more information on Glengorm Castle, please click here.