I spend a lot of time planning accommodations for my trips to Scotland. I’m a homebody heart and soul, so the last thing I want is to arrive at a new place only to find the living conditions “sub-optimal.” I’ve learned this about myself the hard way, and these days I embrace it. It makes for a happier Traveling Savage.
When I started planning my week in Mull, a part of Scotland I’d never visited, I knew I needed help. I’d started late and, while Mull is fairly large, the island is a popular place for visitors and not overflowing with accommodation options. One of the best things about specializing in a single country is the way contacts start expanding my network. Gavin Ellis, the owner of the Knockomie Hotel in Forres, who I’d met while in Speyside, put me in touch with Neil Hutton, the secretary for Holiday Mull & Iona and the proprietor of Druimnacroish. The rest, as is often said, was history.
Druimnacroish provides both B&B and self-catering options just five minutes south of Dervaig, a tiny town in north-central Mull. I arrived to full-on sun after a harrowing, sodden journey from Islay. After the town of Salen, a rough road shot into Mull’s interior and ran through a wide open glen bounded by unmarred hills. It’s impossible to miss Druimnacroish as it’s literally one of only a handful of buildings in the vale. The large, stone structure was once a farmhouse and mill, now covered in places by attractive ivy, and contains six B&B rooms and a wing dedicated to a self-catering apartment. I enjoyed a few minutes exploring the grounds and the broad pastures spotted with wary cows behind Druimnacroish.
Neil greeted me and graciously showed me around the place. We went up to the self-catering apartment, which has its own exterior door, and then did a brief tour of the large conservatory available to all guests. After a nice afternoon tea and discussion of my plans for the week in Mull, I returned to my apartment and settled in.
Just inside the door is a foyer with stairs leading up to the apartment. The entire unit was painted in a warm yellow that glowed with the light coming through its many windows. Everything – from the carpets to the counters – was spotless, and I remember wondering if I was the first occupant after a remodeling. The top of the steps was a kind of intersection for all the rooms of the unit. Off to the left was a second bedroom with a sturdy set of bunkbeds (which I didn’t use) while on my immediate right stood the bathroom with a beautifully-tiled floor and a strong shower (rarer than you might think).
The master bedroom didn’t waste any space and proved to be more than large enough for me. I was able to make the room super dark, and, despite being in the same building as Druimnacroish’s B&B, I never heard a peep at night. The closet held all kinds of goodies like extra blankets, which I found useful during the chilly fall nights. The main room was a modern rustic, bright room with comfy leather furniture and square dining table. The big window looked down on Druimnacroish’s breakfast room and provided a partial view of Glen Bellart. A perfect little kitchen opened directly off the main room, and I spent most of my nights in there preparing dinner.
Druimnacroish was a welcome four-night stay. Each room had programmable thermostats and the wifi – crucially – was strong and fast throughout the apartment. Its rural location a short drive from Dervaig was perfect, as it was easy to pop into town and enjoy a meal or drink at the Bellachroy Hotel. Getting to larger Tobermory was no trouble, either, as it was only about 20 minutes away on a winding road with beautiful views.
I heartily recommend Druimnacroish’s self-catering unit for groups of one to four people. The scenic location, quality of accommodation, value, and privacy make it a winner in northern Mull.
Disclosure: Neil provided me with a complimentary four-night stay at Druimnacroish’s self-catering apartment. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.