Mull and Iona: Day Two

We poked in shops for a first activity, and my favourite was the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. They “work directly with local communities to ensure whales, dolphins and porpoises are protected and valued throughout Scotland’s west coast”. I can’t explain better than their website. Basically, they help with conservation efforts for whales and dolphins in the Hebrides. They had several rooms devoted to whale pictures, facts, and activities, including one with nothing but a TV and some benches. This TV played their “whales are cool and you should care about them” video on repeat. They had a gift shop and on the way out I bought a wooden ring and an enamel pin. (I still have the pin! :D)

After that we had lunch at Isle of Mull Cheese. (aka Sgriob-ruadh Farm)

An Isle of Mull institution


On our way in…

They have a farm shop and a lovely lunch area. Note Jesse’s back in the below photo, bottom right corner.

Greenhouse cafe overlooking the farm


Antique cheese presses


Grilled cheese with Mull Island cheddar


Broccoli soup with Hebridean Blue cheese

After lunch we were allowed to pretty much wander the grounds, according to a farm hand guy. We watched the cheese making process, visited the cheese aging cellar, and had a lengthy discussion about cheese aging with a cheese maker guy. (The explanatory farm person strikes again!)

Young cheese in the aging cellar


Old cheese in the aging cellar


Checking out vintage dairy tools


Traditional cheese making


Daffodils were blooming everywhere

We got a peek into the cow barn, where there were many generous cheese producers, and a few were using this cow back-scratching machine! We were informed by yet another helpful farm worker that the machine was to scratch the cows, (for their pleasure) and to clean them.

The source of the cheese

The same farm worker said that there was also a pig pen, so we went there next.

Tobermory Harbour seen from above

Our self-tour concluded, we headed down to look at the aquarium. The Mull Aquarium is Europe’s first and (to my knowledge) only catch-and-release aquarium. They are open from Easter to October, and their displays change with the seasons. Their “creatures stay for a maximum of four weeks before they are returned to the sea”. We got there just in time for the touch pool demonstration.

Demonstration at the touch tank


Getting a closer look


3D camera modeling


3D camera modeling

After that we ate dinner, then ice cream, and went to bed.

Having met the cows, we had to have their ice cream again.


(By: Mary Ella)

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  1. Nana | | Reply

    I’m so glad you are posting more about of your travels in Scotland! The cow scratching machine is amazing! Never saw such a thing at the Vermont dairies we’ve visited. You all learned so many interesting things and shared them with us.

  2. Mary Pat Dixon | | Reply

    The Greenhouse Cafe certainly looks inviting! And the soup and sandwich must have been a treat. My mother’s uncle (brother of her mother, a Brown, from the Scottish Lowlands) owned the cheese factory in the town where Mother grew up in Canada. Cheese making is an ancient and important skill. Scotland is trying to develop their cheddar cheese production for export. Your photographs are beautiful and tell the story almost without narrative. The ice cream looks yummy!

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