It was the beautiful natural harbour in Tobermory that prompted the building of the town by the British Fisheries Society in 1786. The unusual name of the town being taken from the gaelic ‘Tobar-mhoire’ which translates as ‘Mary’s Well’ and refers to the ancient in the upper section of the village that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Parents of a certain age will recognise the town as being the location of Balamory, a series made for children’s television, although the town has had a long standing relationship with children’s television ever since one of the Wombles was named Tobermory. Even though the filming of Balamory ceased in 2005 the fact that the DVDs are available has ensured that the town remains a popular destination for families, as such it is wise to book both ferry tickets and accommodation in advance if you plan on visiting.
One of the main things that makes Tobermory so distinctive are the brightly coloured buildings that are situated around the harbour side. You may think that this is a remnant from the children’s TV series, kept in place for the visiting children and their families, but Tobermory has always been regarded as one of the brightest and prettiest harbour side towns in Scotland and the colourful houses have been there for many a year. The main street sweeps around the harbour and at its most western end you will find the distillery, travel further on and you will arrive at the museum which will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about life through the ages in Mull. Travel up past the post office and you will come to a school that has been converted into a gallery and arts centre as well as a café. One of the most popular attractions of the town is the Mull Pottery which is located on the town’s southern side which also offers its own bistro café. If there is one thing that Tobermory has plenty of it is places to eat and drink.
Places to See
Just a few miles outside of Tobermory you will find the impressive Glengorm Castle which is set in stunning gardens. The castle offers accommodation should you require it, and the castle estate has a number of facilities such as a good quality farm shop, art gallery and coffee shop within the grounds. This part of Scotland is wonderful for walking in and taking in the spectacular scenery, the colourful houses against the backdrop of the sea, and the wonderfully rugged coastline of the region. One thing many visitors to Tobermory do not know is that there may be a Spanish Galleon beneath the waters of the harbour that has been there since the 16th century after she was sunk in retaliation for trying to make off without paying for the goods and services she had received, and there have been numerous attempts by treasure seekers to try and find her. There are regular ferries to take you across to the mainland, though why you would wish to leave this wonderful place is a mystery.