The Island is just a short ferry ride across the narrow Sound of Ulva from Mull. Considering its proximity to its larger neighbour, Ulva is a precious, special place with a completely unique atmosphere. It is well worth taking at least a full day to explore the island, allowing time to discover the flora and fauna as well as the history of its people – there are at least 16 ruined townships where once there were thriving communities.
There are numerous walks of varying length to chose from. The East End of the island is a pleasant mixture of woodlands and recently farmed ‘in-by’ fields with gentle terrain and the most recently inhabited housing of the island. There is a Telford parliamentary church and manse, dating from the 1820’s where services were held until the last couple of years.
It would be perfectly possible to spend an entire day investigating the soft and mellow East end of the Island with its wooded and farmland walks. The more adventurous walker however may wish to escape the east to be rewarded by a far wilder and more rugged topography.
Your path could lead to the old ‘main’ township of Ormaig where Lachlan MacQuarie, ”Father of Australia’ was reputedly born. From Ormaig the path onto the south side leads via Cragaig Bay and Kilviceon burial ground with access to the stunning Traigh Geal south side beaches. An alternative long distance wander would lead around the north coast along Loch a Tuath via Bernus, Culinish and other ruined townships to Am Bru where the bridge to the even more remote island of Gometra is situated.
A highlight of any visit to Ulva has to be a seafood lunch at the award winning Boathouse Restaurant, situated at the top of the pier. Highly recommended are lobsters, crab and langoustines, all caught fresh each day from their own fishing boat, the Iona Eve. Or why not really indulge yourself with a crisp glass of white wine and half a dozen local oysters?
On Midsummer’s Day 2018 the Island of Ulva officially transferred into community ownership following a Community Right to Buy process. Plans for the island include attracting new residents to refurbished and new housing, development of new businesses including revitalising agriculture and reinstating the oyster farm. Careful, sustainable development will ensure that new opportunities taken won’t adversely affect the delicate environmental balance of this unique and captivating place.