An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

56.333109, -6.400711
Distance: 16 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Inner Hebrides, off Mull
  • Size: 877 hectares
  • Terrain: Mostly free-range through grass and dunes. Boggy areas in north and south tips
  • Access: Ferry from Mull
  • Height gain: 445 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 373
  • Starting point: Iona’s ferry pier. Lat/Long 56.330409, -6.391840; GR NM 28625 24004
  • Accommodation/food:

    Cafes, inns, restaurants, toilets and general stores in Baille Mor village but no facilities on the route itself. Self-catering cottages, B&B, hotels, hostel and camping on the island.

  • Island Summary:

    Renowned for its historic and religious significance, its natural beauty and potential for adventure is equally impressive with several secluded and stunning white beaches, secret coves, a beautifully sculpted serpentine cave and wild, remote headlands to explore.

  • Look out for:
    • Explore colourful St martin's cave
    • Fabulous rock pools on north tip
    • Find the elusive corncrake
    • Visit the famous Abbey & feel the spiritual vibe
    • Search for Iona marble pebbles at St Columba’s Bay
  • Route description:

    This walk is a celebration of all that Iona has to offer. It’s a rugged and mostly free-range coastal circuit that connects the wild moors of the north to the heather-clad cliffs of the south via the glorious Bay at the Back of the Ocean. There is plenty of time to visit the famous Abbey, admire the Celtic crosses or add to the Celtic stone artwork of the beaches.

  • Getting there:

    Ferry from mainland to the Isle of Mull then drive or take the bus (from Craignure ferry terminal) to Fionnphort. The bus is operated by West Coast Motors Once in Fionphort take the regular 10 minute ferry ride across the Sound of Iona.

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