The Out About Scotland complete guide to the walk from Dervaig to Quinish Point on the Isle of Mull
What’s this attraction all about?
The walk from the pretty village of Dervaig to the spectacular coastline at Quinish Point has to be one of the highlights of any visit to Mull, and if you have the time I thoroughly recommend you get your hiking boots on and explore this remote part of the island.
Taking around 4 hours to complete the return journey, the walk from Dervaig to Quinish Point passes some of the prettiest parts of Mull and you’ll find yourself crossing wide-open fields, thick woodland, clifftop viewpoints and heather-covered moorland before finally arriving at the Quinish headland.
This dramatic stretch of coastline features two flat-topped hills which offer fantastic views across the sea to Coll, Rum and Skye, with the rising hills of North Uist also visible on a clear day. The Quinish Point hills, Dun Ban and Dub Dubh, are a perfect spot to rest with a well-earned picnic after your 2-hour walk, and if you have some binoculars you might be lucky enough to see some of Mull’s most famous residents flying overhead – the white-tailed sea eagle, also known as ‘the flying door’.
The sea eagle is Britain’s largest bird of prey with a wingspan reaching a whopping 2.5 metres from tip to tip, and the sight of these incredible animals swooping overhead with the rising Hebridean islands visible in the distance makes the 4-mile return journey from Dervaig well worth the effort.Read more...
What can you do there?
While there isn’t a whole lot to do at the village of Dervaig there is at least a shop to stock up on supplies before you leave and a pub to enjoy a well-earned drink on your return. Rather than spend too long in the village you’d be better off hitting the trail and enjoying the sights that this walk has to offer.
Shortly after setting off you’ll find yourself passing Loch Cuin which is well worth getting a few shots of, especially on your return journey with the setting sun bouncing off the water. Take a look up to the hills rising above the loch as you might see a few red deer roaming about, and during the rutting season between September and November you’ll more than likely see (and hear) males displaying elaborate shows of dominance. Reaching around 1.4 metres at shoulder height red deer are the UK’s largest land mammal, and watching them strut and bellow is a sight to behold.
The rest of the walk takes you through leafy woodland tracks before it opens out to give you a great view of green pastures with the north sea reaching out to the horizon beyond. At this point you might be lucky enough to catch your first glimpse of Mull’s famed sea eagle colonies and I’d highly recommend you bring a pair of binoculars with you just in case one of the breeding pairs soar overhead.
Further onwards off the main track you’ll see a small fenced enclosure in a field with several large stones inside, only one of which is still standing. Take the small detour to examine the stones for yourself and pay particular attention to the standing stone – ‘Caliach’, which looks like an old woman wearing a cloak. The reasons for why these ancient stones were raised here are still unknown but the 9-foot monoliths are still an impressive sight today.
Quinish Point is about another hour walk from the stones and once you reach the peninsula you can climb either of the hilltops for more incredible views of the Mull coastline and the Hebridean islands in the distance. On a sunny day the flat top of the nearest hill, Dun Ban, makes a great place to stop for a picnic, but if the weather’s closing in you can head back down to the moorland and explore the rocky coastline instead.
All in all, Quinish Point is a great way to see the remote northern tip of Mull, and a walk there is a must for any wildlife and bird watcher who visits the island.
What I liked about this attraction
- This walk is excellent from start to finish. There’s so much to see on the route
- Quinish Point offers fantastic views, and it’s a great place for bird watching
What I didn’t like about this attraction
- There are several areas where the track gets really muddy. Take care, and wear boots
- It can be difficult finding a parking space at Dervaig so it’s best to get there early
Isle of Mull,
Starting at the village of Dervaig, walk along the public road till you reach a cattle grid which leads onto the main track. This track is well maintained and while there aren’t many signposts it’s easy to follow all the way to Quinish Point.
Shortly after passing the cattle grid you’ll find yourself at the stone Quinish gateposts which lead on into the woodland. Continue along the track till you reach a farmhouse and go straight ahead where the track forks. You’ll soon pass Quinish House on the left at which point the woodland begins to thin out.
As you enter the small areas of farmland you’ll see the open expanse of pastures in front of you with the sea rolling away to the horizon. Stay on the main track which is laid with gravel until you reach the field with the standing stones on your left. Take a close-up look at the stones and then head back onto the track and up the winding trail to the nearby hill which offers lovely views from the top.
Beyond the hill the trail continues past a series of low-lying walls before ending at another gate with a farmhouse ahead. Pass through the gate (remember to close it behind you), and follow the sign pointing left towards Quinish Point.
This part of the walk leaves the gravel track behind and is mostly well-trodden grassland, but you’ll know you’re on the right trail when you come to another gate with red stone crags up on the hill to your right.
Heading past the crags, the track now descends slightly downhill before opening up to Quinish Point where you can walk up either of the two hills for some amazing views. For your return journey simply follow the exact same route back.
- Telephone: NA
- email: NA
- Website: Isle of Mull official website
Prices and opening times
The walk from Dervaig to Quinish Point is free and the route is open 24/7, 365 days a year, weather permitting.
Car parking is possible along the roadside at Dervaig.