Ulva Ferry

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Sean_soup
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Ulva Ferry

Post by Sean_soup »

I'm contemplating a possible trip to Mull over the next couple of weeks - can anyone provide an update on the current situation at Ulva Ferry, regarding parking (for a couple of days probably) and the general vibe of the place? It's possible that I might be about during the BH weekend so I guess it might be busy if so, though I'm hoping some of the madness of the last couple of post-pandemic summers will have gone away by now.

I've read the previous threads, but thought I'd start a new one rather than bump the most recent as that one was a bit erm.. poo-centric. (And started with a photo I can do without seeing again tbh.)
kayakski
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by kayakski »

Parking at Ulva Ferry is for residents and people using the ferry. Best place to leave your car and launch is the far side of Loch na Keal below Ben More in the area near Dhiseig or somewhere on that side of the Loch.
ChrisJK
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by ChrisJK »

Hi Sean
I went with a group round Ulva and Gometra just over two years ago which included an overnight camp on Gometra, I wasn't driving but our car was still there when we returned, we had parked in a tight spot but there didn't appear to be restrictions
robhorton
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by robhorton »

We did a couple of day trips from there September/October 2-3 years back. We parked in the ferry car park - I don't recall any signage saying you couldn't and nobody seemed bothered, not that there was anyone much around. I think the ferry made a brief appearance and there were a couple of fishermen but we kept out their way. I hadn't seen the previous threads here though so apologies if we committed a massive faux pas and ruined it for everyone afterwards! I suspect out of the main tourist season it's not a problem but it's probably a good idea to check or go to the other side of the loch.
Sean_soup
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by Sean_soup »

Thanks all.

Well after reading the previous threads I'm glad to see Turus Mara haven't quite claimed every inch of space after all. And rummaging around a bit online, it seems that things may have actually improved somewhat over the last year or two, though I don't doubt that space is still tight when it's busy and tempers fray from time to time.

Funnily enough I was already considering launching from the other side of Loch Na Keal and may still do that anyway, but it's good to know that parking at Ulva Ferry isn't necessarily completely out of the question. If I do I'll be making a small donation to the Mull & Iona Community Trust in appreciation of the absence of a P&D machine in their bit of the car park.

Actually, I really quite like the look of the new hostel at Ardalum House (which opened last summer), and am starting to quite fancy a luxurious overnight stay there and a good breakfast before an early start to a days paddling and a second night in my tent elsewhere. All very conditions dependent, will see how it goes..

This is the hostel btw: https://ulvahostel.co.uk
FraserK
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by FraserK »

I live on Mull, the car parking at Ulva Ferry has been increased and there’s no real restrictions - half the spaces are marked for Turus Mara but the rest are for anyone to use and no restriction on over-nighting. The residents use the old car park behind the sheds. The slipway has been modified and can be a bit sketchy depending on the state of the tide for both launching and exiting. You can put-in by the campervan bays but it can be a scramble over seaweed covered rocks and through knee-deep gloop. Next nearest spots are on the beach at Killiechronan or along the south shore of Loch na Keal
Sean_soup
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by Sean_soup »

I'm home again after a wonderful few days on Mull, and thought I'd update this now that I can with a few pics..

I launched at Tràigh Doire Dhubhaig in the end (by the parking area at the foot of the path up to the summit of Ben More). As much as anything because that was the first suitable spot I came to whilst trundling round from Fionnphort and I was keen to get going. There was plenty of space when I arrived on Thursday morning, but getting back there on Saturday afternoon it was actually pretty full. Something I hadn't really picked up from Fraser's post at the time is that there are actually quite a few alternative spots further East along the Southern shore of Loch Na Keal too. (Well before you get to the end of the loch and Killiechronan.)

Meanwhile at Ulva Ferry, the parking area hasn't just been increased a little bit, it's been increased by really quite a lot.

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In the second pic there, on the left hand side there is a little craft giftshop thing in a converted horsebox. All the way down from there on the left hand side are the reserved spaces for Turus Mara's passengers - about the same space they had before (what seems to have been more or less all the space there was before). On the right hand side from the near end up until about level with the horsebox, that bit is marked as disabled parking. The rest is fair game. (And overnight parking is no problem as long as you're not camping there.)

Speaking of camping, there are now three bookable van-camping spots complete with electrical hook-up and chemical waste disposal facilities. Might be of interest to those who travel by campervan as a place to stay prior to setting off on a trip or after returning. (Stays are limited to three nights max, no idea what the price is but there's a number on the sign to make enquiries and bookings.)

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And then lastly the space on the other side by the sheds is now marked up as a car park for those visiting and staying on Ulva, not just the permanent residents. And again leaving a vehicle there overnight is not a problem, as long as you're not kipping in it.

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Speaking of staying on Ulva, I did check out the hostel and I think it deserves a mention. I'll do that in another post though..
Sean_soup
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Re: Ulva Ferry

Post by Sean_soup »

I was lucky enough to get a fabulous little weather window for my trip out to the Treshnish Isles, but it shifted a bit so in the end I spent one night in my tent on Lunga and then a second night in the Ulva Hostel. https://ulvahostel.co.uk/

Well as it turns out it's even better than it looks from the website, that place is absolutely delightful. My first instinct when I find somewhere I like that much, slightly selfishly, is usually to be a bit secretive about it - but it was very quiet and I wonder if it doesn't need to be a bit busier than that to be sustainable really, so I'm happy to shout about it a little bit! Besides which, being a ferry crossing (for those who don't have their own boat) and a bit of a walk from the nearest car-park, I don't suppose it's ever likely to be obnoxiously busy.

It's a fairly gentle walk of about 1.2km from the ferry slipway by the Boathouse cafe, but if launching/landing within a few hours of high water there's a slightly shorter alternative approach you could use. (Best avoided at low water - the walk would still be fine, launching/landing not so much.)

Here's a map with a pin in it. (The hostel is Ardalum House on the OS map btw.) The pin marks the position of a small shed with a tin roof. Just up behind it there's a ladder style crossing a deer fence, and on the other side of the fence there's a good path that leads up through the woods to the hostel in only about 600m or so.

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