Sunday, 2 December 2012

TOBERMORY

Mull is the second largest island in the Inner Hebrides after Skye. The island's stunning scenery and wildlife earned it a place on our TV screens in 2010 when the Autumnwatch series featured the story of the re-introduction of white-tailed sea eagles to the island. Tobermory, the capital of the island, has also played a starring TV role as Balamory in the popular children's series of the same name. The brightly coloured buildings which feature in the show are not a figment of the producer's imagination, but are a reflection of the real-life town of Tobermory, where the town's buildings are every bit as colourful as those depicted in Balamory. There is also a children's book called The Tobermory Cat based on a well-known ginger tom, so well-known in fact that he has his own Facebook page. However, the cat unwittingly became the focus of a spat between the author and the artist who created the Facebook page, who accused the writer of stealing his idea, although the cat was well known before the Facebook page was set up.

The name Tobermory derives from the gaelic Tobar Mhoire, or "Well of Mary", a reference to the since disappeared St Mary's Well and St Mary's Chapel which dated from medieval times. There is a monument marking the spot where the well stood. The town lies on Tobermory Bay where, in 1588, one of the ships of the Spanish Armada was allegedly sunk with a quantity of gold on board. Although the area has been inhabited for several millennia, the present-day town was established in 1788 by the British Fisheries Society. The town never achieved the Fisheries Society's aim of becoming an important fishing port, but the harbour still provides a safe haven for vessels. As would be expected for an island so well stocked with wildlife there are a range of wildlife watching tours available from Tobermory. Walkers can head to Aros Park which is reached by a scenic path from Ledaig. For history buffs there is a group of standing stones called the Baliscate Standing Stones just outside the town. The Mull Museum in the main street is full of artefacts relating to the island's history. Cultural activities include the Mull Theatre at Drimfin, just outside Tobermory, and the An Tobar arts centre overlooking the bay.

Events in Tobermory include a Highland Games in July, and a regatta in late July/early August. For a list of events, see here.


Map
of the area.


© 2009 David Baird, via Wikimedia Commons

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