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Staffa, Isle of Mull

Staffa is perhaps Scotland’s best known geographical feature, along with Ben Nevis and St Kilda, and the cruising yachtsman is well placed to see and explore this unique place. Other people have to make a long journey to the Ross of Mull, and then take a tourist boat to the island. The cruising yacht can drop anchor (weather permitting) off the landing stage, and enjoy the run of the island, and better still, row intoFingal’s cavein a dinghy.

This is also a favourite destination for kayakers, who can explore the cliffs and caves from close by.

Fingal’s Caveis formed from distinctive six-sided columns of basalt rock. This is the same material as forms the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and both are part of a series of huge volcanic events that flooded the whole landscape of north east Ireland and south west Scotland in hundreds of feet of lava, which cooled to form basalt.

Visitors to the island will be exploring in the footsteps of Felix Mendelssohn, who composed the Hebrides Overture, aka Fingal’s Cave. Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Jules Verne were other famous visitors.

During spring and early summer, the cliffs and grassy slopes provide nesting sites for seabirds, typically guillemots, razorbills and puffins.

For more information see: www.southernhebrides.com/staffa.html