The Glen Houses – You’ll want to come back
Most visitors to the island use the Caledonain MacBrayne ferry from Oban to Craignure. On leaving the ferry pier on Mull turn right and follow the main road towards Tobermory. Go straight throughout the village of Salen and after another mile take the left turn signed to Dervaig. Follow this road for about 10 miles and you will see the pencil spire of the church and the village. At the 30 mph limit sign take the second turn on the right into the Glen Houses site.
Other routes on to the island are the Lochaline to Fishnish ferry which is a lot smaller and better suited if you are coming from the north. There is also a smaller ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory.
The Glen Houses are situated on the Glen Road to Salen just south of the village of Dervaig – a ten minute walk.
Established as a village in 1799, Dervaig (pronounced Dervig) was built by MacLean of Coll and has 26 houses, built in pairs each with its own large garden. The cottages would have been thatched originally but it is still one of the most picturesque villages in the Hebrides. The old folk can occasionally still be heard talking in the Gaelic tongue in the bar of the Hotel.
The Bellachroy Hotel is the oldest drovers Inn on the island marking a stopping place on the old drovers routes to livestock markets in the south across the islands. Friendly service and good food make it a popular venue for locals and visitors in the area.
The pencil spire of Kilmore church at the junction of the road from Salen is a rarity in Scotland although this design is common in Ireland. The stained glass windows and the well loved interior of the church are well worth a visit.
The estuary of the river Bellart is crossed by the road by the old stone bridge, where the protected estuary gives Dervaig its name meaning ‘good inlet’ in old Norse. The settlement goes back to the first recorded church here in the 1200s. An old stone salmon trap across the estuary can still be seen when the tide is low.
The village can be reached from four directions giving good access to the whole north part of the island. Tobermory is 8 miles to the east, Calgary and Treshnish to the west, as well as Torloisk and Ulva Ferry to the south west and Salen to the south, down the Glen road.
The ruined village of Achnasoul is a mile down the Glen road from the Glen Houses.
Up the hill on the road to Tobermory is the old churchyard where many of the old village names can still be seen on the stones. The current graveyard is further up the road. At the top of the hill above the hairpin is a trig point and view point giving a fabulous panoramic view of the village and from where the islands of Coll and Tiree can often be seen.