Gruline lies at the south west end of a 2½ mile wide isthmus that separates it from Salen, on Mull's north east coast. It faces out over the deeply indenting Loch na Keal which only just stops short of dividing Mull into two separate islands at this point.
Gruline appears on signposts from a considerable distance away on Mull, but this say more about its location on an important road junction than it does about the size or significance of Gruline itself. What you find is a highly scattered settlement whose beginnings and ends are difficult to distinguish from those of the equally-dispersed neighbouring Knock and Killiechronan. For the purposes of this page, therefore, we have not tried too hard to separate these settlements from one another.
This area of Mull sees the boundary between two of the large estates which own much of the island. Knock is home to the Benmore Estate, which owns 17,000 acres stretching for six miles south west from here over the summit of Ben More to Glen More. The Gruline Estate is focussed on Gruline House and owns much of the land in Gruline itself.
Of the two main houses in the area, Knock House is the most visible. The more reclusive Gruline House stands overlooking the inland Loch Ba, at the end of a network of private roads. Both estates provide accommodation for visitors in self-catering cottages, while Knock House can be rented out for functions and events, offering 12 guest bedrooms and 8 guest bath/shower rooms, and sleeping up to 22 guests (with additional accommodation for a cook/nanny if required).
For those who prefer to provide their own accommodation, the Killiechronan Campsite occupies an idyllic location overlooking the end of Loch na Keil.
For visitors to the island, Gruline features primarily as somewhere you pass through en route from Salen to Ulva, or after driving around the spectacular road that skirts the southern side of Loch na Keil and Ben More's northern flank from Pennyghael. But there are two reasons to stop and spend a little time here. The first is St Columba's Episcopal Church, beside the main road passing through Gruline. The other is the Macquarie Mausoleum, which describes itself as the last resting place of "The Father of Australia."
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