The most commonly used route to Mull is via the ferry from Oban to Craignure, near the eastern end of the Sound of Mull. There are, however, two less well known alternatives. One links Tobermory on Mull with Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. A more practical option is the half hour crossing between Fishnish on Mull and Lochaline at the southern end of Morvern. For current timetable and fare information, and for bookings, visit CalMac's website.
Lochaline lies 30 miles south-west of the Corran Ferry. The last 18 miles from Strontian south to Lochaline are along single track roads. With lots of straight stretches, generally good sight lines and plentiful passing places, these are pretty good as single track roads go. Nonetheless, the Morvern Community Council recommends allowing an absolute minimum of an hour between disembarking from the Corran Ferry and the departure time of the Lochaline Ferry.
Coupled with the short and relatively cheap ferry crossing from Lochaline to Fishnish and the new and higher capacity ferry operating at Corran these roads put Mull only about 40 miles away from Fort William. This makes a day trip between the two a realistic proposition.
Lochaline is the largest mainland settlement for twenty miles, but that does not make it large. The name comes from, Loch Aline, from the Gaelic Loch ath a'Linne: "The Loch of the Ford of the Pool".
The ferry in use between Lochaline and Fishnish when we took the photos for this page was the MV Loch Fyne, built in Port Glasgow in 1991. It can accommodate 36 cars and 150 passengers, and while it has passenger facilities including a lounge, the crossing is so short few passengers make use of them. The Loch Fyne was perhaps better known as one of the ferries displaced by the building of the Skye Bridge. The route has since been taken over by the MV Lochinvar, a pioneering diesel electric hybrid ferry.
At the far side of the Sound of Mull from Lochaline is Fishnish. Fishnish comprises the ferry slipway, an excellent cafe, some public conveniences and that is about it. But then, what more do you need with Tobermory just eleven miles up the road?