Having pledged to reduce plastic usage back in January, I thought I would embrace my inner hippy by taking it one step further and include a Green Tourism location belt under my holiday choices. In October I was invited to stay at the Treshnish Cottages in Isle of Mull owned by the wonderful photographer Carolyne Charrington and her husband Somerset Charrington.
Treshnish & Haunn Cottages are situated on a spectacular coastal farm, within a beautiful National Scenic Area, close to Calgary beach. The Treshnish Cottages are located around the traditional farm ‘square’ at Treshnish, and a further mile down the farm track are the four Haunn Cottages. My stay in the cottage offered a peaceful and tranquil base to explore the island that I was craving before escaping the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh City centre.
When Carolyne mentioned that the Treshnish Holiday Cottages had been awarded Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme since 2001, it fed my curiosity and I wanted to find out more. She mentioned that the farm is managed to benefit bio-diversity and wildlife, the eco friendly cottages are managed to reduce carbon footprint whilst providing a wonderful environment in which to stay. They have adopted various site-appropriate domestic scale renewables (wind, solar) to generate electricity – the site is currently generating over 80% of its annual energy need. Some other things they do to go the extra mile to preserve the incredible wildlife in the area include:
Having wood burning stoves in their cottages - the wood is also sourced locally - perfect for chilly autumn night
Using eco friendly cleaning products in the cottages
Supporting local producers by making local produce available for visitors - we had Isle of mull Cheese and Island Bakery biscuits waiting for us as tasty treats at the cottage
They have a mindful blog on what guests can do to take part which can be found on their website. We did our share of joining in the echo- friendly theme by spending an entire day walking the spectacular Treshnish Cliff edges rather than driving in a car. The walk lead to the legendary Whisky cave and haunted abandoned villages. It was such a stunning day that the 6 hour journey seemed to pass like a flash. We had packed our lunch with locally sourced snacks for our adventure ahead. In the first instance the rugged cliffs of Treshnish provided undisturbed views of the Treshnish island of Lunga at the distance. I spotted few puffin burrows next to the cliff edge but alas they had already migrated to their winter destination. We did however spot a couple of eagles soaring high hunting for their next meal. The mysterious Whisky Cave is known to be difficult to spot in the first instance but having recieved precise instructions from Carolyne, we found it quite quickly. The path down the cliff was muddy and getting down to it was tricky, we celebrated our find by indulging in a sip of local whisky which we had brought with us. Worried about limited daylight hours, we had to leave in a hurry. We then continued with our journey high up the zigzag path to the villages. By then the sun was low in the sky making the landscape glow golden as we walked through a vast moorland to the old school house which is now a residential cottage. Just before we reached the old school, the skies grew darker and darker until a shower of rain created the most beautiful double rainbow that I have ever seen. With highest spirits and completely drenched raincoats we made it on to the main road and walked back to the farm. I would class the walk one of the best walks in Isle of Mull. You can find full details on walking highlands website. The photos below shows our adventure step by step...