February 1, 2020
The Ross of Mull is perfect for people who love the outdoors; there are very few indoor attractions. However there is one place everyone should make a point of visiting because it is very special and unique on Mull and is free to visit and open all year.
Located on the hillside overlooking beautiful Ardalanish Beach is Ardalanish Organic Farm, with its herds of Highland cattle and native Hebridean sheep. But what you don’t expect to find on a farm is a high quality weaving mill. Using the native wool and local plant dyes, Ardalanish Weavers produce a wonderful variety of tweed and made-up products from weaving looms made in the 1920’s and 1950’s. The idea of a weaving mill emerged around 2003 when the farm was looking at an alternative to selling the fleece from their native sheep. The income from the fleece was so poor, the farm decided to try weaving it. By a stroke of luck, Bob Ryan who was the Master Weaver and owner at Isle of Mull Weavers, located at Torosay Castle, had decided to retire. The looms were moved to Ardalanish and Bob provided his vast knowledge and skill and training apprentices, which he still does today. These days the Mill also buys fleeces from carefully chosen other native breeds, giving the products distinctive colour and style. Apart from the beautiful bales of tweed for sales, there are blankets, cushions scarves, shawls, wraps, hats, handbags and other items, perfect for gifts. One of the best reasons for visiting the weaving mill is to view the magnificent looms being prepared with warp and weft and then put into action. It is an impressive experience of sight, sound and the wonderful smell of the wool and machinery.
In the shop you also can buy Ardalanish organic beef and lamb (and ice cream!) from the freezer, and make yourself a cup of tea or coffee.
Ardalanish Farm also operate paid Landrover Safari Tours which take you into the fabulous surrounding scenery. You will meet the native breeds in the fields and hills and discover a wealth of information about the local history and natural environment.
You should also plan to take a walk down to stunning Ardalanish Beach with paths from Ardalanish Farm and the beach car park. There are acres of white sand, fabulous views out to Islay, Jura and Colonsay, fascinating geology and beautiful flowering machair from May until September.