Surrounded in myth and mystery, Mackinnons Cave is said to be the deepest sea cave in the Hebrides, at over 500 feet.

Distance: 2.25 miles / 3.5 km

Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

 

Like many Hebridean caves, it was thought to offer a passage to the underworld of fairies. There is the tale of the piper who tried to outdo the fairies in a piping competition and walked into the cave accompanied by his dog. Only the dog returned, crazed with fear. Some say he went right through the hill and emerged on the other side of the headland at Loch Scridain.

Even without myth and mystery, the cave is worth visiting. The walk in will take you down the geological column from Mull’s tertiary volcanics to the psammite basement rocks at the cave.

The final part of the walk-in is a scramble over jumbled boulders, which can be slippery if wet. Appropriate footwear is essential. Don’t forget your torch if you want to go to the back of the cave. Consult the tide tables, too, as the cave is cut off at high tide. For maximum time, go about three hours after high tide.