Enchanted by Puffins on the Isle of Staffa

When we first discussed our holiday to Oban and Mull,
a boat trip to the Isle of Staffa was always at the top of our wish list.
The reason? Numerous documentaries on Fingal’s Cave!

StaffaStaffa is a small island to the west of Mull, looked after by the National Trust.
It’s dramatic appearance owes to an interesting geology of towering basalt columns.

StaffaThere are several different routes available for getting to Staffa.
In the end we pre-booked with Staffa Trips after a recommendation from a friend.
This tour offered a 45 minute boat journey from Fionnphort at the south of Mull,
with at least an hour onshore at Staffa (weather dependent).

FionnphortAs we departed Fionnphort we had a good view of the Isle of Iona.
Not ten minutes into the journey, we saw seals!

SealsThey looked pretty relaxed as our little boat circled around for a better view.

Near IonaThe captain came around to speak to us in small groups during the crossing.
He pointed out sights including the Treshnish Isles (below).

HatsBefore too long, Staffa loomed in the distance.
It’s safe to say I was quite excited…

StaffaLanding on a small pier, we were instructed to return to the boat in one hour.
We had the choice of heading up to see the puffins or left to visit Fingal’s Cave.

Cave walkWe opted for the rocky coastal path into the cave.
The path was well maintained with handrails and a grippy non-slip paint.
In single file, we made our way inside.

Fingal's CaveI hadn’t expected to be able to walk right into Fingal’s Cave.
I also hadn’t expected to find a film crew there ahead of us!
(More documentaries no doubt!)
We took some photos and admired the view.

RocksThe rain started as we made our way back from Fingal’s Cave.
Thankfully it was only light, but we still had to tread more carefully in the wet.
I’d recommend wearing sturdy shoes.

PuffinsOur hour on the island left plenty of time to hike up to see the puffins.
Before the trip, I had bought a pair of binoculars for this particular purpose.
However, to my surprise (and intense delight), the puffins came to us!

PuffinsI had never seen a puffin before, but they really are the most endearing creatures.
I was enchanted watching them fly (rather ungracefully) in to land.
They showed no fear, just curiosity.

PuffinsReturning to the boat, we were told that the puffins would soon migrate
(this was late July). Knowing this, I felt even more grateful to have seen them.

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