Isle of Mull
STAY AT Western Isles Hotel, Tobermory; 44-1688/302-012; www.mullhotel.com; doubles from $188.
Tiroran House, 44-1681/705-232; www.tiroran.com; doubles from $164.
EAT AT Western Isles Hotel (see above)
Back Brae Restaurant, Main St., Tobermory; 44-1688/302-422; dinner for two $54.
The fish-and-chips van, Fisherman's Pier, Tobermory.
CHECK OUT Duart Castle, Lochdon; 44-1680/812-309; www.duartcastle.com.
Torosay Castle & Gardens, Craignure; 44-1680/812-421.
Mull Theatre, Royal Buildings, Main St., Tobermory; 44-1688/302-828; www.mulltheatre.com.
Island Encounter Wildlife & Birdwatch Safaris, 44-1680/300-441; www.mullwildlife.co.uk.
The neighboring islands, Iona (the Abbey), Staffa (Fingal's Cave), and the Treshnish Isles (bird-watching).
CLAN MACLEAN WEB SITE www.maclean.org
Euan Maclachlan of Maclachlan
25TH CHIEF OF CLAN LACHLAN
Many an overnight visitor to Castle Lachlan, in Strathlachlan, has felt a gentle tugging at the duvet and awoken to see an apparition hovering at the foot of the bed. The popular explanation is that the Maclachlan familyhas been protected for centuries by a spirit called the brounie. Euan Maclachlan's mother, the late Madam Maclachlan of Maclachlan, the 24th chief (since the 1890's chiefships have been allowed to pass down in the female line), admitted to encountering their benefactor but refused to describe him, reporting only that the brounie had an aversion to untidiness in the castle.
With their three young children and posse of dogs roaming the halls, the present chief and his wife, Lisa, live at Castle Lachlan in what might be called charming disarray. The obsessive brounie no doubt approved of their decision to turn the grander half of the castle into a spotless rental; no one has complained yet of unbidden room service.
A sheep farmer with a 1,500-acre estate to maintain, Euan is happy to share his home for the privilege of continuing to live there. "It works well," he says. "We give guests exclusive use of the tennis court, garden, and billiard room. The way the castle is divided we're hardly aware of each other. And there's plenty for guests to see in this unspoiled corner of Argyll."