Scottish Creations Tour Blog: Mull & Skye

On-the-road updates from staff and musicians on our Scottish Creations tour.

24 May 2022


View of sea and hills

I always like coming to Mull. The windy coach ride to the Oban ferry terminal, and the bumpy journey across the water I could do without, but in getting off the ferry there’s a serenity that I don’t realise I’m craving until I’m there. The immediate lack of phone reception is annoying at first, but frustration quickly turns to gratitude as I enjoy a quieter inbox.

The lack of hotel accommodation on the island is also a pleasant paradox. The alternative, a quirky B&B with cosy single beds, walls adorned with seashells and exotic looking (plastic) fish, and a note in the bathroom that warns you not to shower for more than 10 mins lest you be charged £5 per minute more (I’ve never showered so quickly), is endearing and the freshly brewed coffee that comes with a home cooked breaky and a glorious view that overlooks the bay, is definitely at the upper end of the “glamorous” touring experience.

Homely fireplace in bed and breakfast

Scottish Ensemble last played on Mull in late summer of 2019, but it feels like only a few months have passed since then. The theatre, hidden off road just outside Tobermory, is modest looking; a black box inside and out, but when the locals start arriving pre-concert, there’s a buzz about the place that brings it to life. You realise quickly from the chatter, that everyone knows each other here. There are young fiddle players that come along for the folk session, and they remember our musicians that visited and played with them before. It’s a heart-warming way to start this tour, a reunion of sorts, of audience and performers sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company. It’s a special feeling and reminds me why we tour to the places we do.

Catherine Ferrell, General Manager

picture of orchestra performing


White house with thatched roof

I was last in Skye about 20 years ago long before the bridge was built. We travelled all the way from Glasgow in a white transit van in those days, (I don’t miss it!) and I can remember the excitement in having a free day to explore the island where we happily stumbled upon the Three Chimneys restaurant before it became famous. I can still remember the paella! Delicious.

Touring Skye in 2022 has been just as enjoyable with lovely meals, walks and of course the performance in Dunvegan to a small but very appreciative audience alongside beautiful art work from local schools adding to our touring exhibition. Colin the collie was a particular favourite in Dunvegan, he would have fetched sticks all day. The drive back to Portree was very dramatic, huge skies quite undecided as to what tomorrow’s weather will bring. We got back to the hotel just in time for a night cap. I hope it won’t be another 20 years till I’m back here.

Diane Clark, Double Bass

Read the next instalment of our Scottish creations tour blog here.

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