Tobermory Harbour History

The capital of the Island of Mull, Tobermory is best known for it's colourful houses on the Harbour front and for providing the setting for the popular children's TV show Balamory.

The town was originally founded as a fishing port in the late 1700's with renowned engineer Thomas Telford's designs laying way for the layout of the town.

Nowadays Tobermory thrives on tourism with significant draws such as West Highland Yachting Week, The Round Mull Race and Rally Weekend.

First steam powered ship service brings tourism to Tobermory

26 August 1819

The date that transformed the North West coast of Scotland.


Brian Swinbanks, Chair of Tobermory Harbour has researched and written this historical article. Members on the West Coast particularly will find it of interest.

The article highlights that 2019 marks 2 centuries since the first scheduled and regular paddle steamer left Glasgow for Fort William, dramatically changing the the lives of many people and communities on the West Coast.

Brian has written a short, but impressive, account, which details the events. The PDF is below for your reference.

Tobermory Harbour Timeline
Bay History

Located on the Western side of the colourful town of Tobermory, Tobermory Bay is sheltered from the South, West and Northwest by steep cliffs and adjacent hills.


To the East of Tobermory you find Calve Island, providing enclosed shelter to the bay. Calve is connected to Mull at it's most Southerly point where forms the Doirlinn. Small boats may enter the Bay via the Doirlinn however must note that the passage is narrow, shallow and is not suitable for larger vessels. The passage, which dries at low water, is marked with a Port (Red) and Starboard (Green) Hand Perch (Unlit).

Inbound vessels should approach from the Sound of Mull through the wide North East entrance.