Family Vacation Journal: Scotland's Isle of Mull

Family Vacation Journal: Scotland's Isle of Mull

A grandmother’s love for the classic film 'I Know Where I’m Going' leads to multigenerational swordfighting in on the Scottish coast By: Keryn Means
<p><span style="font-family: 'trebuchet ms', sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">The writer and her two sons braved rainy weather to see the site. // © 2015...

The writer and her two sons braved rainy weather to see the site. // © 2015 Keryn Means

Feature image (above): The ruins of Moy Castle // © 2015 Keryn Means

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Our family journey to the Isle of Mull, one of dozens of islands that make up the Scottish archipelago Inner Hebrides, technically began in 1945. My mother adores the black-and-white film “I Know Where I’m Going,” in which leading lady Joan Webster, played by Wendy Hiller, treks with her love interest to the Isle of Mull’s Moy Castle.
When we planned our own family trip to Scotland this spring, the castle ruins were of course on the itinerary. 
But it wasn’t just Mom who enjoyed the site, despite the journey required to get there — from Edinburgh, expect a three-hour drive and up to two ferry rides, depending on your route. While my mother had tears in her eyes, the boys in my family hopped from rock to rock with plastic swords, a fortuitous purchase my dad had made earlier on the trip. 
At ages 3 and 5, my sons didn’t understand the significance of the crumbling castle behind them, but they did see that it was an ideal spot to pretend to be knights. The rain made it hard for them to spy those quick jabs their grandfather snuck in from time to time, but that didn’t deter them from having fun in the cold.
We walked away dry thanks to rain pants, raincoats and umbrellas. My mom collected bits of pottery and shells from the beach in front of Moy Castle, and my sons and father kept their swords for their next battle. After all, the fight would go on long after we left Scotland.