The Gribun area is located opposite the island of Inch Kenneth on the west coast of Mull and also refers to the high bluffs of Dùnan Nan Nighean, Creag Brimishgan and Beinn Chreagach which tower above the single track roadway of the B8035.
The road runs from Knock in the east along the south shores of Loch na Keal. Cut out of the rock at the foot of the headland and on the edge of the loch, the road is quite often littered with small stones that have been disturbed by the weather and sheep on the slopes above.
It is a unique road, climbing steeply and quite narrow with passing places. There is a superb view across Loch na Keal of Oskamull, Ulva, Inch Kenneth and Eorsa with the Treshnish Isles, Coll and Tiree coming into view as the road peaks and turns left at the end of the headland.
Moving away from the headland through Clachandhu, now dominated by the slopes of Beinn Chreagach and Beinn an Lochain, the route goes down to sea level again with a wide sandy beach adjacent to the road before the rocky shores of Sgeir nan Damh.
As you pass along the road you will see a huge boulder at the base of the 1000 foot cliffs just before the road climbs uphill again. The boulder has a small stone wall built around its base and is known as Clach na Leannan, ‘The Stone of the Courting Couple’ or more often these days Tragedy Rock.
The history of this is that around the year 1700 a young couple were married opposite where the stone now lies. They had been fortunate to obtain a small croft house at this location. On the night of the wedding they returned to the croft while the celebrations continued.
Heavy rain and stormy winds battered the cliffs throughout the night. The following morning islanders were shocked to discover that the huge boulder had dislodged and rolled down from the crags above overnight completely crushing the newly weds croft and them with it.
It is said that rafters from the croft could be seen protruding from beneath the boulder for some 200 years after the tragedy.
They lie there to this day.
The drive along the south shores of Loch na Keal, up and around the headland at its base and onwards past Gribun and Balmeanach is not to be missed if you visit Mull.
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