REFLECTING THE WORLD OF NATURE
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This page is dedicated to Scottish Islands.
A gallery of images and information will be posted here for each island we visit.
Hopefully this will show you how beautiful the islands are and tempt you to check them out yourself!
Please select the tab for the island and click on the Island image to view the Gallery
The Isle of Arran
Lying with its east coast in the Firth of Clyde and the Kilbrannan Sound on its west coast, Arran sits between the coast of the Scottish mainland in the east and the Kintyre peninsular in the west.
Overlooked by Goatfell (874 m), the island has a little of everything that can be found elsewhere in Scotland and has often been described as 'Scotland in Miniature'.
Accessible by ferry from Ardrossan on the mainland as well as Tarbert to the north west, it is one of the easier Islands to reach.
Brodick Castle is just north of the port of Brodick.
Good roads, standing stones, a wealth of history, scenery and wildlife.
Have a browse though the gallery - you may want to make a visit!
The Isle of Colonsay
One of the Inner Hebrides group, Colonsay is located to the north of Islay
and to the south of the Isle of Mull.
Some 10 miles long by 2 miles wide, it is a small but beautiful island with a population of 135 people.
The island has beautiful sandy beaches, many standing stones and a great variety of flora and fauna.
Depending on farming - both on land and sea, Lobster Fishing, crafts, honey production and visitor accommodation,
Colonsay is a jewel amongst the Inner Hebrides and well worth a visit.
The roads are very good and the people very friendly. We will certainly be going back!
The ferry from Oban takes two hours to reach the island and there is also a service from Port Askaig on Islay which takes longer.
This tiny island was once at the very centre of the world's production of slate tiles for roofing.
One of the 'Slate' islands, this and other islands in the area are said to have roofed the world at their peak.
Today slate mining is no more but Easdale still thrives with a small community and a cafe.
It lies to the west of the Isle of Seil and can be reached easily by a short ferry ride.
Seil is accessible by road over the superbly constructed Clachan Seil 'Atlantic Bridge' and is 15 miles south of Oban,
from there, Ellenabeich and the Easdale Ferry are just a short drive.
Easdale is well worth visiting and is also the base for wildlife boat trips taking visitors along the coast and onwards, visiting
the world renowned Corryvrecken whirlpool off the Isle of Scarba.
The Isle of Islay
Islay is lies to the south-west of the Isle of Jura and directly south of the Isle of Colonsay.
To the east is the Kintyre peninsular and Knapdale to the north-east.
Some 620 square kilometres (239 sq mi) it is smaller than Mull but very different.
Known worldwide for its famous whiskies, eight distilleries can be found, and visited, on the island.
Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Ardbeg and Kilchoman.
The island has a varied landscape, beautiful villages and coastline and one of the most unusual churches in the world.
The beaches can be both sand or shingle.
Travelling around Islay is very easy with fairly well maintained roads and both
Colonsay and Jura are easily visited from Port Askaig.
Wildlife and Flora can be found everywhere and the scenery is stunning.
Visitors are made very welcome and we heard Gaelic being spoken whilst there.
Access to Islay is by CalMac ferry from either Kennacraig near Tarbert or Oban.
Well worth visiting with plenty to see.
The Isle of Jura.
Located off the west coast of Scotland south of Oban.
Jura is famous for its three mountains - The Paps of Jura, its whisky and its Red Deer population.
There is only one road running from south to north along the east side of Jura.
The island lies north of the Isle of Islay and south of the Isle of Mull.
It can be reached by ferry from Port Askaig on Islay.
Jura is well worth visiting.
It has beautiful beaches, rugged scenery and a long history.
The images on this gallery give a glimpse of what can be seen there.
The Isle of Lismore
The island lies north of Oban between the Lynn of Lorn to its south-east and Loch Linne and the Lyn of Morvern to its north and west.
If you have taken a ferry from Oban you will probably have sailed past the Lismore Lighthouse located on Eilean Musdile at its southern tip.
A small but thriving community with a splendid Visitor Centre/Heritage Museum and a Shop/Post Office.
The scenery is not to be missed and Lismore is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
A long and only slightly hilly island, Lismore is quiet and peaceful.
There are three inland lochs - Loch Bail a Ghobhainn,
Kilcheran Loch and Loch Fiart and two Castles - Castle Coeffin and Tirefour Castle Broch.
Easily reached by car ferry from Oban or passenger ferry from Port Appin, Lismore is a very good day out.
The Isle of Luing.
Luing is one of our favourite islands. Quiet, beautiful, a long history, easily accessible with very friendly inhabitants.
It is located south of the Isle of Seil withe the Sopund of Luing on its west coats and Seil Sound, Loch Melfort
and Shuna Sound to the east. It is easily reached by ferry from Cuan on the Isle of Seil, south of Oban.
Luing too is one of the 'Slate Isles' with deep pools scattered about its northern shores.
It is known world-wide for being the home of the famous Luing Cattle which originated on the island after being bred by the Cadzow brothers Ralph, Dennis and Shane in 1947.
The animals are renowned for being hardy, easy to handle and producing very good meat.
The cattle are also attractive beasts with their deep reddish ginger hair.
Luing itself is full of history and was once a thriving centre for shipping slate abroad from Black Mill Bay in the south of the island which was also a busy centre for passenger transport and commerce.
Nothing now remains of the original jetty other than some rotten timbers and rusty railing.
Kilchatton Church and Toberonochy are both well worth seeing.
Cullipool is home to the island's Atlantic Visitor Centre, a busy fishing harbour and the remains of a very large slate quarry.
There is a shop/post office at Cullipool.
Try a day there, you won't regret it!
The Isle of Mull
Located off the west coast of Scotland, Mull is one of the Inner Hebrides group.
The Island has a world-wide reputation for is beautiful scenery and diverse wildlife and is both very popular and very accessible.
This is a place we have visited many times over the past twenty years and one we still love.
Since the advent of RET (Road Equivalent Tariff) - a system which made it much cheaper to visit by vehicle, visitor numbers
on the island have drastically increased in the past few years.
'Doing Mull in a Day' is now a popular but inadvisable pursuit by many.
Booking a ferry well in advance for both outward and return journeys is essential if travelling from Oban.
The Lochaline ferry (Morvern) can still be accessed for crossings at most normal times but places on this ferry cannot be booked and you may have to wait to cross.
The ferry from Kilchoan on Ardnamurchan is also much busier since RET and as places cannot be booked on this ferry either and you may again have to wait to cross.
Increased traffic on Mull has resulted in more congested roads and a lack of places to park in the towns of Craignure, Salen and Tobermory and Fionnphort (for Iona).
Mull has never been a place where driving is easy.
The roads are mostly single-track and poorly maintained and there is a distinct lack of places for visitors to actually
stop and admire what they came to see.
Combine this with a large increase in the number of motor homes visiting the island, a visit to Mull may not be the most straight-forward experience you would like.
That said, if you are fortunate enough to visit Mull when the roads are quiet and the weather is good,
you will be really glad you went.
The Isle of Raasay
This island lies to the east of the Isle of Skye across the Sound of Raasay with the Inner Sound to its east, separating it from the
mainland of Applecross in Wester Ross.
The rugged terrain is dominated by the flat-topped peak of Dùn Caan (443m) with the Isle of Rona off the northern tip of Raasay.
The island is visited via the CalMac ferry from Sconser on Skye.
The current ferry the MV Hallaig is a Hybrid ship and one of the most quiet vessels we have ever travelled on.
The Churchton Bay ferry terminal on Raasay has also be fairly recently re-built and is just south of Raasay House.
In the north of the island is Brochel Castle a spectacular ruin of a medieval fortress.
Just to the north of it is Calum's Road a single track road giving access to Arnish.
The road was built, almost single-handedly, by the late Calum MacLeod BEM.
After creating a track to the north in earlier years with his brother Charles, years passed trying to persuade
the council build the road without success.
Calum decided to do it himself using little more than a shovel, pick and wheelbarrow.
The road was constructed between 1964 and 1974 with Calum being awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to the
Raasay is fairly easy to reach, beautiful and full of history.
Another one for your list of places to visit!
The Isle of Seil
Located off the west coast of Lorn south of Oban, Seil is not strictly speaking and island any more.
Once accessed by a short ferry trip across Seil Sound, a bridge over the sound was designed by John Stevenson of Oban and
built by a local engineer Robert Mylne between 1792 and 1793.
A single-arched span, Clachan Bridge is a superb feat of engineering and worth a visit to see alone.
It now carries more traffic than at any time in its history including coaches and heavy vehicles and looks probably as good as it was when opened. It is often referred to as the Atlantic Bridge or Bridge over the Atlantic.
In the summer, the bridge is brightly coloured with the thousands of Fairy Foxgloves which have made their homes in its walls.
Seil is another hidden gem that is not known as a popular destination for visitors but is, regardless, well worth a visit.
It also gives access to the islands of Easedale (via Ellenabeich) and Luing (via Cuan) and is home to
Ballachuan Hazelwood Nature Reserve.
If you want to explore the Garvellachs and see Corryvreckan Whirlpool by boat, Seil has two very good wildlife boat companies to choose from.
Have a look, it's certainly worth a day out.
The Isle of Skye
Known the world over, Skye is another place which firmly takes its place in both history and for its beauty and wildlife.
Again, technically not an island now since the bridge across Kyle Akin was built and completed in 1995, it is nevertheless
still regarded as an island.
The gallery will give you a much better idea of what can be seen on Skye than I can describe.
It is certainly worth visiting but is another island that is suffering somewhat from its success.
Summer time sees a vast influx of visitors from all over the world putting both Skye's amenities and accommodation under strain.
Once again, you are advised to book your accommodation well in advance and be prepared for lots of company.
To get away for the day, consider a visit to Raasay.
There isn't much more I can write about Skye except that once seen, you will probably want to go back there.
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