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8MileBU

Scottish Islands

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Following on from the Highlands & Islands info thread: 

One of the perks of my job is that I get to go to the islands.

What Scottish islands have you been to?

Which ones did you like and why? Are there any you never wish to set foot on again? If so, why? 

So far I've been to the following: 

Mull

Tiree

Colonsay

Coll

Islay

Jura

Gigha

Bute

Skye

Shetland

Orkney: 

Mainland Orkney

Eday

Stronsay

Sanday 

Of the above islands I've mentioned, I'd be in no hurry to go back to Islay, Gigha or Rothesay. The small Orkney Islands I've mentioned, I'd happily go back but for no more than a day.

 

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Rothesay is Bute? Or are you OK with the rest of the island but not the town. Anyway you've just slammed a couple of my Easter Holiday stops, thanks :( :lol:.

Never been to Arran?

Unoriginal, but Skye I've found to be a very fine island. Of course it now accessible by bridge - does that make it an island any more? You could say the same of Seil.

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Rothesay is Bute? Or are you OK with the rest of the island but not the town. Anyway you've just slammed a couple of my Easter Holiday stops, thanks  :lol:.

 

Never been to Arran?

 

Unoriginal, but Skye I've found to be a very fine island. Of course it now accessible by bridge - does that make it an island any more? You could say the same of Seil.

 

Aye, Bute I meant! Will edit original. Rothesay I didn't like. Thought it was a bit of an eyesore to be honest.

 

Need to add Skye to my list as well, forgot I've been there. Unfortunately I was only there for a day with little time to explore it. What I did see of it was pretty nice though. The view of the mountains after turning right off the bridge was stunning.

 

Never been to Arran yet. Heard it's nice though.

 

What islands have I slammed that you're going to visit at Easter? My criticisms might not be as scathing as they seem lol!

 

 

 

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The beach at Ettrick Bay and Port Bannatyne are very good places to kick around on Bute when the weather is nice. Rothesay has enough bin pubs, the castle and the all-important boat out to make it bearable. The West Island Way is worth doing as well. 

Only been to Bute, Arran, Cumbrae and Skye. 

 

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The beach at Ettrick Bay and Port Bannatyne are very good places to kick around on Bute when the weather is nice. Rothesay has enough bin pubs, the castle and the all-important boat out to make it bearable. The West Island Way is worth doing as well. 
Only been to Bute, Arran, Cumbrae and Skye. 
 


Been to see Rothesay Castle, but it's about all Rothesay has to offer.

Just googled The West Island Way. Haven't even heard of it before. Looks decent to be fair. Might give that a bash in stages (unless it's a non-work visit) next time I'm over on Bute and avoid the dump that is Rothesay.
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26 minutes ago, 8MileBU said:

Need to add Skye to my list as well, forgot I've been there. Unfortunately I was only there for a day with little time to explore it. What I did see of it was pretty nice though. The view of the mountains after turning right off the bridge was stunning.

Never been to Arran yet. Heard it's nice though.

What islands have I slammed that you're going to visit at Easter? My criticisms might not be as scathing as they seem lol!

Depending on how you go over to Skye - by the ferry from Mallaig or by the bridge - consider coming back by the 'old' ferry from Kylerhea to Glenelg. Novelty of it being the last hand-turned ferry still operating IIRC, and a name spelt the same forward as backward... but more importantly the scenery as you come down from the hills from height with Loch Long and Eilean Donan in front of you is really great. Not done it outbound, but I imagine it's similar coming down toward Skye.

Islay and Bute. Understand your comments about Rothesay. Not really got a bone to pick with Islay - found it very pleasant previously.

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Depending on how you go over to Skye - by the ferry from Mallaig or by the bridge - consider coming back by the 'old' ferry from Kylerhea to Glenelg. Novelty of it being the last hand-turned ferry still operating IIRC, and a name spelt the same forward as backward... but more importantly the scenery as you come down from the hills from height with Loch Long and Eilean Donan in front of you is really great. Not done it outbound, but I imagine it's similar coming down toward Skye.

Islay and Bute. Understand your comments about Rothesay. Not really got a bone to pick with Islay - found it very pleasant previously.


Islay is nice, but I've been twice, for a week each time, so seen it all now. I'd be bored senseless if I went back anytime soon. A couple of nice beaches, a few distilleries, Lord of the Isles and a round church. Meh...
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If you are going to Mull, you should take the time to go over to Iona as well. There's a bit more fun doing so by public transport, as you get to experience the phenomenon of the local highland cattle trolling. Seeing your coach approaching from a distance, they get up from the grass by the roadsides to meander onto the road and casually plank themselves down in an arrangement making it impossible to drive round even if anyone was foolish enough to attempt it. Then it's a matter of sitting back & enjoying your driver slowly lose the plot as his **beep! beep!**s become **BEEEEEEP! FUCKING BEEEEEEEP!** until the cattle - gazing at the bus nonchalantly - get bored with the noise & decide to move aside.

Beware of the weather on Iona, literally four seasons every five minutes. Over on the south west tip the weather suddenly turned vile & I was plastered with a mixture of hail & snow saturated with the sea salt that seems thick in the air, before turning back to bright sunshine that baked swiftly what had soaked me through, so I "crunched" my way back to the Argyll (which is okayish, btw). The mainstay of the island is of course the Abbey, & there tends to be a lot of Christian groups over at times along with all manner of wannabe writers on various retreats, but they tend to be harmless enough souls.

Arran is nice enough, but there's no way you can really do it justice in just a day.  If you decide to do Goatfell, go up the Brodick Castle way - slightly longer but less likely to leave you wishing you were dead (especially on a hot day). If you want something less stenuous, there's always the bus to Sannox in order to climb Glen Minter - just don't fall in the burn. The castle is a pile of steaming shite - manned by atypical National Trust volunteers who treat the place like a giant dolls house & haven't a bollocks about the history (read up for yourself before going to save disappointment) other than what was Lord Hamilton or whoever's favourite tea set. If you go in the summer, all manner of oddities make the local folk festival, including one year two members of The Stranglers doing an acoustic set.

One to avoid at all costs is Inchcolm - what a let down. Nothing more than a giant ruin on one side, Hitchcock's The Birds (or rather The Seagulls) on the other, which make even those at Largs look positively tame.

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I have vague memories of being in Rothesay as a child and thinking it was cold, windy and shite. 

The only other island i've been to is Skye, about 6 times now. It's a climbers and photographer's paradise, but an utter nightmare during summer. The roads are overloaded with tourist coaches and clueless wankers badly driving hired motorhomes. However, go in March-May or late September/October and it's not too busy, and less midge-ridden. The most spectacular places can be a tedious single track road journey with a wee walk at the end, but they're worth it. Neist Point at sunset is glorious, Talisker Bay and Elgol village are pretty stunning as well. I'm not quite so up on the pubs as I've never gone to any in Portree or Broadford, but Seamus's Bar at Sligachan is sometime good, sometimes shite. 

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I have vague memories of being in Rothesay as a child and thinking it was cold, windy and shite. 
The only other island i've been to is Skye, about 6 times now. It's a climbers and photographer's paradise, but an utter nightmare during summer. The roads are overloaded with tourist coaches and clueless wankers badly driving hired motorhomes. However, go in March-May or late September/October and it's not too busy, and less midge-ridden. The most spectacular places can be a tedious single track road journey with a wee walk at the end, but they're worth it. Neist Point at sunset is glorious, Talisker Bay and Elgol village are pretty stunning as well. I'm not quite so up on the pubs as I've never gone to any in Portree or Broadford, but Seamus's Bar at Sligachan is sometime good, sometimes shite. 


Neist point was where I proposed to my (then to be) wife. We visited Skye not long after we were first together, a year or so and I knew that If marriage was going to be on the cards there wouldn't be many nicer places going than NP in Skye. Followed by a celebratory dinner at the three chimneys that evening.
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So far I've visited:

Arran
Bute
Cumbrae
Iona
Mull
Orkney (also Shapinsay)
Skye
Staffa

I'm a regular visitor to Skye and never tire of the scenery and dramatic skies. Elgol has already been mentioned and to me it's the best corner on the island.

f71b9301b9613225a37c0bbf2f6f6b7e.jpg

However my favourite island I've visited so far and will take some beating is Staffa. Lucky enough to have visited twice when the weather has been great and the second time the sea conditions allowed the skipper to sail into Fingal's Cave.

7722514420d8840eb6528a2aee132603.jpg

Hoping to get round to doing some of the Outer Hebrides soon. The beaches look incredible. A trip out to St Kilda is high on the list too.

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So far I've visited:

Arran
Bute
Cumbrae
Iona
Mull
Orkney (also Shapinsay)
Skye
Staffa

I'm a regular visitor to Skye and never tire of the scenery and dramatic skies. Elgol has already been mentioned and to me it's the best corner on the island.

f71b9301b9613225a37c0bbf2f6f6b7e.jpg

However my favourite island I've visited so far and will take some beating is Staffa. Lucky enough to have visited twice when the weather has been great and the second time the sea conditions allowed the skipper to sail into Fingal's Cave.

7722514420d8840eb6528a2aee132603.jpg

Hoping to get round to doing some of the Outer Hebrides soon. The beaches look incredible. A trip out to St Kilda is high on the list too.


I've looked into visiting St Kilda. Bloody expensive! Think it was about £150 per person. Also, IIRC, trips will only go ahead if there's a minimum of 10(?) people booked to go. Probably not so difficult to arrange in summer mind you.
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St Kilda @ £150 is cheap but highly recommend it. Been twice and going again this August. 4 hours to get there from Uig in Skye, 4 hours on Hirta and a wee tour of the stacks before heading back. Great day out if you get decent weather.

Recommend the outer hebrides island hopper. Ferry from Ullapool to Stornaway on Lewis and head all the way down to finish up on Barra. Take a week to take in as much as you can. Forget north Lewis. Its dire and makes Cowdenbeath look good.

 

 

P1070632 cropped.jpg

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10 hours ago, mynameisearl said:

However my favourite island I've visited so far and will take some beating is Staffa. Lucky enough to have visited twice when the weather has been great and the second time the sea conditions allowed the skipper to sail into Fingal's Cave.

A

Hoping to get round to doing some of the Outer Hebrides soon. The beaches look incredible. A trip out to St Kilda is high on the list too.

Are these your own photos, bud?  Absolutely lovely stuff.

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@8mileBU Yeah it's expensive but believe it would feel like tremendous value for money once you're out there.

 

 

@StevoFife Very jealous you've been twice with a third trip planned! Great picture. When I get round to the Outer Hebrides the plan is to get a Hopscotch ticket. Won't be this year though as doing the North Coast 500.

 

 

[mention=44711]The_Kincardine[/mention] Yeah took those myself.

 

 

 

 

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@8mileBU Yeah it's expensive but believe it would feel like tremendous value for money once you're out there.


I don't doubt it for a second. Will definitely get round to it at some point
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16 hours ago, Stevo Fife said:

Forget north Lewis. Its dire and makes Cowdenbeath look good.

 

Have to disagree. The Barvas moor is probably the bleakest place on the planet but once you get up to Ness you've got Port of Ness, Fivepenny, Loch Stiapabhat, The Butt, loads of great cliffs & bird life. Nothing compares to Uig though, where I go about 4 times a year and which is often overlooked by the tourists. Beaches as good as any in Harris too.

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Whenever I read P&B and see threads about MILFs and farting I realise I'm quite an auld cunt, even older than Kinky. So I've been loads of places. For my own use as much as anything, here's a list of my islands, I'll probably remember more later. Some have bridges mind you, although I visited some before the bridges were built and even kayaked some.

Shetland - Mainland, Yell, Unst, Mousa, Vaila, Foula, Fair Isle, Bressay, Noss, Burra, Trondra, Fetlar, Whalsay, Muckle Roe, St Ninian's.

Orkney - Mainland, Hoy, Burray, S.Ronaldsay.

Western Isles - Lewis & Harris, N. Uist, S.Uist, Benbecula, Barra, Eriskay, Berneray, Scarp, Scalpay, Great Bernera, Pabbay, Monach Isles, Taransay, Hirta.

Inner Hebrides - Skye, Raasay, Rum, Eigg, Islay, Jura, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Iona, Staffa, Gigha, Arran, Holy Isle, Bute, Cumbrae, Seil, Luing, Davaar.

Others - Ailsa Craig, The Bass, Cramond, Fidra, May, Inchcolm, Inchmickery. Also been to Rathlin which is a kick in the erse off Scotland, and Carrick-a-Rede, and Lindisfarne.

00000671.thumb.jpg.a841b6388fe293cd01d4389acab64875.jpgP1030149.thumb.jpg.6370856a59589e32284447dc45fbc75b.jpgIMG_0629.thumb.jpg.9b6d2f80625d4996a15db43b12857fbd.jpgIMG_0624.thumb.jpg.37a945206e2fc3bcb7a0136079a3bc9d.jpg

Edited by The Mantis
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Fantastic pictures. Staying a week in Uig in May so any travel tips much appreciated. Agree about Ness. I've got family there so I would say I'm biased, but then the Lewis folk are an odd bunch. The scenery in Ness is pretty decent though. 

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Just now, Virtual Insanity said:

Fantastic pictures. Staying a week in Uig in May so any travel tips much appreciated. Agree about Ness. I've got family there so I would say I'm biased, but then the Lewis folk are an odd bunch. The scenery in Ness is pretty decent though. 

Where you staying? I can give you more advice later.

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