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Scottish Islands

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23 hours ago, AsimButtHitsASix said:

Missus and I are moving back to Scotland (well... I'm moving back. She's coming with) and her pal's visiting over New Year and fancies taking in a few islands. I'm not so keen on being trapped on Colonsay for nearly a week again anytime soon so think might just do a Bute/Arran/Kintyre hopscotch.

Anyone know if these places are worth a visit in early January (or are any of the islands?) Or should we just limit it to a road trip?

Been two or three times to Bute and always found it a bit meh, a place for driving through on the way to somewhere else. We had a couple of nights in Arran last feb and in between the showers it was stunning with snow on the peaks. Not that much to do in January though, although the distillery, brewery, cheese shop will all be open, but at least Arran’s Big enough for a decent drive. A walk up Glen Rosa can be worth it, but proper walks on the Arran hills can be too long for January.

Don’t think you can combine Bute and Arran btw.

Kintyre’s a long way from anywhere and Campbeltown’s nothing special when you eventually get there, but there’s Davaar Island, and you could nip over to Gigha.

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You can get a ferry from Arran to Kintyre. It might even still go to Tarbert in the winter which is slightly better than Claonig.

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26 minutes ago, microdave said:

You can get a ferry from Arran to Kintyre. It might even still go to Tarbert in the winter which is slightly better than Claonig.

One return sailing daily

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On ‎04‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 10:00, The Mantis said:

Kintyre’s a long way from anywhere and Campbeltown’s nothing special when you eventually get there, but there’s Davaar Island, and you could nip over to Gigha.

I'm gonna be in Kintyre in early January. Is Gigha worth the trip that time of year?

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4 hours ago, AsimButtHitsASix said:

I'm gonna be in Kintyre in early January. Is Gigha worth the trip that time of year?

I just booked yesterday to go there and Campbeltown in late March with Mrs Mantis. Not sure it's even worth it then :lol:  but the missus is keen to go as she's never been down that way at all. I was there cycling many moons ago. That was when you could stay at the P.O. run by  Seamus McSporran who had umpteen jobs but he's retired now.

I don't think a seasoned island goer will think much of Gigha, just my tuppence worth. But people from dahn  sahf tend to go gaga about anywhere that doesn't have lots of people :whistle

Just a word on Davaar Island if you're in Campbeltown. It's tidal and has a crucifixion cave painting. I was there, away back in the nineties. Stayed in a b&b and got up about 6am and cycled out the road, and back in time for breakfast. It's been vandalised and restored a couple of times since then. There's quite a few caves, and I couldn't find it at first, and I literally turned round and went "Jesus Christ!" when I saw it :lol:

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5 hours ago, AsimButtHitsASix said:

I'm gonna be in Kintyre in early January. Is Gigha worth the trip that time of year?

I was there in March , just at the tail end of The Beast from the East II. Stayed at the hotel and took the car over. I enjoyed it, but that's me. 

The day I arrived was one of the those four seasons in one day type of days...or more accurately four seasons in one hour.

There isn't an awful lot to the island, but some of the views of Islay and Jura are spectacular to say the least. When I go again I will just make a day trip of it and leave the car at Tayinloan.

There is a restaurant with a Michelin Star but it only opens in April.

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1 hour ago, The Mantis said:

I just booked yesterday to go there and Campbeltown in late March with Mrs Mantis. Not sure it's even worth it then :lol:  but the missus is keen to go as she's never been down that way at all. I was there cycling many moons ago. That was when you could stay at the P.O. run by  Seamus McSporran who had umpteen jobs but he's retired now.

I don't think a seasoned island goer will think much of Gigha, just my tuppence worth. But people from dahn  sahf tend to go gaga about anywhere that doesn't have lots of people :whistle

Just a word on Davaar Island if you're in Campbeltown. It's tidal and has a crucifixion cave painting. I was there, away back in the nineties. Stayed in a b&b and got up about 6am and cycled out the road, and back in time for breakfast. It's been vandalised and restored a couple of times since then. There's quite a few caves, and I couldn't find it at first, and I literally turned round and went "Jesus Christ!" when I saw it :lol:

@Hedgecutter

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3 hours ago, The Mantis said:

I just booked yesterday to go there and Campbeltown in late March with Mrs Mantis. Not sure it's even worth it then :lol:  but the missus is keen to go as she's never been down that way at all. I was there cycling many moons ago. That was when you could stay at the P.O. run by  Seamus McSporran who had umpteen jobs but he's retired now.

I don't think a seasoned island goer will think much of Gigha, just my tuppence worth. But people from dahn  sahf tend to go gaga about anywhere that doesn't have lots of people :whistle

Just a word on Davaar Island if you're in Campbeltown. It's tidal and has a crucifixion cave painting. I was there, away back in the nineties. Stayed in a b&b and got up about 6am and cycled out the road, and back in time for breakfast. It's been vandalised and restored a couple of times since then. There's quite a few caves, and I couldn't find it at first, and I literally turned round and went "Jesus Christ!" when I saw it :lol:

I like Gigha but I’ve always taken the bikes and me and the Mrs always stayed at the Achamore House when it was an upmarket B&B. The gardens round the house were always good for a wander round.

Good shout re Davaar Island. Interesting place that cave. I seem to remember there being a big arrow or something painted outside the Jesus cave.

When we went out to St Kilda we went to sign the visitors book and I noticed that a women who’d signed it in front of us had the surname McSporran. We got talking and it turned out she was the daughter of the bold Seamus. Not too many people with that excellent surname.

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Missus and I are moving back to Scotland (well... I'm moving back. She's coming with) and her pal's visiting over New Year and fancies taking in a few islands. I'm not so keen on being trapped on Colonsay for nearly a week again anytime soon so think might just do a Bute/Arran/Kintyre hopscotch.

Anyone know if these places are worth a visit in early January (or are any of the islands?) Or should we just limit it to a road trip?
You're moving back up to Greenock, right?
What about just getting the ferry across to Dunoon then touring the Cowal peninsula? I stayed at the Kames Hotel a couple of months ago and was impressed with the area, it feels remote and quite islandy but has the benefit of being able to get back by road if the ferries are cancelled.

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Think the plan's now driving up via Erkine Bridge/Helensburgh/Inverary and down toward Kintyre. Got a wee place booked out for a coupla days near Gigha so will no doubt head over there at some point. 

I still think they're both mental for wanting to explore Scotland in the winter

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On 02/12/2018 at 06:03, I'm Brian said:

For me it would be the mystique surrounding the place, it's history and remote location. Trying to make sense of why such a remote community who were constantly at the mercy of the weather would be so reluctant to move. Plus pictures I've seen of it are stunning. 

Aye it's pricey, but to me a price worth paying

My wife’s late grandfather was a St Kilda evacuee.  He was a toddler at the time sand was moved to the Black Isle.  The whole thing blows my mind. I’m hoping to organise a trip there in 2019, none of her immediate family have been there yet.

Edited by bunglebonce

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On 06/01/2019 at 23:09, AsimButtHitsASix said:

Gigha's shite

Cheers bud, going there in March :lol:

Been before as I said on a bike but the wife wants to go. Happy wife, happy life, anyway I can take the camera gear so it won’t be a complete waste.  We got a deal at the hotel for 2 nights so we’ll add on a night in the big C. 

Edit - that’s Campbeltown but we could try Carradale instead, pretty nice. 

Edited by The Mantis

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Thinking of doing a few once I've returned to Scotland at the end of the year. Will probably be Easter/May 2020. Most appealing places are Arran, Jura, Islay, Rum, Knoydart peninsula (not an island I know), Skye and the Outer Hebrides. Been to a few of these places before but not seen enough for my liking. Time not a huge issue but wouldn't be able to do them all at once. Any advice welcome.

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Mrs Mantis is going through the bucket list this year. Flight to Barra, trips to Eigg and Gigha. All booked. Places I’ve been but happy to go back. Maybe Colonsay and Applecross too. Also hoping to go to Sandwood Bay as we have a big anniversary in July, although later in the year we’re doing a trip to the fjords for that.

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5 hours ago, The Mantis said:

Mrs Mantis is going through the bucket list this year. Flight to Barra, trips to Eigg and Gigha. All booked. Places I’ve been but happy to go back. Maybe Colonsay and Applecross too. Also hoping to go to Sandwood Bay as we have a big anniversary in July, although later in the year we’re doing a trip to the fjords for that.

If you're going Eigg the ferry from Mallaig can take you past Rum, Muck and Canna as well if you do a round trip. It is ridiculously cheap if you don't get off, 6 hour cruise for about 20 quid.

Edited by welshbairn

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This year I am doing Arran and Gigha in April then in July I have Barra, The Uists and Harris/Lewis.

First time for me at them all

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32 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

If you're going Eigg the ferry from Mallaig can take you past Rum, Muck and Canna as well if you do a round trip. It is ridiculously cheap if you don't get off, 6 hour cruise for about 20 quid.

Aye I think one way round will be like that. I’ve actually done it a couple of times on the old Lochmor. First time was about 1991. Mallaig departure about 0630, round the houses, finally got to Eigg about midday, 2 of us nipped up the Sgurr, only about 3 hours ashore. Then the evening ferry did it all in reverse so we were a bit sick of it when we got to Mallaig about 2100. :lol:

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10 hours ago, afca32 said:

Thinking of doing a few once I've returned to Scotland at the end of the year. Will probably be Easter/May 2020. Most appealing places are Arran, Jura, Islay, Rum, Knoydart peninsula (not an island I know), Skye and the Outer Hebrides. Been to a few of these places before but not seen enough for my liking. Time not a huge issue but wouldn't be able to do them all at once. Any advice welcome.

I did Islay and Jura over 4 days, but no whisky tours. Did it end of April start of May and was quiet. Loved every second of it, but avoid Port Askaig Hotel. It's a throwback to the sixties.

Islay is by some way my favourite island I've been to. 

Skye is a wonderful place but don't do it at peak times. It is heaving and can spoil the ambience

I looked at nipping over to Knoydart from Mallaig. £20 each way put me off a bit. I will do it one day though

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