Island Hopping in Scotland’s Western Isles

Painting of Skye by Sidney Richard Percy
A painting of Skye by Sidney Richard Percy, 1874

The Scotland’s beautiful Western Isles that litter the coast offer any explorer incredible landscapes, landmarks and activities. From Skye in the North, to Bute in the South, you’ll not be short of things to do and sights to see.

The Isle of Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides. Its landscape is dominated by the Cuillin hills which incorporate twelve of Scotland’s Munroes, and as a result Skye has some of the most dramatic scenery and challenging hikes in the country. Portree in the north is the largest town on the island with almost 3,000 inhabitants, and Dunvegan boasts the island’s most spectacular castle. Well worth a visit!

Travelling south, past the Isle of Rum, you’ll get to the islands of Coll and Tiree. Coll is known for its sandy beaches, dramatic dunes, and the beautiful Breachacha Castle, making it the perfect place for a relaxing get-away. Tiree, for those looking for a more active holiday, is known as Scotland’s surfing capital, and has a vast array of water sports on offer.

Iona Abbey

The Isle of Mull, just to the east of Tiree, is the fourth largest of the British Isles. Why not challenge yourself with Ben More and take in the stunning views of the surrounding islands, Iona, Ulva and Staffa. Afterwards you can take a trip to Scotland’s only single malt whisky distillery in Tobermory to unwind. If you’re after a bit of history and culture, the nearby island of Iona is the tranquil setting for Iona Abbey which is one of the oldest abbeys in Western Europe and the burial site for almost 50 monarchs. Iona is also rich in Pictish and Celic history with carvings and ancient ruins across the island.

Travelling still further South, the Isle of Islay is a whisky-lover’s dream with eight fully operational distilleries. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on the island, dating back to 1779, and it is still in full working order today. For nature lovers, the neighbouring island of Jura has a larger population of deer than people, and brave tourists can even visit the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, the third largest in the world.

Mount Stuart House
Mount Stuart Houseworld.

If you circle round the Kintyre peninsula you can reach the Isle of Bute. The island provides many wonderful sights, including the rather spectacular Mount Stuart House which is said to be one of the most remarkable pieces of Victorian architecture in the world. Rothsey Castle, situated in the island’s largest town, was built in the 13th century and is an another astonishing sight.

So you see, there is plenty to see and do on the islands. Contact Sleigh to plan your tour!

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WL Sleigh Ltd | Unit 11A West Craigs, Turnhouse Rd, Edinburgh EH12 0BD | T +44 131  339 9607 | F +44 (0)131 629 0074

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