Aye, islands. Sometimes I wonder if I like visiting islands best, or the ferry journeys to get there!
Gigha (Gaelic: Giogha) is lovely.
Like most of the Scottish islands, getting there from where I live (Fife) is quite exciting in itself – and time consuming. We took the “short” route in both directions, so I can’t compare it to the longer drive via Inveraray and Loch Lomond, but 3 short ferry hops give the perfect opportunity to break the journey a bit.
The island had a population of 163 in 2011. It has increased from 110 in 2001. The residents bought the island in 2002, and the increase may be linked to that community buyout.
Our B&B hosts have lived on the island for close to 40 years and were involved in the buyout. According to them, the project has had its problems over the years and “mistakes were made”.
Having said that, I suspect the majority would rather be making their own mistakes (and successes) than revert to the old days of being in the hands of a landlord.
The B&B was excellent, as were the other island businesses we came across – The Gigha Hotel (a few drinks), The Craft Centre (cards, coffee, cakes, ice creams) and The Boathouse (fish, fish and more fish). Oh, and Wee Isle Ice Cream – made on a local farm.
The Boathouse deserves a special mention. Before we went I knew it is “award winning”.
Well, now we know why. Easily one of the best fish/seafood restaurants I’ve come across.
The island is a wonderful place to relax, unwind and let the world go past.
I’d have been happy to stay a week rather than a night.
Maybe next time.
ⓒ iain taylor 2016