Island Life

August ’15 marked another wee step in my quest to understand better the more remote parts of the country.

Last year I managed Arran.

view from The Douglas

view from The Douglas Hotel

It’s not exactly remote in my mind, but to most folk places are remote if you have to catch a ferry to get there.

I also managed Skye.

Bhatairnis

Bhatairnis

There’s a bridge now, but you can still take a ferry if you prefer.

This time it was Tiree. Part of the Inner Hebrides, but quite far out into the Atlantic.

I was limited in my choice by having to fly – Dr D would be with me and she has no sea legs. With two flights to pay for, I was looking for a good deal.

FlyBe/Loganair supplied that. £85 each return for a two night stay in August, flying from Glasgow. Loganair has been serving these island destinations since the 1960s, and operates as a FlyBe franchise at the moment.

Tiree Airport

Tiree Airport

What a great choice Tiree turned out to be. Our B&B was top class, with a spectacular beach at the front door.

"Our" Beach

“Our” Beach

The island is beautiful and fascinating. It’s hard to imagine a place more different to the mainland.

Tiree is 10 miles (16 km) long. It is 103 miles (165 km) from Glasgow by air. The ferry takes 4 hours from Oban. The population is about 120 and rising. About one third of them speak Gaelic.

Crofts, Haymaking, Machair

Crofts, Haymaking, Machair

The island has nothing as large as a village – just a few settlements like Scarinish, where the ferry arrives. Scarinish also has a bank (no ATM), a garage/filling station and the island’s mini market. The mini market (a Cooperative branch) seemed well stocked and opens on Sundays.

Tiree is wonderful for walking and cycling. We did 3 long walks – lucky the weather was kind to us.

Hynish

Hynish

I will have many good memories, but one will be lying in bed at night hearing only the sound of waves breaking gently on the nearby beach.

Next?

© iain taylor 2015

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