Myself and the Mrs are looking to do head up to a couple / few Scottish islands in September for 10 days.
Does anyone have any book recommendations that they could share which will help with our research?
Note we have been to Lewis and Harris so can discount those.
We are looking for a hiking holiday but also good food / drink and a decent place to stay as this will be our big holiday for the year given the current climate.
Thanks in advance!
Arran - Islay via Mull of Kintyre (get ferry from lochranza)
Islay - Jura - Islay - Oban
Oban - Mull
Mull - Ardnamurchan
Ardnamurchan drive round to Mallaig
Mallaig - Small isles
Probably not doable in 10 days but any segment of that would be great, last time I did the lot took me the best part of 4 weeks.
Arran has a lot of good walking (and some good climbing if that's your thing) but can be busy.
Are you camping?
Of all the islands I'd throw in Arran. It has a bit of climbing, long walk in's but the hiking is fantastic. The ridge walk down the spine of the island is one of the finest I've ever done. We didn't use a book as such, just a map.
Having just returned from Scotland myself, I'd advise you to camp. There are a lot of people on holiday up there and the hotels are overbooked, overpriced, you've got to wear a mask in all the common areas, and you risk getting pinged or contact traced if you stay in them. It might be better by September, but I wouldn't count on it.
This may not help in the guidebook sense but to get a flavour of Scottish writing you should check out 'The road north' by June Skinner Sawyers. It is a collection of extracts from some of the best writing about Scotland. There is so much inspiration in that collection to last a lifetime of visits. The Isles get a good proportion of the pieces.
My Island Trip reports are collated via the link below if it's any help.
Pretty definitive guide to scottish islands here:
More aimed at sailing so includes loads that you'll not get to unless by your own steam but lots of great info on all the islands.
Depends on what your focus is but, you can get an Island hopscotch ticket with calmac and head outer Hebrides. Loads of great walking to be done on Barra, Uists etc if you don't want to go as far north as Harris/Lewis.
thanks for all the responses and apologies for the late reply.
I may take the wild camping tent, but in all honesty it is our big holiday this year as we aren't going outside of the UK, so we are looking for a little bit of luxury after long hikes.
I am swaying towards this at the moment, as I will currently get three in this way, but need to do some more research:
Islay - Jura - Islay - Oban
Although the ridge walk in Aaran sounds interesting. Please could you let me know its name so I can look it up?
what a fantastic blog too, spent a good 15 mins reading through, love the eye for detail, particularly on wild life! thanks for the share
Took me a long time to get to Islay and Jura but just back from them after 1st visit and was blown away by the wildlife, the scenery, the seafood and of course the whisky! The weather certainly helped and I found the people very very friendly. I will be back.
I live on the Isle of Mull. It is very busy here, the Oban-Craignure ferry is booked to capacity for the month ahead and September likely the same. It's even busier on the mainland. Likewise all the popular restaurants fully-booked too as they have reduced their seating capacity. Essentially, book everything well in advance to avoid disappointment. You can still get to many of the inner isles using open-deck ferries as these operate on a first-come, no booking required service.
> Although the ridge walk in Aaran sounds interesting. Please could you let me know its name so I can look it up? <
Useful thread, thanks for starting it.
Nobody has answered yet so from distant memory backed up by a ridge map the following walk and scramble may be the "spine" mentioned. .Took the regular bus N from Brodick (the main town), dropped off and did Suidhe Fhearghas, Ceum na Caillich, Caisteal Abhail, Cir Mhor, A'Chir then (I think) veered on to Beinn a'Chliabhain and down into Glen Rosa then Brodick (probably Beinn Tarsuinn and Ben Nuis might be the logical "spine" continuing from A'Chir). Really good. The Witches Step on C na C and A'Chir ridge involved proper scrambling but I think difficulties can be avoided on the right.
I'm a part-time resident of Lismore. As above, I'd advise you to book all your ferries and accommodation in good time. The clapped out CalMac ferry fleet is creaking and breaking down with alarming regularity.
Half the Calmac fleet is working beyond its planned operational life, and at current rate the entire fleet would be replaced in 87years. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
It’s not just the fleet. Popped round Lismore the other week and came to the conclusion the toilets on the pier at Achnacroish should be entered into the fiercely competitive ‘worst bogs in Britain’ competition.
Ended up on a replacement catamaran between Canna and Rum earlier this summer after the MV Loch Nevis had thruster issues which I think are still on going (compounded by pier issues at Eigg).
I was very glad it was pretty calm that day as that thing didn't half shift.
I did not dare. Had a lovely week on Lismore earlier this month. Ferry booked well in advance.