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Islay? Other scottish islands - recommendations please!

(17 Posts)
Northernlurker Sun 30-Aug-09 21:43:26

Devoted Mull visitors as we are, we are wondering about branching out and touring another island or two next year either as part of a Mull janut or seperately - any recommendations or experiences please smile

serinBrightside Mon 31-Aug-09 23:11:24

We went to Islay and Jura on Honeymoon. Had a wonderful time. Islay much bigger and with ore going on, stayed in Kilchoman which is on the west coast and has a stunning beach.
Went up to the Anchor inn a few times and the food was just gorgeous. Also lots of wildlife (we got really close to otters and saw chough and golden eagle). I still can't resist an Islay single malt now.

midnightexpress Mon 31-Aug-09 23:16:54

Hmmm, I wasn't that grabbed by Islay, tbh (whisky aside of course). I'd recommend Harris. It's beeeeeyoutiful.. Fabulous beaches. The Uists are apparently lovely too.

(We're off to Mull in a couple of weeks - can't wait).

blithedance Mon 31-Aug-09 23:20:41

I'd say Skye is definitely worth at least one visit. It's quite touristy in spots (Dunvegan castle) but there is easily space to get away from the crowds. We've been there a lot for the climbing but there is lots to do at ground level too.

Paddington Thu 10-Sep-09 14:28:01

We have been to Arran, Islay, Jura, Mull, Skye and on one holiday we cycled through Barra, the Uists, Harris and Lewis. Arran is a mini-version of Scotland (mountains to the north and rolling countryside to the south)and there's plenty to visit and do. Islay has nice beaches, wildlife, whisky and a few things to do on wet days. Jura much smaller and isolated - good walking country. Skye is beautiful and there's lots to do there - we stayed on the Trotternish peninsula as we were told it is the driest region of the island and the landscape is fab(we had a week of lovely sunny weather and no midges in August last year). It is a large island so it takes quite a long time to get around it. The Western Isles are one of our favourite places on earth. The beaches and mountains on Harris are stunning. We loved Berneray, the blackhouses on Lewis, the machair backed beaches of the Uists and Vatersay (connected by causeway to Barra).

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Thu 10-Sep-09 14:28:57

does it have to be an island?

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Thu 10-Sep-09 14:34:36

Depends what you are looking for.
Islay (I was born there grin) is beautiful, lots of lovely scenery, gorgeous beaches, wildlife, fishing, and of course a large amount of whiskey in one small island it is pretty remote compared to some of the other more touristy islands but if you are looking to relax, see somewhere beautiful and get drunk as a skunk go to Islay.

Skye is definately lovely too and also with the bridge and the travel up through the highlands it is a good holiday with the oppertunity to see some gorgeous parts of Scotland.

EssieW Thu 10-Sep-09 14:43:32

We went to Islay this year - really liked it. It isn't all as dramatic as Mull but the coastline is beautiful. There's also a reasonable amount to do and even some wet weather options. Great wildlife centre in Port Charlotte. We stayed near Port Ellen - the Mull of Oa is one of hte more dramatic areas. Did a day trip to Jura - beautiful but harder to explore with young family I felt.

Have also been to Harris and Barra. Both stunningly beautiful and lovely to explore. Beaches beautiful. Drove up through Uists but they seem much more bleak than Harris and Barra.

Also Colonsay is great - much smaller island but lots of good coastal walking and of a length that is child friendly. Fab beaches as well. Nice feel in that there's only one road and lots of people just walk and cycle around.

Thinking of Mull for next year - I've been before but not with children in tow. Would probably combine with week on barra or colonsay - we like combination of a large island and small island.

throckenholt Thu 10-Sep-09 14:43:45

We have been to Colonsay - tiny but lovely and quiet. Harris and Lewis - well worth a trip - very wild and lonely in places.

We are also contemplating Tyree and Coll.

Haven't been to Mull or Islay yet - they are on our list too.

Skye is good - busier in some places but still worth a visit.

We also like the North and West coasts - the Tongue area in the middle of the north coast, and the area north of Kinlochbervie. The Lochinver area is good too. And just about anywhere else down that coast too.

So many places to go - not enough time

throckenholt Thu 10-Sep-09 14:46:18

EssieW - we didn't get as far as Barra on our day trip down the uists from Harris. How does it compare to Colonsay ? Kiloran bay has to be one of the best beaches around

EssieW Thu 10-Sep-09 15:01:01

Barra and Colonsay similar in some respects but Barra is a bit larger (it's linked by causeway to another little island called Vatersay). Barra also feels a bit more remote and edge of the world-ish - mainly because it takes 5 hours to get there on the ferry.

Colonsay reputed to have better weather than Barra!

Recommended Barra to friend who also loved Colonsay - they went to Barra and also loved that.

You're right on not enough time!

igivein Thu 10-Sep-09 15:43:23

Just got back from Shetland - loved it!

throckenholt Thu 10-Sep-09 17:02:07

We did Orkney this year - mainland with day trips to Rousay and Hoy. DH complained that it was too busy

Interesting - but not as wild and remote feeling as the Western Isles.

EssieW - I think Barra will be on our list - although we were supposed to be having a cheaper holiday next year - so no expensive ferries - hmm - definitely not enough time.

OrmIrian Thu 10-Sep-09 17:03:41

Tiree is nice.

roisin Sun 13-Sep-09 18:55:37

We love Mull too: it's fabulous.

We did Skye this summer, had an amazing cottage with a view to die for. Some beautiful, quiet little beaches, good weather and no midges! But tbh Skye didn't really "do it for me", and I don't think we'd go back.

However, we spent a life-changing 4 days on Muck, which was simply wonderful. The island is tiny, you can walk the circumference in a day. You can't take a car (don't need one). We stayed at a B&B (one of two!), which was gorgeous. There are a small number of s/c cottages but they tend to get booked up way in advance for school holiday times.

I loved it and would go back like a shot.

nuttysquirrel Mon 14-Sep-09 22:03:08

We should have a 'we love scotlands islands' thread! Good to see some fellow island baggers as it were......I would second alot of whats been said, including those who really don't get the general excitement about Skye, seems to be on everyones 'hit' list......still at least it must reduce the tourist numbers on the other islands......Raasays nice island for me has to be Mingulay......only went for the day tho.....swam with a seal and it was fab leaning over the cliffs on the west and getting a blast of wind and watching puffins/fulmars landing on the tiny ledges.....

glasgowtomelbourne Mon 21-Sep-09 07:56:49

My dad was from Islay. The family house has just been renovated and my mum rents it out...
I would recommend Islay in a heartbeat to anyone.
Skye is also another consideration.

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