Situated between Mull and Islay, the Isle of Colonsay is the ideal destination for anyone seeking to get away from it all.
Not as exposed to the elements as say, Coll or Tiree, Colonsay's craggy, heather-backed hills support a bewildering array of plant and birdlife, wild goats and rabbits, and one of the finest quasi-tropical gardens in Scotland.
You can get to Colonsay via the CalMac ferry everyday, and also by air, with flights operating from from Oban via Hebridean Airways. The ferry terminal is at Scalasaig and right by the pier, the old waiting room now serves as a gallery and visitor centre and is usually open when the ferry docks.
The 18th century Colonsay House is famous for the outstanding collection of floral species and hybrid rhododendrons, and for unusual trees and shrubs sourced from all over the world. The house is found 2 miles north of Scalasaig, inland at Kiloran.
To the north of Colonsay House, where the road ends, lies the island's finest sandy beach, the breathtaking Kiloran Bay. There's another unspoilt sandy beach backed by dunes at Balnahard, 2 miles north east along a rough track. En route, you might spot wild goats, choughs, and even a golden eagle.
The island's west coast forms a sharp escarpment, quite at odds with the gentle undulating landscape that characterizes the rest of the island. Due west of Colonsay House around Beinn Bhreac (456 ft), the cliffs are at their most spectacular and in their lower reaches provide a home to hundreds of seabirds, among them kittiwakes, cormorants and guillemots in spring and early summer.