An island hopping holiday on the west coast
Get ready for seven unforgettable days of island adventure!
Discover what it means to island hop across the western islands of Scotland. This itinerary takes you from Arran in the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Skye in The Highlands. As you explore, you'll discover top attractions, see incredible coastline and scenery, and get a taste of island life. A good network of ferry services makes getting around pretty straightforward.
So, what are you waiting for?!
- Begin / Eind
- Brodick / Kyle of Lochalsh
Dag 1Isle of Arran
And so you're off! Take the ferry from the Ayrshire port of Ardrossan and spend today discovering the charms of Arran, a small island with bags going on. Arran's one of Scotland's most accessible islands and the isle can be reached entirely by public transport. The ferry crossing takes just 55 minutes - so what are you waiting for?!
When it comes to dining out in the evening, choose from one of the many eateries - we recommend trying the island cheese if it's on the menu!
Brodick Castle and Country Park Brodick
Head to Brodick Castle and Country Park, the only island country park in Britain. Traditionalists will love it; it's the quintessential Victorian Scottish estate. Steeped in history, the castle was the ancient seat of the Dukes of Hamilton and houses a fabulous collection of artefacts, from silverware and paintings to even sporting trophies. Explore the garden to see the famous collection of rhododendrons or follow one of the woodland trails - you might even spot rare red squirrels.
Afterwards, set off along either the coastal road north or south to get a real feel for the island's geography. Let the kids blow off some steam at the Isle Be Wild adventure play area and for the adults, take it easy as you stroll through the formal gardens on the Silver Garden Trail.Experience the magic of Brodick CastleIsle Of Arran,Brodick,KA27 8HYFaciliteiten
- Café of Restaurant
Machrie Moor Standing Stones Machrie
Get a breath of fresh air and explore an ancient wonder, the stone circles of Machrie Moor. The site dates back 4,500 years and is an archaeologist's dream.
There are standing stones taller than those at Calanais on the Isle of Lewis, and the walk through isolated moorland is simply splendid. From the stones, you can see Goatfell, Arran's mountain, and views across the sea.Meer info over Machrie Moor Standing StonesMachrie
Arran Distillery Lochranza
Head to Lochranza for a distillery tour and discover the story of whisky on the Isle of Arran, see the distilling process in action, and sample the malt whisky and Arran Gold, a delightful, creamy whisky-based liqueur.Meer info over Arran DistilleryLochranza,Lochranza,KA27 8HJ
Hop from Arran back to the mainland and make your way to Kennacraig to catch the ferry to Port Ellen on bonnie Islay, where fine malt whisky, pretty villages and beautiful beaches await!
When it's time to unwind in the evening, you can tuck into fresh seafood and other island produce in restaurants and pubs - and try a couple more whiskies, of course!
It would be criminal to come to Islay without paying a visit to a distillery. The island is a whisky region in its own right, renowned for producing malt whiskies which are peaty in character. The only trouble is that with eight active distilleries, it might be hard to choose which ones you visit!
How about Bowmore Distillery, north of Port Ellen on the A846? It's the oldest legal distillery in Scotland, set up by John Simpson in 1779.Meer info over BowmoreBowmore
Museum of Islay Life Islay
Time to delve into the past! Housed in a former church, the museum is filled with a whole range of curios and objects from different periods, from carved grave slabs dating from 1400-1600 AD to maritime memorabilia recovered from shipwrecks, as well as photographs covering Edwardian and Victorian times.Meer info over Museum of Islay Life
Loch Gruinart BridgendDid you know?
Loch Gruinart is a working farm as well as a nature reserve.
Visit Loch Gruinart, a nature reserve which offers gentle walking past quiet beaches with views out to Colonsay. Whatever the season, you're bound to see some of the island's majestic wildlife - wading birds, secretive corncrakes and colourful butterflies. Perhaps you'll join a ranger on a guided walk or pop into the visitor centre to discover the island's natural heritage?
When it's time to unwind in the evening, you can tuck into fresh seafood and other island produce in restaurants and pubs - and try a couple more whiskies, of course!Meer info over Loch GruinartRSPB Scotland,Bushmill Cottages,Gruinart,Bridgend,PA44 7PPFaciliteiten
From Islay, take the short ferry crossing from Port Askaig to Jura. It will feel like you've got away from it all.
George Orwell even described it as, 'the most un-get-at-able place' whilst penning 1984. This island has one road, one distillery, one hotel, not many people - and LOTS of red deer! It's a perfect getaway and ideal place for spotting wildlife.
Paps of Jura Jura
Add a challenge to your west coast adventure and climb the Paps of Jura, the distinctive island peaks which can be seen for miles. Scaling the paps will probably take most of the day, so you could find an alternative walk if you're keen to get a distillery visit in, or explore more of the island.Meer info over Paps of Jura
Jura Distillery Jura
We'd recommend a visit to the famous Jura Distillery. A chat with one of the distillery team is a great way to get an insight into island life. They are a friendly bunch who relish the opportunity to recount stories from the past - once, you've been, you'll want to become an honorary Diurach. And the whisky is pretty wonderful stuff, too!Meer info over Jura DistilleryIsle of Jura Distillery,Craighouse,Jura,PA60 7XTFaciliteiten
There's a bit of retracing your steps as you head back to beautiful Islay, and then back to Kennacraig on the mainland before driving north to Oban.
Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Islay to Oban, via Colonsay, on certain days. But you won't get long to pause for breath - you are off to the largest of the Inner Hebridean islands, the Isle of Mull!
Duart Castle MullDon't miss
A visit to the tearoom for a hearty slice of home-baked cake.
Discover the dungeons and state rooms of Duart Castle, a clifftop fortress which is the ancestral home of Clan Maclean. It's a building steeped in history - the Keep dates from the 13th century. Perched on a crag overlooking the Sound of Mull, you can drink in spectacular views from the battlements.Meer info over Duart CastleCraignure,Mull,PA64 6APFaciliteiten
- Café of Restaurant
Eagle watching on Mull Mull
Mull is one of the best places in Europe to spot white-tailed sea eagles. Take a guided walk to the bird hide at Glen Seilisdeir and look out for the largest bird of prey in Britain - their wing span can stretch as much as 8 ft! In addition, there are many local experts on the island offering wildlife safaris, or if you're interested in marine life, why not take a boat trip?Meer info over Eagle watching on MullGlen Seilisdeir & West Ardhu,Mull
Dag 5Mull & Iona
Most of today will be spent on the charming Isle of Iona, situated off the south west of Mull. It's a small island, defined by its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful beaches, and has a fascinating history.
Cross on the ferry to Iona, which takes foot passengers only. Then embark on an exhilarating ferry crossing from Oban to Craignure, and keep your eyes peeled for Duart Castle in the distance, or even a few seals bobbing out at sea. When you arrive, catch the bus and go north to the isle's "capital" of Tobermory.
Iona Oban, Mull en Lorn
Explore Iona Abbey, built by St Columba in the sixth century and the burial site of early Scottish kings - it's considered by many to be one of the most sacred sites in western Europe. Afterwards, take a walk and discover the island's beautiful sandy bays.Meer info over IonaIona,Oban, Mull en Lorn
Tobermory Tobermory & Noord-Mull
Explore this wee port town with its distinctive row of pastel-coloured houses. There is a distillery, a local museum and several pubs here too.Meer info over TobermoryTobermory & Noord-Mull
Leave Mull on the ferry from Tobermory to Kilchoan, continuing on the B8007 through the beautiful scenery of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Then follow the A861 and the A830 to the port of Mallaig, where you can take the ferry to Armadale on Skye.
Armadale Castle Armadale
Make your way to Armadale Castle and Gardens, located near Ardvasar on the most southerly point of Skye. Built on the ancient lands of Clan Donald, the castle is very much a ruin, but it's surrounded by some wonderful restored historic gardens and woodland walks.
Delve into the history of one of the country's most famous clans - you might even find you've got some ancestral connections of your own.Armadale,Armadale,IV45 8RSFaciliteiten
- Met Het OV Bereikbaar
- Café of Restaurant
Broadford, Elgol & the Cuillin Hills Cuillins & Centraal-Skye
Head to Broadford, a village with a range of craft outlets. From Broadford, take the B8083 to Elgol, where there is a signposted walk from the car park on the hill before the harbour. The first part of the walk is gentle and you can enjoy magnificent views of the Cuillin hills across Loch Scavaig.Meer info over Broadford, Elgol & the Cuillin HillsCuillin,Cuillins & Centraal-Skye,IV47 8TA
Dag 7North Skye
Time to experience the majesty of Skye! Today you'll get to see some of the most iconic Scottish landscapes and explore Skye's thrilling past and stunning natural heritage.
Dunvegan Castle DunveganDon't miss
The clan treasures - the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag, a sacred banner which comes with its own legend.
This castle is set on a spectacular location on a rocky perch beside a loch, surrounded by verdant woodland. And its history is bound to impress too. It's the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and it's been the ancestral home of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years.
Outside, explore the grounds and get a seal-eye view of the castle as you enjoy a boat trip on Loch Dunvegan.Meer info over Dunvegan CastleDunvegan Castle & Gardens,Dunvegan,IV55 8WFFaciliteiten
- Met Het OV Bereikbaar
- Café of Restaurant
Kyle of Lochalsh & the Seaprobe Atlantis Kyle of Lochalsh
In Kyle of Lochalsh, climb aboard Seaprobe Atlantis, the UK's only passenger carrying semi-submersible boat which gives visitors a close-up look at marine life through the underwater observation windows. You might see dolphins, otters and seals, as well as an old shipwreck on the seabed!Meer info over Kyle of Lochalsh & the Seaprobe Atlantis
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