The Isle of Kerrera, Scotland
The island of Kerrera is just a few minutes ferry ride away from the mainland of Oban on the west coast of Scotland. It's a small island with the population of 35 people. If you visit, the best way to experience the island is to take on the circular walk of southern Kerrera. It is a walker's paradise with tracks on a popular southern route taking in historic Gylen Castle. A northern route can also be undertaken which is wilder with more walking off the beaten track. It offers a peace and beauty that is unique, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Those using the marina on the island can make use of a boat offering a shuttle service into Oban itself. The island is also a geological gem with raised beaches, sea stacks, and dykes with evidence of thousands of years of geological change. In just one island there are five major rock types including slate, granite, conglomerate, and sandstone - a microcosm of the geology of Scotland.
Built in the early 1580s, Gylen was strategically placed to control and survey the southern approaches to Oban by the narrow Sound of Kerrera, but its occupation lasted only 65 years. The castle was besieged and burned by Covenanter General Leslie's in 1647 and was never re-occupied thereafter. The attackers could not breach the castle’s defences but there was no accessible water supply and the castle eventually fell. The castle was also the main object of William Turner's interest, during his stay on the island according to the numerous sketches.
There is a tea garden in a short walk distance from the castle, where refreshments are served. It's run by Aideen and Martin- a lovely couple who chose to swap the mainland lifestyle to the island one. If you'd like to stay for a night there is also accommodation available for families or group of people, but the reservation is required. We booked our stay via Airbnb.