12 breath-taking island locations to add to your travel bucket list
Getting to the Scottish west coast islands by ferry is cheaper than you think with the introduction of an improved fares structure (RET). And of course, with a new year comes New Year's resolutions and bucket lists to boot. So, to satisfy your wanderlust and give you some close-to-home options, we've pulled together 12 breathtakingly beautiful island locations for you to consider.
Have you been to any of the places listed below? Are you already planning a stunning Scottish break this year? Tell us more about your travel bucket list in the comments section below.
1. Elgol, Isle of Skye
This remote retreat will simply take your breath away! With vistas to die for, you'll never want to leave this peaceful corner of Skye.
2. Sun rising over the Holy Isle, Isle of Arran
Head to Arran and enjoy one of the many stunning island sunrises. The Holy Isle, opposite the picture postcard village of Lamlash, is a particularly beautiful vision on those crimson mornings.
3. Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Everywhere you look in this striking Victorian Gothic mansion, there is a piece of intricate detailing to be discovered. Famed for being home to one of the very first indoor heated swimming pools this lavish mansion is sure to impress.
4. Kisimul Castle, Isle of Barra
The picturesque arrival into Castlebay port on the Isle of Barra is complimented by the striking Kisimul Castle situated in the middle of the bay. On arrival remember to take advantage of the uninterrupted views from the deck for the perfect photo opportunity.
5. Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, Isle of Lewis
Situated at the very top of the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, the uninterrupted horizon seen from the Butt of Lewis will make you feel like you are at the end of the earth.
6. Kiloran Bay, Isle of Colonsay
If it is long, sweeping, white sandy beaches you are looking for then look no further than Kiloran bay on Colonsay. You can cycle round the island in a day, with a stopover on the beach in between.
7. Iona Abbey, Isle of Iona
One of the oldest religious centres in Western Europe, Iona Abbey on the small island of Iona remains a site for Christian Pilgrimage today. The striking, yet serene beauty of this site is one you will want to see with your own eyes.
8. Tobermory, Isle of Mull
This colourful west coast fishing port will brighten up even the most dull and drizzly day (yes, we admit it rains in Scotland). Explore the sea-front shops, enjoy local seafood in one of the many fresh seafood restaurants, or simply sit and enjoy the view.
9. Neist Point and Lighthouse, Isle of Skye
You'll find Neist Point on the most westerly point of the rugged island of Skye. The Lighthouse which stands tall on the edge of the cliffs has been there since 1909. This spectacular view point will not disappoint.
10. Kilnave and Loch Gruinart, Isle of Islay
Church ruins, an old stone cross, a white sandy beach, and a remarkable view of an uninhabited island (except for the seals), Kilnave and Loch Gruinart on Islay are fantastic places to visit for walkers and families looking for a remote picnic spot.
11. Blackhouses, Isle of Lewis
Another fantastic sight to see on Lewis is the traditional Blackhouses in the village of Carloway. Transport yourself back in time and stay in one of these magnificent little cottages for approx. £100 per night.
12. Northern Lights over Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis
You don't always have to travel overseas to enjoy nature's most stunning light show. The Isle of Lewis in the north west of Scotland is a fantastic vantage point for the spectacular Northern Lights (Aurora borealis).