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12 breath-taking island locations to add to your travel bucket list

Skye, Neist Point, lighthouse


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.

Happy Sailing!


1. Elgol, Isle of Skye

Skye, Elgol, Sunset

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

island sunset

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

Mount Stuart House

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

Lewis Butt 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

Colonsay Kiloran Bay

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

Iona Abbey, Iona 024897-27_VKG

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

Mull Tobermory

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

Skye, Neist Point, lighthouse

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

Islay grave yard

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. Black Houses, Isle of Lewis

Lewis Blackhouses

Another fantastic sight to see on Lewis is the traditional Black Houses 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

Lewis Aurora Callanish

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).







6 Comments Add comment
Scottish Islands
Posted by: Audrey | 30 January 2016, 20:00PM
Nine down, three to go. But lots of others I want to visit too!
2. Sunset over the Holy Isle, Isle of Arran
Posted by: Peter Ballard | 27 January 2016, 22:43PM
If I were standing on the beach at Lamlash on the gorgeous Isle of Arran then I may see the sunrise behind Holy Isle but the sun would set on the
12 stunning locaations
Posted by: RAy | 27 January 2016, 17:43PM
I've visited most (10) of the locations, over the past ten years, mostly on cycle and motorbike tours... seeing those fabulous photos just make me want to go back. And to get to the ones I have yet to visit :D
Ticket prices
Posted by: Colin Lamont | 27 January 2016, 17:33PM
The fares and especially the Hopscotch tickets are amazing value! I never realised how cheap RET makes them.
great choices
Posted by: mark Shuttleworth | 27 January 2016, 14:25PM
Some fantastic choices indeed. We visited Islay last year and Kilnave's dune's are a fantastic hideaway, we've only seen a few of these places so far but this year we're back to Harris and Lewis and staying a little longer this time. We'll definitely be revisiting south Harris with its mystical Lunar landscape, Luskentyre too no doubt and Great Bernera, so remote and so friendly. A glimpse of the Northern lights from the garden one evening - just for a few minutes would be the real icing on the cake. Fingers crossed eh? See you soon.
Visiting isle of skye
Posted by: Amanda keeble | 27 January 2016, 12:37PM
We are visiting Skye again this year and it was great to read your twelve must sees include Elgol and Neist Point on Skye we will also make sure we travel on the ferry to Raasay this year. Now I have been to Skye I want to visit the others !
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