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Late summer getaway

Gigha food on the beach


Craving a break?

If you're craving a break - you'll find food for the soul on Scotland's islands. The west coast is well stocked with options for a late summer getaway, an autumn adventure or short break over a long weekend.

Swim, play and picnic the days away

You don't have to experience long airport queues to find white sands and turquoise waters - some of the best and most beautiful beaches are just a ferry ride away.

Twenty minutes sail from the Kintyre peninsula, with no advance booking required, and you'll land on Gigha with its wonderful twin beaches on its north end. A visit here is a tonic. 

Man paddle boarding with MV Loch Ranza behind

Fidden Beach, Mull is a shell sand cove, framed with pink granite. The most stunning spot for a paddle - either by foot or even kayak.

On neighbouring Iona, enjoy Martyr's Bay and St Ronan's Bay - located on either side of the pier, with idyllic white sands and stunning views of the Sound. At the other side of the island, Port Ban beach is a perfect sheltered spot to swim, play and picnic the day away.

West Beach Berneray on the Outer Hebrides - a three-mile-long stretch of white sands and turquoise seas - featured in a promotion by the Thai tourist board, having been mistaken for a beautiful Thai beach. When you visit, you'll see it's an easy mistake to make. More recently Lonely Planet awarded it third place in its poll of Europe's top beaches. From north to south, you're never far from a slice of beach heaven like this on the Outer Hebrides.

As the season moves from summer through to autumn, the magic of the coast doesn't stop, it just changes.

Magic of the seasons

During late summer and into autumn, spot beautiful white seal pups warming themselves in sun on the secluded beaches of Iona and Staffa. (Watch them safely and respectfully with the help of the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code .

Spy magnificent minke whales and basking sharks making their way south from Hebridean waters to the sub tropics.

Enjoy the spectacle of the barnacle geese arriving to the Hebrides from Greenland. From late September, they'll arrive in their thousands at their favourite locations on Islay. It's quite a sight.

Those big coastal skies offer some of the best star gazing opportunities in the country. Coll, six miles west of Mull, and 20 miles from the nearest streetlamp, is a designated Dark Sky Island - Scotland's first and one of only twenty-two in the world. Late summer and autumn are one of the best times to spot the Milky Way from here.

dark skies

On the isle of Skye, you'll find 'Dark Sky locations' from Armadale in the south to Waternish in the north - the beautiful autumnal starry, coastal skies stretch for miles.

Book your magical island getaway today. With tickets starting at £3.50 and those under 5 travelling for free, your late summer break or autumn adventure is just a click and a sail away.

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