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The wonders of the west coast - the things we love and miss the most

Country road at sunset on Colonsay


You may have seen and heard our collaboration with the wonderful Skippinish on the airwaves over the Festive Season. The film shows some of the west coast sights CalMac has the pleasure of sailing to and from, and the footage is set to the wonderful Skippinish tune 'Home on the Sea'.

As the lyrics to the song say: "All the wonders of the world, will never quell the burning, or the power or the yearning for the day we'll be returning - bring us home on the sea..." This past year has been quite different, and so far, 2021 has too. This got us thinking about the wonders of the west coast - the things those of us who've not travelled to the islands have missed most about them and equally, what aspects we look forward to enjoying in the future.

1.     The start of the story on the deck

We often say at CalMac - 'Every journey starts a story'. Many of us who haven't travelled to the islands recently will have missed the anticipation of being on the deck of the CalMac vessel. That moment, as the boat leaves the harbour is the beginning of a new chapter - on our way to a new island destination, or perhaps heading back home to a favourite and much missed location.

Open deck of the MV Clansman

2.      The beautiful surroundings

From big horizons and looking out across pristine white beaches - to the dramatic peaks of the hills and mountains, the islands are full of the most beautiful surroundings Scotland has to offer. Some parts of the world are known for one aspect of their landscape - but the islands of Scotland really do have it all. From those iconic spaces to new places, experiencing the diversity of island landscapes from the Clyde to the Hebrides is a real privilege. It's the perfect place to indulge your wanderlust.

Hillwalkers feet dangling over An Sgurr, Isle of Eigg

3.     The peace and tranquillity

We have experienced some of our best ever festivals and celebrations on the islands and yet it's also home to some of the most peaceful places and tranquil spaces - where you can be listening to the wildlife all around and the waves lapping the shore. After the events of the last year, it will be lovely to be able to relax and recharge in nature's playground.

family playing on Traigh Mhòr beach Isle of Barra

4.      Built for new experiences

The islands on the west coast are so diverse, the possibilities for adventure and new experiences are endless. Whether that's delving into the past at historic sites or donning a wetsuit to dive into island watersports, there's something to suit all tastes.

Surfing In Tiree

5.     The people and island life

Above everything else - what we have missed and are most looking forward to is experiencing island life and being with the people who live there.

While we might not have been able to enjoy any of this over the New Year, or very much of it last year - we do tentatively hope that we'll have the ability to safely enjoy more of the islands later in 2021.


Please follow Scottish Government travel guidelines. For those who are planning on travelling with us, you must follow our safer travel guidance - a step by step guide to help you prepare for your journey - from mandatory face coverings to booking ahead. Following the advice helps keep one another and the islands we love safe.

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