Friday, 31 January 2014


Don't worry if you've never heard of it.  I'd never heard of this Inner Hebridean island until we started researching last year's summer holiday.  It's a tiny gem of an island (8 miles by 3 miles, with a population of 144) just west of its larger neighbour Jura.

We stayed in one of a row of lodges (Geaspar, pronounced Jasper) adjacent to to the elegant Colonsay hotel.  We arrived to find the cupboards and fridge stocked with provisions pre-ordered from the Colonsay store and a bottle of wine and a packet of delicious biscuits from the cottage owner.

I awoke the first morning to the see a flock of sheep meander past the living room window.  The sofa overlooking the rock strewn hillside became my favourite spot where I spent many hours reading or knitting drinking in the solitude.

Scalasaig, the main habitation, was only a few minutes down the hill, with all its attractions, including a brewery (the smallest island in the world to have one!) and a well stocked bookshop.

We hired bikes and helmets from Archie who delivered them to our door and used them to travel the length and breadth of the island ... (riding a bike for the first time in over 30 years was an exhilarating, albeit painful, experience) 

Kiloran Bay where we sculpted a mermaid ...

Colonsay House where we explored the subtropical woodland and feasted on enormous slabs of cake in the cafe ...

Fresnel lighthouse lantern lens
 from Islay

Riasg Buidhe Cross
We climbed the hill behind our lodge and were rewarded with a panoramic view of the island ...

towards Kichattan
towards Oronsay

towards Kiloran

We followed the tide out to the tiny island of Oronsay to visit the ruined 14th century Augustinian priory ...

The Paps of Jura from Oronsay
The postie delivering mail at low tide
I have no photos of the ceilidh in the village hall, the quiz night in the hotel bar, the fresh bread and the spectacular seafood platter at the Pantry cafe, the local artwork, the church ... but they are all stored in the memory of a very happy holiday.

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