Kerrera: Circular Walk Round South of Island

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There's something special about being on a Scottish island and Kerrera is no exception. Kerrera is the green and pleasant-looking island you see in the foreground to Mull when looking out from Oban Harbour. It is inhabited by thirty people, numerous sheep and wild goats in the hills.

Starting from the ferry terminal, this route heads south along the east coast of the island. The bay on your left-hand side here is called Horseshoe Bay. It was here in 1249 that King Alexander II died while attempting to re-take western Scotland from the Norwegians.

On reaching the south of the island the route passes a tea shop, the only source of refreshments and public toilets on the walk, then leaves the main track to visit Glyen Castle and the southern shore of the island, with good views out to sea.

Glyen Castle (the name means 'Castle of Fountains') has a shorter history than most Scottish castles: built in 1582 by MacDougalls of Dunollie (just north of Oban), destroyed by the Covenanters under General Leslie in 1647 and restored in 2006, the work being financed by Historic Scotland and the worldwide MacDougall clan.

The return route, still with plenty of interest and good views, starts parallel to the western shore of the island, but a little higher on an old drovers' road, before cutting across the hilly interior of the island to return to the ferry terminal.

There was a profusion of wildflowers when I visited. Birds of prey are often seen on the island: kestrel, buzzard and sparrowhawk and there are occasional sightings of golden eagle, sea eagle and sea mammals porpoise, dolphin and minke whale.

Kerrera is not without its eccentricities. The route passes a shed with a notice declaring it is Kerrera's smallest shop (also the largest to my knowledge!) The proceeds from this shop support the parrot sanctuary, also on the premises but sadly not open to the public.

I also met an islander taking his two pigs for a walk – not little piglets but two fully-grown pigs who came to him for treats when called! One answered to the name of Samson (sheep-pigs like Babe perhaps?).

Scotland - Central Scotland - Argyll and Bute - Kerrera


Birds, Castle, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Public Transport, Sea, Tea Shop