Ask an islander
We have featured the following islands so far - follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more Island of the Week action!
Image: Sophie Whitehead-Robertson
The Isle of Raasay proved to be quite the wee gem; not only does it have the most amazing views of Skye and delicious local produce, but it is also the location for the current series of SAS Who Dares Wins!
Our featured islander, Calum from Isle of Raasay, told us all about Raasay’s highlights:
"We're lucky to have two amazing food stops straight off the ferry. The newly opened The Larch Box is fantastic, with fresh soups, baguettes and toasties and some of the best coffee you'll find anywhere in Scotland! Raasay House has an incredible restaurant and an unbeatable view over to Skye - you'll never want to leave!"
"Our annual 'Whisky, Fire and Song' event in November has music, ceilidhs and, perhaps most notably of all, a wonderful torchlit procession! It's a great event that really shows the best of what Raasay has to offer out of the normal tourist season."
"It's tough to find a spot on Raasay that isn't worth visiting, but the secluded beach at Inver is certainly one of Raasay's most picturesque spots. A winding path takes you through forests, over streams and eventually terminates at a beautiful beach, positioned directly across from Portree, with wonderful views over towards Skye."
"But isn't all about the outdoors! Raasay Distillery is a great stop for anyone interested in whisky with warehouse tours, handmade chocolate and whisky tastings, and a chance to try the new Raasay Gin."
If you like what you hear, Raasay is just a short hop across on the CalMac ferries from Sconser on Skye, with crossings 7 days a week, all year round.
Papa Westray – affectionately known as Papay to locals, was our second island of the week and is the second most northerly Orkney island. But there is nothing second rate about this wee gem which can be accessed via the world’s shortest scheduled flight.
Islander Jonathan Ford told us what he loves about the island he calls home:
“Papay is a wonderful place for big skies, seas and landscapes. May is my favourite time of year here. It is a time of coming back to life and new arrivals on the island. The Pickies (Arctic terns) are back from Antarctica, migrant birds are passing through on their long journey North and the island is waking from the long winter at 59 degrees North. Oh, I almost forgot, the Puffins are back too!!"
“The Old Pier is my favourite spot on Papay. The sea is always beautiful, you can sit and watch the world go by, catch a boat trip over to the Holm of Papay, or investigate The Kelp Store, our arts and heritage centre."
"My favourite place to walk on Papay is the coastal walk around North Hill, with Fowl Craig as the highlight. In the summer it is home to our splendid seabird colonies, and in the winter it is dramatic and wild. The perfect place to get away from it all at anytime of the year."
Inspired by Jonathan’s words? Why not plan a trip yourself?
Getting to Orkney is easy with NorthLink Ferries, Pentland Ferries, John O'Groats Passenger Ferries and Loganair offering frequent scheduled services to mainland Orkney. From there Orkney Ferries and Loganair take you the final short hop to Papa Westray.
For more info on travel to and around the Orkney Islands by bus, plane and ferry, as well great travel tips, check out Orkney.com.
Great wildlife, fantastic scenery, awesome food and castles! Our first featured island of the week was Mull located in the inner Herbrides.
We heard all about what makes the isle of Mull so wonderful from islander Cameron Anson:
"Winter is by far my favourite time of the year on Mull. Summer is great for sitting out having a beer or doing a bit of work in the garden, but winter is a great time to catch up with folk! When it’s a good winter (cold and clear), there are so many beautiful days here. And when it’s a milder, wet and windy winter, you always have the excuse of finding shelter in the pub on your way home!"
"Mull has such an enormous range of local produce. I can personally vouch for Knockvologan Lamb, Ardtun Pork, Lagganulva Beef and various sausages from Sgriob Ruadh! There’s also The Tobermory Fish Co.Ltd who supply all sorts of smoked seafood, Isle of Mull Cheese, Island Bakery Organics and, of course, locally sourced shellfish."
"Having stumbled into being a beer tent for Salen Show and Bunessan Show, I can say both are very enjoyable! There's also the Mull Rally in October, the Mull Music Festival in April the Mull 7's in May and all the various shows - not to be missed."
"There's loads of walks to choose from, both in the North and South of Mull; everyone will have a favourite. There’s lots to see in Tiroran Community Forest including giant head sculptures, the ruined township of Knockroy, sea eagles and a huge variety of other flora and fauna. Loch Pottie path is an absolutely brilliant walk too. There are so many spots around the Loch with incredible views.”
If you fancy seeing all this and more, CalMac ferries offer sailings from Oban, Lochaline and Kilchoan.
Photo: Cameron Anson