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
We travelled across to Luing– one of the Slate Islands - for our next island of the week feature, and Lorraine from the Atlantic Islands Centre gave us the full low-down on Luing life:
"The picturesque conservation village of Cullipool is at the heart of life on Luing and where you will find the Atlantic Islands Centre, home to a fascinating historical exhibition and a gift shop selling books and gorgeous crafts from over 20 local crafters."
"But it is the cafe which is the real jewel in the crown of the centre, selling local seafood, bread from our award-winning island bakery and an amazing selection of cakes provided by the Luing home bakers co-operative."
"The best thing about it is the lovely warm community. I've not been here that long and everyone has made me feel so welcome - I feel like I've been adopted!"⠀
"The community loves to come together regularly and are very proud of Luing. The centre holds a variety of events over the year from ceilidhs to book launches, and art exhibitions to community meals, where the whole island is invited! The centre opens on a Saturday night like a local pub and people gather to play pool, have a meal, share a drink with friends and catch up."⠀
"My favourite part of the island is the slate quarry in Cullipool. A walk to the quarry is like taking a walk into another world. It sits right beside the sea - a rugged coast where the water laps right up over the rocks giving you the feeling that you really are on the edge of the Atlantic!"⠀
"The landscape has a real atmosphere and you can imagine the men who worked here long ago and the hard physical graft they had to put in to extract the slate."⠀
"Luing is really accessible; it takes less than 40 minutes to drive down from Oban - and we have a brilliant regular car ferry service that runs all day. You can visit for the day no problem - although you will want to come back to explore the rugged coastline, the scenic walks and see the local wildlife. The sunsets are also amazing! Luing is beautiful, unspoilt, wild and friendly - everyone who visits ends up falling in love with Luing!"⠀
If Lorraine has inspired you to plan a trip then do head to https://isleofluing.org for more travel tips.
Cumbrae was our next small but-mighty-island to be featured, and giving us the low-down on island life was islander, Scott from Visit Cumbrae:
"Being roughly four miles long and two miles wide makes Cumbrae the perfect spot for cycling or walking, taking in some stunning coastal views”.
“The Cathedral of the Isles is a lovely place to stop too, with many more hidden gems, pirate’s tunnel, Cannon in the wall, standing stones, glaid stone - not to mention our very famous Lion, Indian and Crocodile Rocks. Also - don't miss our great museums at the Garrison House or the Field Studies Council."
"Being known as the island of a thousand bikes, cycling is a big thing to do on any day! Then there's crazy golf, trampolining and of course rock pooling. There's also fishing, a beautiful 18-hole golf course, bowling, bouncy castles and paddling, building sandcastles, and wildlife spotting at the beach."
"My firm favourite beach is at Bell Bay, (by the Indian Rock). With lovely white sand and stunning views of Bute and Arran. It's also quiet and the water is shallow, so it's great for the kids."
“But the best thing about island life is the community. Everyone says hello and it's such a warm and friendly place."
With just a 10-minute ferry crossing from Largs with CalMac Ferries (no booking necessary) this wee island is packed with activities. Why don't you hop across and check it out!
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