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Day 5: Colonsay

We only arrived on Islay late last night and this morning we were already scheduled to depart it for another island. This was just a day trip though, to the nearby island of Colonsay. There are only two days per week when a ferry from the mainland to Islay continues on towards Oban, stopping at Colonsay on the way. Wednesday was one of those days and we had decided to make the most of the ferry timetable to have a short trip to Colonsay.

The ferry wasn't until 12.15, so we had a relaxed start to the morning in the cottage before driving across Islay to Port Askaig, which is where this particular ferry leaves from. The weather forecast is not great for the next few days and so it was quite damp and misty as we drove across the island towards the port, although not raining heavily.

The ferry was on time and we were one of the few vehicles directed towards the queue for Colonsay, with most of the other vehicles boarding the ferry being destined for Oban. We had been expecting just to drive onto the ferry, but had a bit of unexpected excitement when Tim was told to reverse onto it instead :o 

We made it on board and soon were on our way to Colonsay, a journey of just over one hour.


The ferry lands at Scalasaig, the biggest settlement on the island.


The entire population of Colonsay is just 124 people, so Scalasaig is definitely not a metropolis.


The island itself is not physically very big either, being around 8 miles long and 3 miles wide, so we didn't have very far to drive to get to anywhere we wanted to visit.

The main attraction on Colonsay is Kiloran Bay.


This is a huge beach with golden sands.


It was a little bit damp and windy today, but I can imagine that on a sunny day it must look tropical here.


The beach came highly recommended by our Scottish guidebook. What the guidebook hadn't said was that getting down to the sand was a bit of a challenge.


At least, some of us found it a challenge :D 


The problem was that on a slightly wet day like today, the rocks were a bit slippery to clamber over.


Once I'd made it down we were able to start exploring the beach properly :)


Our next challenge was to cross this stream of water, which runs all across the beach.


We followed the stream for a little while as it led into the sand dunes behind the beach.


There were some great views out across the sand.


Eventually we found a spot where we could cross the water and walk down to the main sandy part of the beach.


And there was lots of sand to explore.


Lots and lots of sand!


We were able to have a good walk along the beach and ultimately get up to 10 000 steps.


At the far end of the beach we came across these remains.


Not sure whether they're real or some sort of sculpture!


From the edge of the beach we walked up along the sand dunes for a bit.


We only had to  share the views with some sheep.


This one in particular was very keen to protect her lamb from us.


Some of the sand dunes were quite unusual - look at the ridges on this one.


Eventually we had to turn around and retrace our steps back along the beach.


It was still really pretty, despite being so misty.


Then we just had to get back across the water...


...and climb back up to the car.


From there we did a bit of a road trip around the island, finally ending up at Scalasaig again. There was a pretty community garden there.


We walked around Scalasaig for a while, admiring the views of the coast.


We could look back towards the ferry port where we'd arrived.


After a while it became clear that we'd well and truly left Scalasaig behind.


We turned around and retraced our steps back to the town.


Before it was time to catch our ferry back to Islay, we just had time to drive down to the far south of the island.


A tidal causeway here connects Colonsay to another smaller island, Oronsay, so if you're here at a full or new moon you can apparently walk across.


There was so much water here today, it was hard to imagine that being possible!


Then it was time for us to drive back to Scalasaig for the ferry across to Islay. It's been fun to visit Colonsay today, but it really is quite a small island; I think we would have struggled to spend more than half a day here!

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