No 64 Easdale Island: things to do around Easdale

Sheelanagig at the World Stone Skimming Championships Easdale Island 2010
World Stone Skimming Championships

Despite its size and population, Easdale has several attractions right on the doorstep. It is a conservation island free of traffic and, as such, encourages you to put on your walking shoes for a tour of the island and climb the hill with its viewpoint across the Inner Hebrides and nearby Ellenabeich. The heritage of the slate islands is everywhere around you, as can be seen all along the shoreline in the disused buildings and discarded slate, perhaps useful if you come to the Annual World Stone Skimming Championships in September, and the old flooded quarries. If you are hardy enough, you can even take a dip in the "swimming" quarry. In the village, enter the award-winning Museum to gain a wealth of knowledge of how this island existed in the past.

The recently awarded Best Community Pub of the Year 2010, The Puffer Bar, will tempt you with its food, drink and speciality evenings. The hospitality is second to none. Meet the locals who will make you very welcome. The unusual architecturally designed community hall has a wealth of live music, drama and entertainment throughout the year to keep you happy.

McCaigs Tower overlooks Oban
McCaigs Tower - Oban

Sea pursuits are ever popular on Easdale as it is possible to berth your own boat at the harbour or bring your kayak to explore the sound and other local islands. A must for everyone is Seafari Adventures who will take you to some of the wildest places in Scotland, including the world famous Corryvreckan whirlpool and the Gravellachs with its Golden Eagles. Easdale is situated in the Firth of Lorne Marine Conservation Area which is well known for diving and fishing – especially for giant skate.

Cross back over the Easdale sound to Seil Island on the regular ferry and you will find some little craft shops, a museum and the Oyster Brewery Pub and Restaurant. There are several local walks to tempt the more energetic. Visit An Cala gardens, part of Scotland’s Gardens Open Scheme, within walking distance of the harbour and enjoy its tranquillity and seasonally changing landscape. At Balvicar there is a 9 hole golf course for enthusiasts.

gravestones at Kilmartin
gravestones at Kilmartin churchyard

Travel north on Seil, cross the Bridge over the Atlantic and venture south to Kilmartin Glen, a relatively unknown gem in Scotland's history. There you will be taken back to some of Scotland’s unrivalled heritage, with its 350 ancient monuments, of which approximately 150 are prehistoric. Kilmartin House Museum is a world-class centre for archaeology and landscape interpretation and contains many exhibits from the glen. It also has a fantastic cafe.

Head north to Oban “The Gateway to the Isles”. Here you will find visitor attractions and renowned seafood restaurants to tempt your palate. There are a variety of boat trips from Oban to the Isles, including Mull, Iona where St. Columba is laid to rest, and Staffa with Fingal’s Cave, which inspired Mendelssohn to write the Hebrides Overture.