“I visited Holy Isle, Scotland (there is one in England also) on a fantastic warm day in May. The crossing was full, so I had to wait for the ferry to come back and take me over to the island. Once on the island, I decided to make my way towards St Molaise’s Cave and Well, on my way towards the Lighthouse. I walked at a very leisurely pace and eventually walked as far as the Retreat at the far end of the island.
There are stunning views over to the Isle of Arran from the Island and there are several places to stop and enjoy the views. The people from the Centre were extremely friendly and happy to answer any questions we had. All too soon, it was time to catch the ferry back to Lamlash, but I left with good memories of a lovely island”.
How do I get to Holy Isle? The main Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry for Arran leaves from Ardrossan on the west coast of Scotland and docks at Brodick, the main town on Arran. The other Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry is between Lochranza in the nort west of Arran and Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula. This a smaller ferry and runs less frequently. To get to Holy Isle from Arran, you will need to use the Holy Isle Ferry based at Lamlash Pier. This usually runs 3-4 times a day from May to October. To travel throughout Scotland and the UK, you can book your tickets through The Trainline.
How do I get around Holy Isle? By walking! There are two main routes around the island. Both start at where the ferry arrives – with one of the walks taking you around the ‘back’ of the island and the other towards the Pillar Rock Lighthouse.
What’s worth visiting on Holy Isle? St Molaise’s Cave and Well are situated halfway along the path to the Lighthouse. For centuries people have come to drink its cold and crystal clear water for the healing powers it is said to have. Further south are several rock paintings that depict different deities and teachers of the Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. There is an Information Centre near the ferry slipway.
Where can I stay on Holy Isle? The only accommodation on Holy isle is with the Centre for World Peace and Health, who have a retreat on the island. Single rooms, twin rooms and dormitory bed are available Other accommodation is available on the Isle of Arran. Here is just a selection of the Hotels, Guest Houses and B & B’s on offer there. Auchrannie Country House Hotel and Lagg Hotel in Brodick, Best Western Kinloch Hotel in Blackwaterfoot and the Glenisle Hotel in Lamlash. There is also The Barn B&B in Brodick, The Mare in Kildonan and the Clisham B&B in Pirnmill. There is a campsite at Lochranza and Hostels at Kilmory Hall, Lochranza and Corrie.
Any other information on Holy Isle? Holy Isle is around 3 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide and is dominated by the rocky Marilyn of Mullach Mor (314m).