Out of all the islands I have visited, Tiree and Harris have probably got the best beaches. The island has a mild climate with some of the highest levels of sunshine recorded anywhere in the British Isles.
I stayed at the Scarinish Hotel and the picture above is from the view outside the front of the Hotel. Again, I was lucky to have good weather.
I have always been interested in Lighthouses, so I was looking forward to visiting the Skerryvore Museum. This small Museum records the remarkable story of the design and construction of the Skerryvore Lighthouse by Alan Stevenson (uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson). I was not disappointed as the Museum was excellent.
Apart from the amazing beaches, my abiding memory of the Isle of Tiree, Scotland is of the ‘Pudding Houses’. These are simple structures, built from local stone and thatch, that take their name from their external appearance, where only the mortar is painted white, giving them a mottled appearance. These Pudding Houses are unique to Tiree and are another good reason why a visit to Tiree is a must.
How do I get to Tiree? You can fly to Tiree with Flybe from Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Southampton. However, most of these flights are via Glasgow. Hebridean Air run a Monday and Wednesday day return flight from Oban and Colonsay. The main way to get to Tiree is using the Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferry from Oban. This is a journey of around four hours and goes via Coll. You can also catch the ferry from neighbouring Coll, which is a journey of around an hour.
How do I get around Tiree? The local post bus meets the flight from Glasgow and will transport passengers to Scarinish. Tiree has a Ring n’ Ride service provided by Argyll & Bute Council. This service is available on demand anywhere on the island between 7am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. This service can be used by anyone. Car and Bike hire is available at MacLennan Motors, who are located at the Ferry Terminal. Bike hire is also available at the Tiree Lodge Hotel. There is also a Taxi service, Minibus and Coach hire available from John Kennedy Taxis in Crossapol and from Island Cabs.
What’s worth visiting on Tiree? The Skerryvore Lighthouse Museum in Hynish, tells the story of the building of the Skerryvore Lighthouse by Alan Stevenson, an uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson. At Sandaig, is the Sandaig Museum which tells of the island’s social history. An Turus is an award winning arts project, based at the ferry port. The building won the prestigious “Scottish Building of the Year” award in 2003. Ben Hynish, the highest point on the island, provides wonderful views of Tiree as well as the Skerryvore Lighthouse.
Where can I stay on Tiree? There are two Hotels on Tiree, the Scarinish and the Tiree Lodge. Both Isle of Tiree Hotels are available to book through Hotels Combined. Rockvale Guest House in Balephetrish, Kirkapol House in Kirkapol and Cèabhar in Sandaig all offer Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Self-catering accommodation is available at The Two Harvests in Balemartine, Myrtle Bank Cottage and Stevie’s Cottage in Mannal, Mckays Cottage in Balephuil and An Cala. Tiree now has its own designated Campsite at Balinoe. There is also the excellent Millhouse Hostel.
Any other information on Tiree? Tiree is very popular for windsurfing. The island hosts the Tiree Wave Classic every year.