I manged to catch up with Isebail MacKinnon from Canna Campsite on the Isle of Canna, as part of my ’10 questions with’ series.
1. What brought you back to the Isle of Canna and what gave you the idea for a campsite?
I spent the summer in Canna in 2015, taking a break from being a business advisor/trainer in London, and was trying to work out how I could blend all the parts of my life job so I could spend time in Canna, London and working on the microcredit projects I run in Ghana. Just as I was due to return to London my mum had a stroke. That was the no-brainer kick that made me decide to move back to Canna and take up the opportunity of developing Canna Campsite while ensuring that my mum was able to return to live on Canna.
2. Where is the campsite located and why is it situated there?
Canna Campsite is sheltered in a little corner of Canna that looks out onto the west and southwest while being sheltered on 3 sides with its own spring water and fantastic views. It is far enough away from the harbour to feel secluded but close enough to walk to Cafe Canna and Canna Community Shop if you want some company, free wifi or a drink!
3. What accommodation and facilities do you offer within the campsite?
There are 3 camping pods and spaces for pitching your own tent at the campsite. Also at the farm steadings we have two fully equipped caravans for hire. The campsite has its own spring for water, toilet facilities and a cookshack kitted out with kitchen utensils, crockery and pots and pans. You can also make your own campfire or barbecue on site.
4. What are the main attractions on Canna and what is your favourite place?
Canna is fantastic for wildlife, beautiful views and has a rich history to be explored. There are over 1200 listed archeological sites and also Canna is great if you just want to walk, explore, spend some time on the beach or do a spot of shore fishing.
5. What wildlife can you see on Canna?
Canna’s big 5 are otters, basking sharks, seals, eagles and puffins. There are also large seabird colonies of guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes. Common sights are buzzards, bonksies, rafts of eiders, grassland birds like skylarks or lapwings and several types of waders. The farm animals are interesting too with a herd of highlanders, belted galloway and blackface and cheviot sheep. Read my article on wildlife in the Inner Hebrides.
6. What are the best things about living on a remote island?
It doesn’t seem that remote to me anymore, we have great wifi, a cafe, shop, a good ferry service including vehicle services. The best thing is getting to be outside any time I want in this beautiful environment and all its changing seasons and there is always something interesting happening!
7. What are the challenges that you face living on a remote island?
Getting things done takes a bit longer as we might have to wait for deliveries. We are well organised with food and other supplies. With the campsite visitors not arriving because of ferries/bad weather has been a problem and a cost we need to factor in.
8. Have you visited any other ScottishIslands other than Canna and if so, which was your favourite?
I have visited Mull, Eigg, Rum, Muck, Skye. Eigg is my favourite with Much a close second because we have great friends on each island and it is always fun and inspiring to go and see what they are doing!
9. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5-10 years time?
I see Canna Campsite as being a diverse successful business ensuring that visitors to Canna feel welcome and enjoy discovering our island time after time.
10. Where can I find out more information about Canna Campsite?