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Gem of the sea

What is it about Colonsay that draws the visitor back to it, again & again?

​Is it the miles of pale sandy beaches and sparkling clear waters, the rugged cliffs or the rolling machair? The still, shimmering lochs, the stunning sunsets, the flora and fauna or the unpredictable weather? Is it the remoteness, the two hour ferry crossing or just the unspoilt beauty?

At just 10 miles long and 2 miles wide, with a population of a little over 100, Colonsay sits on the edge of the Atlantic, with only the Du Hirteach lighthouse standing between it and Canada. Islay and Jura lie to the south, with Mull to the north. The island is rich with history. Legend has it that Colonsay was the first place St Columba arrived when he set out from Ireland in 563AD. However, he found that the coast of his homeland was still visible from the hills, so he moved on north to Iona and founded his monastery there.

  • Annual island festivals
    Colonsay also boasts a large number of annual festivals ...including Literary, Music, Spring, and Food & Drink! Explore more at www.visitcolonsay.co.uk
  • Beachcombing and shells
    Get out and about exploring & collecting. Colonsay gets a good selection of ‘treasure’ washed up – from sea worn wood, to old bottles, to aluminium fishing buoys. Also see how many different shell varieties you can find.
  • Churches
    The church of Scotland in Scalasaig holds services every Sundays at 11.30am. The parish is served by visiting ministers for united worship and persons of all denominations are very welcome to attend.
  • Colonsay Bookshop
    The Bookshop at Scalasaig carries a large selection of books, specialising in titles with a Scottish and Hebridean flavour. They also have an antiquarian section, as well as crafts, cards and small gifts. Telephone 01951 200232
  • Colonsay Brewery
    Amazing beer and lager from this micro-brewery. Take a look round, visit the shop & stock up for your holiday! Telephone 01951 200190 | www.colonsaybrewery.co.uk
  • Colonsay Golf Course & Club
    Test your skills on this challenging 18 hole links course, set on the beautiful Machrins machair ground. Membership is available at the Colonsay Hotel Office and competitions are often held during the summer.
  • Colonsay Heritage Centre
    Situated round in Kilchattan in the former Baptist Church, Colonsay & Oransay Heritage Trust have great display of past island life and history. Freely open all the time. www.colonsaycaptured.com
  • Colonsay Hotel, Restaurant and Bar"
    Enjoy a drink, stay for a meal or call in for a peaceful cup of coffee. Weekly quiz nights & children’s DVD nights throughout the summer. Telephone 01951 200316
  • Colonsay House Gardens
    Considered to have one of the finest rhododendron collections in Scotland, these gardens are well worth a visit. The woodland gardens are open all year, with the private inner gardens open on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Workshop Café at the Gardens serves delicious home baked cakes and freshly made soup and sandwiches in a charming setting. Open for lunch and afternoon teas on Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays.
  • Colonsay Pantry
    The Pantry is a family café & restaurant, ideal for lunch, suppers & teas. Fully licensed and open all day and in a handy position near to the pier, they also bake a wonderful selection of bread & cakes for taking away. Tel 01951200325 | www.thecolonsaypantry.co.uk
  • MacPhie Bagging
    A MacPhie is Colonsay's equivalent to a Munro, but not as high. Purists may wish to climb all the peaks on Colonsay and Oransay that exceed 300ft in one go on a connected walk, but they can also be tackled one at a time! There are 22 peaks in the Official List, and the distance is about 20 miles. Find out about MacPhie bagging and more information about Colonsay at www.visitcolonsay.co.uk
  • Oronsay
    Visit the tidal island of Oronsay, situated off the south end of Colonsay. Walk across at low tide to see its fourteenth-century Priory, with church, cloister, exquisite medieval cross and fine grave-slabs. Timing of this expedition is crucial, so please check in the Post Office for daily safe crossing times.
  • Summer social events
    During the summer the island also puts on many other activities, such as Ceilidhs, Sports day, the Regatta, Golf Tournaments, Craft Sales, Quizzes and Art Exhibitions. Look for notices in the Shop, Pantry, and Hotel.
  • Wild Thyme Spirits Gin Distillery
    Gin Lovers Retreat, Private Gin tastings and Distillery visits. By appointment only T 01951 200082 www.wildthymespirits.com
To learn more about Colonsay, island news and events explore more at
www.visitcolonsay.co.uk
Visit Colonsay
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