Discover Tiree and the Inner Hebrides
Scattered off the west coast of Scotland, the unspoilt islands of the Inner Hebrides are home to some of Britain’s most spectacular landscapes. From the razor-ridged mountains of Skye to the silvery sandy beaches of Colonsay, the natural beauty on display here will take your breath away.
Tiree is the most westerly island of the archipelago – a wild, windswept paradise bordered by pristine beaches and dotted with charming hamlets. The island is popular with surfers and windsurfers, while naturalists come for its wondrous wildlife. With an easy 45-minute flight from Glasgow Airport, Tiree makes the perfect base for exploring the Inner Hebrides.
Traigh Throdhrasdail, Tiree
It’s impossible to overstate the appeal of Tiree’s glorious beaches. Picking a favourite is tricky - but Traigh Throdhrasdail, with its crescent moon of powdery sand and sky-blue waters, definitely heads the list. There are no facilities or cafés here, but if you’re looking for a mind-bogglingly beautiful stretch of sand to call your own then this will certainly fit the bill.
The Old Man of Storr, Skye
The rock formations that sit in the shadow of Skye’s Trotternish Ridge are so extraordinary that they’ve been used as an atmospheric backdrop for films such as Prometheus and The Wicker Man. Walk beneath the outlandish pinnacles of the Old Man of Storr, then carry on uphill to reach the long, sweeping crest of the ridge itself.
The Hebridean island of Islay has a long history of distilling whisky, and today Islay boasts a grand total of eight active distilleries. Laphroaig is among the most famous and runs tasting tours throughout most of the year, but you can also enjoy tours of the other seven distilleries through advance booking.
Quirky things to see and do
Skerryvore Lighthouse Museum, Tiree
Scotland’s tallest lighthouse sits 12 miles (19km) out to sea and guards some of the country’s most dangerous rocks. The museum, housed in the hamlet of Hynish, traces the story of the hazardous Skerryvore Reef, the vessels that came to grief there and the construction of the lighthouse by Alan Stevenson.
Address: Morton Boyd Hall, Hynish, Tiree
Opening times: 0900-1700 (May-Sep)
The Singing Sands, Eigg
Hidden away on Eigg, the isolated Singing Sands is a truly magical spot. Its name derives from the quartz sand grains that squeak when you walk across them, creating peculiar natural music. Driftwood sculptures, crystal-clear waters and superlative views complete the idyllic picture. Generating all of its electricity using renewable energy, Eigg is also a popular ecotourism hotspot.
Food and drink
Once a culinary backwater, the Inner Hebrides has excelled itself in recent years with an explosion of fabulous restaurants and gastro-pubs. With a strong heritage in craft spirits to boot, it’s no surprise that celebrity chefs such as Fergus Henderson and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are now regular visitors.
- The Three Chimneys, Colbost, Skye IV55 8ZT
- The Cobbled Cow, Rural Centre, Tiree PA77 6UP
- Fishermen’s Pier Fish & Chip Van, Main Street, Tobermory, Mull PA75 6NU