Isle of Gigha
The visitor guide on Isle of Gigha in Argyll will guide you with information on and aound the place including, things to do, getting to Isle of Gigha and accommodation and hotels in Isle of Gigha.
The small island of Gigha (pronounced "Gee-a" with a hard "g") translates from Norse as "God's Island". A grand claim, perhaps, but there's no question that this most accessible of islands is also one of the loveliest. It's only a 20-minute ferry ride away, and only six miles by one mile, so it can be visited easily in a day, which is just about enough time to appreciate why the Vikings loved it so much. Like so many of the Hebridean islands, Gigha has had a long list of owners, including various branches of the MacNeils and, more recently, in 1944, Sir James Horlick, he of bedtime drink fame. Now, though, the islanders are the new proud owners of their own little piece of paradise, thanks to a successful buy-out in 2001.
Phone code: +44 (0)1583
On the community-owned Isle of Gigha, there are 54 acres of Achamore Gardens. The warming influence of the North Atlantic Drift allows an even greater array of sub-tropical and temperate plants to grow happily out doors. The present compartment woodland layout was created by Col. Horlick and his assistant Kitty Lloyd Jones. These woodland compartments give a backdrop to allow the vast number of Rhododendron to grow and flourish. Plant genera from all over the world are represented within the gardens from the tender to the hardy.
Plant sales, dogs welcome, seasonal refreshments, friendly folk and a beautiful island.
Gigha is situated off the West Coast of Kintyre, approximately 1 ½ hours from Oban and 3 hours fom Glasgow.
Open all year round from dawn until dusk every day
Local Sights & Activities for Isle of Gigha
The island's other delights include some good walks, white sandy beaches and fantastic views across to Jura on one side and Kintyre on the other. One of the best walks is to take the path left after the nine-hole golf course, signed Ardaily, past Mill Loch to the Mill on the west shore. The views from here are just magnificent. Another good idea is to walk, or cycle (see below for bike hire) to the peninsula of Eilean Garbh at the north of the island. About half a mile beyond Kinererach Farm a path leads left to the peninsula where two crescent-shaped beaches are separated by a thin spit of land. And if the weather's good enough for a picnic, make sure you try some of the island's famously distinctive cheese.
Isle of Gigha Hotels & Accommodation
The ferry port and only village is Ardminish. Here you'll find the Gigha Hotel, Tel. 505254, Fax. 505244, open all year round and offering comfort, great views and good bar food. The hotel offers real island hospitality, welcoming fires and a bar full of tall tales! Another option is self-catering at the Post Office House Tel. 505251, a short walk from the ferry. The Post Office is also a general store, petrol station and also rent out bikes.
Bike hire is also available at the ferry slip from Gigha Boats Activity Centre - which as the name suggests also hires boats, sit-on top kayaks, wetsuits, snorkel, mask and fin sets! They can be contacted on 07876 506520.
Tighnavinish also offer en-suite B&B, a short walk from the ferry slip. Andy and Viv can be contacted on 01583 505378.
The Boathouse Cafe Bar is open seasonally, beautifuly situated on a small beach, open all day offering lunch, evening meals, a wide selection of drinks and a warm welcome. Joe and Lindsay can be contacted on 01583 505123
Achamore House offers 4 star B&B in the Big House. A truely sumptious house set in Achamore Gardens, Don and Emma offer a lovely treat on our wonderful island, contact them on 01583 505400.
A good alternative to staying on the island, at the ferry port of Tayinloan, is the Tayinloan Inn, Tel. 441233, a small and cosy 18th-century coaching inn offering the best food south of Tarbert.