The visitor guide on Colonsay in Inner Herbides will give you information on and around the place which includes getting to Colonsay, sleeping and eating, hotels and accommodation in Colonsay.
Phone code: +44 (0)1951
Colonsay is the epitome of the island haven: remote, tranquil and undemanding. It has abundant wildlife (150 species of resident or migrant birds), beautiful plants and flowers (over 500 species) and glorious beaches. All this has become accessible to daytrippers, with a ferry round trip (see below), leaving you six hours ashore. This does scant justice to the island's peculiar charms, however, and judging by the ever-growing number of holiday homes and self-catering accommodation on Colonsay, it's a view shared by many.
The island is rich in archaeological & historical remains.
Colonsay's population lives in the three small villages, the largest of which is Scalasaig, the ferry port. The island's only hotel is here and there's also a restaurant, a post office/shop, a petrol pump and a heritage centre by the pier. A few miles north of the ferry, in the middle of the island, is Colonsay House, dating from 1772. The house was sold, along with the rest of the island, in 1904 to Lord Strathcona, who had made his fortune in Canada with the Hudson Bay Company and went on to found the Canadian Pacific Railway. The house is not open to the public but the lovely gardens and woods, full of rhododendrons, giant palms and exotic shrubs, are worth a stroll. The estate cottages are now self-catering holiday homes.
There are several standing stones, the best of which are Fingal's Limpet Hammers, at Kilchattan, southwest of Colonsay House. There are also Iron Age forts, such as Dun Eibhinn, next to the hotel in Scalasaig (see below). Colonsay is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can see choughs, one of Britain's rarest birds, as well as corncrakes, buzzards, falcons, merlins and perhaps even the odd golden eagle or sea eagle. There are also otters, seals and wild goats (said to be descended from the survivors of the Spanish Armada ships wrecked in 1588).
The jewel in the island's crown, though, lies six miles north of Scalasaig, past Colonsay House, at Kiloran Bay. The beach here is described as the finest in the Hebrides, and who could argue. The magnificent half mile of golden sands, backed by tiers of grassy dunes, with massive breakers rolling in off the Atlantic, is worth the two-hour ferry crossing alone.
Colonsay Hotels & Accommodation
Apart from 1 hotel and a couple of B&Bs, all accommodation is self-catering. Caravans and camping are not allowed on the island.
Accommodation on Colonsay is limited and must be booked up well in advance.
Isle of Colonsay Hotel, Tel. +44 (0)1951 200316, Fax. 200353, www.colonsayestate.co.uk/Colonsay-Hotel.aspx A few hundreds yards from the ferry, 11 rooms, a cosy 18th-century inn with a friendly bar and excellent food; they also arrange various trips around the island. Attached to the hotel is Viragos, a coffee house and well-stocked bookshop.
A cheaper option is the excellent Seaview, Tel. 200315, at Kilchattan, near the standing stones.
Open Apr-Oct. F Colonsay Backpacker's Lodge, Tel. 200312, Colonsay Backpacker's Lodge is an old keeper's cottage 2km from the ferry, sleeps 16 and is open all year, phone ahead for lift from ferry.
Aside from the hotel bar, you can eat at The Pantry, Tel. 200325, near the ferry pier. It is open Mon-Sat and offers simple home cooking as well as teas and cakes.
Colonsay Estate Cottages
Traditional cottages and farmhouses scattered over stunning Scottish island most with sea or loch views. Sandy beaches, seals, otters and birds, award winning hotel and restaurant, 18 hole golf course, fishing and safe cycling for children. The Isle of Colonsay is a paradise for children: endless sandy beaches, shrimping, surfing, paddling. Seals, otters and golden eagles to spot. Safe cycling on our single track road. Our hotel and holiday cottages welcome children. Colonsay Estate Website
Travel Directions to Colonsay
Getting to Colonsay
There are ferry sailings from Oban (2 hrs) once daily Wed, Fri and Sun, arriving at Scalasaig on the east coast. From Kennacraig there is 1 sailing (3 hrs 35 mins) on Wed. From Port Askaig there is 1 sailing (1 hr 10 mins) also on Wed. One-way Oban/Kennacraig-Colonsay costs £10.10 per passenger and £48.50 per car; Port Askaig-Colonsay £3.55 and £18.75. Ferries need to be booked well in advance during the summer months.
Geting Around Colonsay
There's a limited bus and postbus service around the island Mon-Sat, for those without their own transport. On Wed in the summer, a tour bus meets the ferry and takes visitors round the island. As the island is only 8 miles long by 3 miles wide, you might want to consider hiring a bicycle. Bike hire from A McConnel, Tel. 200355.i