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Monday, 05 May 2008

Isle of Gigha: A Pocket-Sized Hebridean Gem - Page 3

Written by Persephone Vandegrift
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This little Scottish island can quickly steal your heart away, and for many it has. Nestled on the west coast of Scotland, between the islands of Islay and Jura and the mainland of the Kintyre peninsula, Gigha (pronounced with a hard ‘g’ - Gee-ah), has an extensive history contained with its six mile long and one and a half mile wide stretch of land.

If you are looking for more of an independent holiday, the hotel is also the place to inquire about renting one of their self-catering cottages. The Ferryman’s and Ferry Crofts both overlook the sea, igniting that sought after creative inspiration or slowing the stress of life down. The Ardailly House sits towards the north of the island and offers unsurpassable views of Islay and Jura. South Lodge is a ‘mini’ Achamore House set back from the road and surrounded by trees, offering privacy and an easy walk down to the South Pier or up to Kilchatten Church.

The Achamore House also provides comfortable and spacious bed and breakfast accommodation. Set in the Achamore gardens, this 11 room manse built by Captain James Scarlett back in 1884, offers an enchanting setting and relaxing atmosphere. Refer to their website, www.achamorehouse.com , for detailed photos of the rooms, dining areas, gardens, and prices. The house is owned by Don Dennis, a businessman, who also operates Gigha Sea Tours Ltd., which offers a chance to sight dolphins and tour many other islands including Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Mull, Tiree, and Coll.

Tighnavinish, operated by Andy and Viv Oliver, is tucked into two acres of tranquility. Located a half mile from the ferry, it offers twin and double room en-suite facilities. A warm, home-cooked breakfast is a wonderful start to the Gigha day. For rates and availability, www.gigha.net is the place to find home away from home accommodation.

On a romantic note, there have been many weddings on Gigha. The Gigha and Cara Parish Church was built in 1923 and strategically sits on top a hill overlooking the peninsula. If you are considering where to tie the knot, Gigha offers that unique, memorable experience and the facilities to host it.

The Isle of Gigha; a pocket-sized Hebridean gem, west coast of Scotland, scottish islands, Islay, Jura, Kintyre peninsula, travel Gigha, travel scottish islands, travel scotland, Kilchatten Church, Achamore GardensBecause of its size; when you are on Gigha in the midst of the bracken and the stones, it almost feels like it is your own private island. Spying on the seals on the west side of the island, to sunbathing on the sandy shores, to frolicking over the rocks, or casting a line in off the edge of the pier, Gigha has a little something for everyone. Instead of your car, bring your bike over, or rent one from Gigha Stores and Post Office or Gigha Boats.

The people of Gigha are proud of their heritage and their island, and are more than willing to share it with you.

Getting to Gigha

Citylink bus operates two buses a day from Glasgow bus station that will get you to the Gigha ferry on time. It is a four hour journey with one short stop in majestic Inveraray before it drops you off at the top of the road in Tayinloan that leads down to the Gigha ferry. By car it takes less than three hours, but you might consider leaving plenty of time for this journey as there are several places along the way you will want to stop and take in the indescribable views and welcoming smiles that await you.

For a tiny island, Gigha has the biggest heart. Be sure to keep the ferry schedule handy as it is very easy to slip into a daydream and miss the last ferry back to reality. Guess that means you will just have to spend the night…

The Isle of Gigha; a pocket-sized Hebridean gem, west coast of Scotland, scottish islands, Islay, Jura, Kintyre peninsula, travel Gigha, travel scottish islands, travel scotland, Kilchatten Church, Achamore Gardens

© Persephone Vandegrift

A published poet and playwright, Persephone Vandegrift resides in Seattle but has a traveling heart. She can be reached by email: pkimberlyv at gmail dot com

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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