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Distant Scottish Island Holidays, An Final Vacation spot For Adventurers

Vacation on remote Scottish islands

Because of its mountainous terrain and gloomy weather, it is an ideal destination for an adventure vacation.

Eilean Shona House and Cottages

Neverland Islandwhere Peter Pan and the Lost Boys live is not a real island. It can only be found in the imagination of the famous Scottish writer Sir James Matthew Barrie (JM Barrie). But this “lost island” was called by the Scottish patriotic writer of a real one called “Happy island“. JM Barrie is said to have spent a family vacation in the early 20th century and wrote the novel Peter Pan from there.

This island is in the (Loch Moidart) scottish highlands, known as the “Highlands” Inland Hebrides or “Inner Hebrides”, and can only be reached by boat. It is approximately 4 hours from Glasgow International Airport. However, when you arrive on the island there are no vehicles, bicycles, or other forms of transportation.

This remote island is magical and its remoteness adds to its charm. JM Barrie described it in a letter he wrote from there to Cynthia, who was his secretary and keeper of his secrets, as “a wild, rocky, romantic island … and an oasis on its wild beaches …”

Eilean Shona House and CottagesEilean Shona House and Cottages

Indeed, Eilean Shona Island looks breathtaking with its waterfalls, tall trees and thick forests. Its wildlife is magical. On the other hand, while hiking, you might encounter a deer, squirrel or puffin that only lives in the mountains of Scotland. You can even explore the island on foot in a day. Its area does not exceed 5 square kilometers.

But this island is not for all adventurers. There are no restaurants, cafes, museums, or even grocery stores. There are beautiful, rustic huts with no internet access and no cell phone reception. Its permanent population consists of only two people. A woman and her husband wanted to be alone and away from the world.

eilean shona vacation on remote scottish islands

They have a boat they take to the other side to buy a flood of groceries and come back with their daily necessities, which they take from the small port to their hut, a half hour walk. Sometimes they use a small four-wheeled vehicle to carry heavy luggage and they drive it carefully through the small streets. In winter, they said, they have to store the rations for weeks. Because stormy weather and rain mean that they are “stuck” on the island and cannot use the boat for weeks.

The entire island is owned by a single family, the Devereux-Branson family since 1995, who rent the tiny houses on the island to visitors and tourists. And then tourists come with their goods that they need during their stay.

Tobermory on the waterTobermory on the water

If you don’t like solitude and introversion, there are several beautiful inhabited islands in the Scottish Highlands that have not lost their natural beauty. It is not far from Elan Shona, a large island known as. is known Mulla Island, with about 3,000 inhabitants and is the largest city Tobermory.

When you board the ship that brings passengers here from the sea, you will see a row of colorful cottages behind the harbor. Most of the city and its center consists of these beautiful oil painting-style cottages. Here you will find hotels and restaurants that serve fresh seafood and cafes that offer nightly band evenings.

The landscape on the island of Mull is very beautiful. As soon as you step out of the cabins, discover the wild nature of the Scottish mountains. While driving, you may need to stop to allow long-haired Scottish cows or a flock of sheep to cross. Every few meters there are pools of water between high green mountains.

The roundabouts Sky island is also similar to that Mulla Island in terms of size, quality and features.

Portree Isle of Skye Scotland

Harris and Lewis Islands by doing “Outer Hebrides“May be a better option for people who want“ half privacy ”. The two interconnected islands cover more than 2,000 square kilometers and have a population of 21,000 people, including the capital Stornoway Lewis is home to the majority of the population. All that remains are large areas of natural wilderness, mountains, rivers, beaches, and cozy, peaceful cottages.

Getting to this remote island which is about an 8 hour drive from Glasgow Airport, and a roughly two-hour boat ride has gotten easier since the late 1990s when the Scottish government turned the Stornoway military airport into an airport that receives commercial flights from major Scottish cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and others.

Here you can rent a traditional cottage in the remote areas of the island, particularly Harris, which is about an hour and a half by car from the capital, Stornoway. In Harris you can enjoy relaxation and the beauty of nature. Not far from there are several cafes and restaurants that offer traditional dishes and fresh seafood. There is also an open kiosk on the island with ready-made frozen food that you can buy and deposit the money in the “trust fund”. No salesman sells you here and takes money from you. Just the food and the box and the honesty box written with price guidelines for each meal. The stand is called “Croft 36”.

Due to the island’s location in the far north-west of the UK, near Norway, the island’s weather often rains, adding to the romance.

There is also a lot of history and ancient monuments on this island, perhaps the most famous of which is called “Callanish stones“Which is a group of giant rocks of 5000 years ago, some of which were built in a circular motion and in the middle, something like proximity, and others nearby are lined up behind and opposite.

Callanish stonesCallanish stones

Historians have different interpretations of what it means, but it captivates anyone who sees it. Some believed it was built with the purpose of worship, others said it was a lunar observatory. It dates from prehistoric times. According to popular stories from residents that the rocks were giants and turned into rocks because they refused to convert to Christianity. In the 17th century the people of Lewis called these rocks “Phantom People”.

Not far from the location of these rocks is that Garenin village, which has 80 residents and is known for its old traditional houses known as the ‘Black House’ which were built with thatched roofs more than 150 years ago and were the traditional houses in the mountains of Scotland.

Black House Village in Garenin Carloway LewisBlack House Village in Garenin Carloway Lewis

The part of the village where these houses are located is called the Blackhouse village. Nine of them have recently been restored and opened to visitors, one of which has been converted into a museum and the other into a small cafe. These traditional houses were inhabited until 1974, and not only people lived in these houses, but also the livestock that belonged to the residents of the house. They shared the same entrance but lived in different parts of it.

And this island has more to offer than the beauty of nature and the tranquility not far from the city. It is the center of the Gaelic or Gallic language spoken by the inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands. All the inscriptions on the streets, in shops and restaurants can be found in Gaelic first, then in English. Although all regions and islands of the “Highlands” adopt Gaelic as a major, it is not normally spoken by the population except on the islands of Harris and Lewis. Here you will stroll the streets or visit places where you will hear the locals speak Gaelic.

Although it is usually the language of the elderly, recently many teenagers and children speak it before English and consider it their mother tongue. This is due to reforms the Scottish National Party government has put in place since it took office in 2007.

The Gearrannan Blackhouses in the museum buildingThe Gearrannan Blackhouses in the museum building

On this conservative island full of ancient churches, Gaelic can also be heard in churches. It plays an important role in the preservation of this ancient language and encourages its use en masse, although the number of believers is usually limited to the elderly, while the new generation prefers the English language.

Not far from the port of the City of Stornoway, find a little white mosque that was built between two churches just two years ago to become the first and only mosque on all the islands of western Scotland and to serve a Muslim community no more than seventy people.

Despite the small number of Muslims in Harris and Lewis, they have lived there for almost seventy years. They first came as merchants from Pakistan after World War II. Some of them settled down and opened stores to sell things that weren’t on the island. Muslims gathered in each other’s homes to pray on holidays and occasions.

Highlands and Islands Scotland - vacation on remote Scottish islandsHighlands and Isles of Scotland

Although children have left the island to enroll inland and the larger cities to enroll in universities and look for better job opportunities, the number of Muslims on the island is still around 60 people. But their formula has changed. Today it is the vast majority of Syrian refugees who were allowed to settle on the island a few years ago. About 8 Syrian families moved to the island with their children and wives.

Lews Castle in Stornoway - vacation on remote Scottish islandsLews Castle in Stornoway

Although the Scottish inhabitants of the island are devout Christians, they have taken in the refugees as they did the Muslims seventy years ago. When the Muslim community sought to build a mosque, the majority of the population was not against it and some took part in funding campaigns. Today the Stornoway Mosque stands alone on the islands in the west of Scotland.

There is so much to see and it is not possible to cover everything in this short article. We recommend adding remote Scottish island vacations to your wish list. Please share and comment if you like the article?

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Vacation on remote Scottish islands

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