Isle of Eigg April/May 2007

Last year on the return from the trip to Mull, the Calmac ferry called in at Eigg and we thought it would be good to visit this year. As I am running out of Munros to bag, I am now Scottish Island bagging! Well, that is not really true as a boat is needed to access many of them and I don't have access to a yacht. Any offers?

Eigg is a small island 8k by 6k. off the northwest coast of Scotland to the south of Skye and takes about an hour by ferry from Mallaig. It is famous for the Sgurr, the largest exposed piece of pitchstone in the UK with a sheer dramatic drop of 383 metres to the sea from the top. The island was partially bought out by the community in 1997 and since then has seen an increase in population to 200. The Scottish Wildlife Trust manage the island as a nature reserve. The website is

We stayed in the Glebe Barn Bunkhouse in very comfortable accommodation for 15 of us. The bunkhouse can take 24 so we were spread out and everyone had a bottom bunk. Karen came in on Friday and Sunday evenings to cook very delicious dinners for us. All home cooked with fresh produce and very filling.

We left Glasgow very early on Friday to catch the 11 o’clock boat from Arisaig. The crossing was peaceful under blue skies. After lunch at the bunkhouse, we walked to the other end of the island under the sheer cliffs of Ben Bhuidhe to the second bay known as the Singing Sands. After some drinks on the beach, we managed to hear the sands singing but it required some dancing around on them.

On Saturday, the weather was closing in and we climbed the Sgurr at a leisurely pace. It was very windy at the trig point but we gingerly walked to the edge and looked down the sheer drop to the sea. On Sunday, we visited the caves. Timing was important as you can be stranded by the tide at the Cathedral Cave. The shore is very dramatic here and we were caught in a blustery shower. Fortunately, it passed and we made our way to the Massacre Cave. Eigg has a bloody history and 395 MacDonalds were smoked out in the cave and suffocated in 1577.

On the last day, some of us caught the boat over to Muck, the smallest of the Small Isles and the most fertile with a population of only 30. After a very rocky crossing, we disembarked at Port Mor and walked over to the beach at Gallanach in about twenty minutes. There were fields of pigs and sheep and unusually, black faced lambs. At the beach, there were eider ducks and seals basking on the rocks. If you wish more information on Muck, the website is

The weekend was relaxing as there was no pressure to bag Munros. We had dinner cooked for us every night, dining at the Pier Teashop (it is also a pub!) on Saturday night so we were free to party and we really did on Sunday night dancing to the wee sma’ hours.

Coming attractions: Sgurr na Ciche, Glen Feshie and Glen Carron

Contact me at [email protected]

Thanks to Frances Rickus and Tom Addie for the photos.