THE CALL OF COLL
The Isle of Coll
When approaching the Isle of Coll a forbidding wall of low cliffs conceals over thirty white shell-sand beaches waiting for you to discover. Flanking these shores, there are some of the highest dunes in Europe. Widely diverse skyscapes transport you day-long as you begin to explore.
Every spring and summer the stunning environment of the island yields thousands of wildflowers within the protected Machair, as the name of the castle indicates. No return to organic farming here, because it has been organic since the Vikings first set foot in 880AD. The ‘Carribean’ crystal clear sea abounds with seals, dolphins, basking sharks, and minke whales that attract visitors from all over the world.
Breachacha Castle is located on an island, which from its geography and the journey that is needed to get there has a free-spirited atmosphere. Nature reserves surround the castle reaching almost up to its walls: the bird reserve extends from shore to shore and the sea is protected around the island. Huge mile long beaches sprawl before you or tiny tucked-away coves wait for you to stumble upon them.
The word ‘Breachacha’ refers to the Hebridean Machair: a swathe of riotous wild flowers that flank every shore. In its midst your accommodation awaits, commanding views over the Bay, the forbidding ancient tower of the old castle almost lapped by the waves, and the Treshnish Isles beyond – a few steps from the sea. You see the spectacular flight and sound of the rare concrake, swarms of geese and other protected birds.
The marine reserve around the Isle of Coll abounds with arctic and antarctic cetaceans that come to these clear waters to feed from May to September attracted by the krill, a holiday restaurant for the sealife. At night the island is the darkest place, without any disturbing light, so that you can discover the stars in the firmament above, including the milky-way, that appear in all their magnificence as dusk fades away in the late evenings.
GETTING TO THE ISLE OF COLL
Travelling by ferry
Caledonian MacBrayne sails to Coll from Oban on the west coast of Scotland. From March till October there is a daily service with crossings taking just under three hours.
The ferry to Coll also services the neighbouring island of Tiree and on Wednesdays you have the opportunity to visit Tiree on a day trip.
During winter (October through to March), the ferry sails every day except Wednesdays and Fridays.
Travelling by plane
Hebridean Air Services fly to Coll from Connel Airport, which is just outside Oban.
There is a scheduled service on Mondays and Wednesdays and the flight takes just under half an hour. The Airport is in the west end of Coll and within walking distance of Breachacha Castle.
You also have the opportunity to fly to Tiree from Coll, which takes about ten minutes.
For up to date local information regarding dining out, shopping and more.
Scotland’s official tourist information site.