Isle of Eigg
The island of Eigg lies 10 miles of the mainland and is the second largest of the “Small Isles” measuring aprox. 5miles long by 3 miles wide. The most noticeable feature on the island is the “Sgurr”, a distinctively shaped ridge of columnar pitchstone which reaches a height of 1290′ above sea level. The sailing to Eigg takes 1 hour, though it can take a considerably longer when there are good sightings of whales, dolphins or basking sharks!
We land at the pier at Galmisdale where at the head of the pier you will find the community building, An Laimhrig, which houses the islands Shop & Post Office, Craft Shop and the Galmisdale Bay Tea Room.
From here you can pick up a leaflet detailing some of the stunning walks the island has to offer, including the route to climb the Sgurr which takes about 2 hours to the summit and affords spectacular views over the other Small Isles and the mountain’s lochans, the largest Loch Nam Ban Mora contains a small island fort (Dun). About a mile to the south of the old pier lie two caves. The Cathedral Cave which was once used for Roman Catholic Services and The Cave of Francis, also known as the Massacre Cave. In the 16th century, due to an ongoing feud between the MacDonalds and the MacLeods, the entire population of Eigg (c400) perished when the MacLeods lit a fire at the entrance to the cave where the islanders were hiding.
The road to the other side of the island is about 4 ½ miles and you can make this journey on foot, hire a mountain bike or arrange the local taxi. Here you will discover the islands other Tea Room, Lageorna situated on a traditional working croft. Both the islands tea rooms offer delicious homemade food using locally sourced produce. Lageorna lies near to the 1/4 mile long breathtaking Laig Beach which features in many photographs taken on the island and has played host to a number of weddings. Just north from here you will find the famous Singing Sands which are formed from quartz and emit a squeaking sound when walked on. Archery sessions are also available at Cleadale and details and availability can be found on Eigg Adventures website. For those who find a day is just not long enough to explore, the island has a wide range of accommodation available: there are numerous self-catering properties, B&Bs a hostel or you may opt to stay at the islands campsite; responsible wild camping is also permitted.
If you fancy a unique gift to take home Eddie’s Eigg Croft harvest Bluebell seeds selling them locally under licence from the Scottish Government. (available in our Gift Shop!)
In 1997, after several changes in the island’s ownership, Eigg was purchased in a buy-out by the islanders in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Highland Council. In January 2010, the Isle of Eigg community won joint first place – and £300,000 – in a competition to find new and better ways to tackle climate change, run by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Eigg has won multiple awards through their “Going Green Campaign” including the community category of the British Renewable Energy Awards in 2011. Various sustainability courses are run on the island throughout the year.
In our Gift Shop as well as stocking Eigg Bluebells we have several small books detailing walks on Eigg.