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Issue 80 - Destination of the Year

Scotland Magazine Issue 80
April 2015


This article is 3 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Destination of the Year

Scottish Hebrides

Scotland Magazine's chosen Destination of the Year for 2015 is the Scottish Hebrides. In each edition this year we are featuring one or more of the jewels of this magical 130 mile archipelago of west coast islands.

Steeped in history from the Mesolithic age, and subject to a clash of Pictish, Celtic, Gaelic and Norse cultures, these fiercely individual havens of tranquillity are divided into the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the former embracing Islay and Jura and Colonsay, Mull, Skye and the Small Isles; the latter incorporating Benbecula, Barra, Harris and Lewis and the Uists.

Dominated by the all powerful Lords of the Isles for generations, these islands set in a silver sea under a big sky continue to capture the imagination of writers, painters and poets.

Isles of Mull, Iona and Staffa
There are two ferry routes to Mull operated by Caledonian Macbrayne: 45 minutes from Oban to Craignure, and the Lochaline to Fishnish crossing.

Expanded as a fishing port in the late 18th Century, picturesque Tobermory with its multi-coloured house fronts is Mull's principal town. Tradition has it that the wreck of a Spanish galleon from the defeated Armada of 1588 lies in the mud at the bottom of the bay. Subsequent searches have retrieved plate, cannon and coin but little more to date.

Tiroran House Hotel
It is a bit of a trip to get to but infinitely worth the effort. The Winner of the SHA Scottish Country House Hotel of the Year Award 2014 has a sumptuous drawing room with a big fire, books and comfortable sofas. The bedrooms are outstandingly pretty, the food excellent, and this is a wonderful away-from-it-all place – everybody's dream of an island retreat.
Tel: +44 (0) 1681 705 232

Duart Castle
On top of a rocky outcrop at the end of a peninsula near the easternmost corner of Mull, and dating back to the 13th Century, Duart Castle is the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean and the home of Sir Lachlan Maclean, 28th Chief. Open April to October. Tearoom and Gift Shop.
Tel: +44 (0) 1680 812309

Iona Abbey
Maintained by Historic Scotland, the Iona Abbey was pivotal to the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland from the monastic community founded by St Columba in 583. The Iona Ferry takes ten minutes and runs approximately every half hour in summer.,

Fingal’s Cave, Island of Staffa
Formed from basalt columns, this extraordinary sea cave takes its name from the 18th Century poem by James Macpherson.

Scottish Islands Peak Race
Adventure race for Sailors and Fell Runners. Start Oban to Salen on Mull, over Ben More, onward to run the Paps on Jura and Goat Fell on Arran, ending at Troon.
15 – 17 May 2015

Mull Highland Games
Piping, dancing, heavy and light events
Erray Park, Tobermory, 23 July 2015