Scottish islands: Kerrera

Gylen Castle, KerreraKerrera is the long, low island that sits like a natural storm barrier between Oban Bay and the Firth of Lorn.  It has a marina on its eastern side, and the CalMac ferries are constantly coming and going around its northernmost point, on their way to the outer islands.   Taking your car to Kerrera isn’t really an option, and there are no real roads there anyway – you are better exploring it on foot.

On the south coast of Kerrera stands Gylen Castle, built by the MacDougalls in 1582.   It’s on my list of places to visit!  This photo was taken from the sea, on our way to the Garvellachs a couple of years ago.

Photo copyright © Jo Woolf


  1. Susan Abernethy says:

    Ooh! The stories that place could tell!

  2. It looks so enticing. You are fortunate to live near to such wonderful places. I hope you get to visit it sometime soon.

  3. No wonder the migrants here from Scotland felt happy to stay. Rugged landscapes were already in their blood.

  4. James Scott says:

    Beautiful Scotland

  5. Kerrera…we always make what seems to be a pilgrimage every time we stay at Oban. A must is the hike round the island (we prefer to do it in a clockwise direction as the ever opening views to the horizon seem more dramatic to us that way round – wait to you get the view down Loch Linnhe , over Lismore to Ben Nevis). The Ferry now is rather smart from the old wooden rowing boat with outboard that used to provide the service (which we have shared with many sheep on the return leg). Last time we were there access to the Castle wasn’t possible but it did look as if some repairs were planned….but it is still worth just being up close and surrounded by sea.

    • Thanks for that, David – I really want to see the castle now! We have been to Kerrera a couple of times but never walked down to the southern end.

      • Just get off the ferry turn left and keep following your nose…it is a roughish path but sound and easy to follow. Pick-nick on the rocks by the castle and keep your eyes peeled for Otter whilst you ‘nosh’

  6. My Great-Grandfather, Donald McLarty, was born almost literally a stone’s throw away from Kerrera at Gallanachmore. He used to go to school on the island, presumably getting the boat across at the crossing near his croft.

    • I think I might remember reading a post about that on your blog… wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back in time and see what it was like then. I’m guessing Kerrera was a lot more populated.

  7. Yes, I wish I could go back and see! There is a great book about life on the island called Kerrera: Mirror of History if you ever need to do a bit more research.

  8. Wow that castle looks amazing – you will have to visit soon and tell us all about it!

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