We boarded the ferry after a 10 minute taxi from Oban. We received prior directions that we could throw our bags in the ferry house and take the 45 minute hike to the Kerrera Tea Garden and our future cabin. The last ferry from Oban to the island is at 6:00PM, so we need to keep that in mind for our future trips to the mainland.
We started on our hike and were immediately greeted by dozens of sheep and lamb. It was a beautiful day to explore the island on our way. The sun was bright and there was no rain in sight, which is rare. It was a beautiful Scottish day. We were amazed at how mountainous this little island was up close.
We followed the winding (vining) road past a few houses of the neighbors. Sheep walked casually past us as we made our way through the beautiful rolling landscape. We spotted the white Tea Garden with blue windows just near southern most point of the island. Just past the Tea Garden is a view of the Gylen Castle with an ocean backdrop.
It’s about a 10 minute walk to the bottom of the castle and another 10 to get inside. Gylen Castle dates back to the 1500’s with most exterior walls intact. Sheep graze nearby, and you see the neighboring islands through the castle windows. We asked if there were any rules regarding the castle and paths but found out Scotland has a “right to roam” policy allowing us free range of the island.
The island is surprisingly bigger than we imagined. It’s about 6 miles to walk around and has 63 residents (67 for the month of May). There are 3 farms that own all of the island sheep, so we need to be mindful not to let them roam through the gates behind us. More animals live on the land – cows, foxes, birds, wild goats, rabbits, pigs (and piglets) and the dogs that herd the sheep. It’s an idyllic island and we continue to be blown away by the landscape. It’s only day two but we are really starting to relax. We have only scraped the surface of the island and we know more beauty will reveal itself to us every day.