My wife's ambition
For some of the Scottish Islands Oban would be a good start. Best probably looking at the Cal Mac Booklet which gives you all the ferry sailings. It would give you idea where they sail to and how to Island hop. Mallaig would be my next suggestion but a bit further north and not so easy to get to as Oban. Personally I think Oban is a great location although a bit work could be done to improve the sea front.
A couple of years ago we Island Hopped down from Skye via Mull to Oban the drive from Mallaig to Ardnamurchan is really something else! You arrive at a slipway about 3m across, and thats it, there is pretty much nothing else there.
You can get a lot of Islands in if you travel the west coast of Scotland check out the Cal Mac websit to work out an route
Once you start looking at the coast of South Cumbria, you'll have to draw the line somewhere. There's the peculiarly long and thin Walney Island, with its two nature reserves, and the southern reserve is exceptional for twitchers. Then there's a handful of small islands, including inhabited Roa Island, linked to the mainland by a causeway road, Foulney Island, linked to the mainland by an embankment, Sheep Island, accessible at low tide from Walney, and Piel Island, also accessible at low tide from Walney, but also by ferry from Roa Island. Piel has a 'king', a pub, campsite, a ruined castle, and odd as it might sound, an exceptional view of the fells of the Lake District. Just offshore from where I live in Ulverston, there's Chapel Island, but there's a dangerous tidal channel between me and it, so it's best to talk to the local guide if you want to visit. There are also sundry little rocks and islets that don't quite get covered at high water, so it's up to you what your definition of an island is, when you plan whether or not to include them.
I love visiting islands... and these are just the ones on my doorstep!
I've written guidebooks to Jersey and Guernsey, though you might not rank these as 100% 'British'. I also have a guidebook to the Isles of Scilly which just keeps being re-printed. My Reivers Way guidebook covers the Farne Islands. I have a guidebook to the Isle of Arran, which also includes Holy Isle. If you draw the line at 'British' islands, then you'll have more than enough, otherwise, my Irish Coastal Walks includes 19 islands, and once I get any further overseas... I start to get carried away! My most recent island was Jeju, off the south coast of South Korea!
I regard myself as an 'islomaniac', based on this quote...
'Somewhere among the note-books of Gideon I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these there occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit. There are people, Gideon used to say, by way of explanation, who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication.'
Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus.
Paddy Dillon wrote (see)
...I've written guidebooks to Jersey and Guernsey, though you might not rank these as 100% 'British'. ....
I've written guidebooks to Jersey and Guernsey, though you might not rank these as 100% 'British'. ....
OI! I have a British passport - kind of. I am a British Citizen but not a European one, but my kids are both due to having a Scottish mother.......its complicated!
The Islands owe allegiance to the Queen, but not to the British Government, although we can and do server in the British Forces.
Like I said, its complicated!
Steve_D... complicated? You have it easy!
It's when you get to Sark and Brecqhou it gets complicated!
It might have been easier if André Gardes had succeeded in his coup attempt!
Major Cynic... if that's the case, then you may have contracted 'islomania' from me!
Sark and Brecqhou are simple enough
450 years of history and stability being usurped by a big cheque book and expensive lawyers.
I'll just wait for the lawsuit to arrive now!!
Hey Paddy, according to the Shorehouse (on the Isle of Arran) your wrote a book called '41 walks around the island'. As we're going there on the 2nd of June, and to be fair to my wife if I only have one full days' walking which would be the best route? One suggestion has been Goatfell via Glen Sannox, The Saddle and North Goatfell? What would be your choice? Will I be able to find a copy of your book on the island?
If some how I could weasel an extra half day walking, say about 4 hours, what could I do?
You could easily spend a week on Anglesey: excellent birding on South Stack and of course Anglesey has it's own islands: Holy Island and Puffin Island. There's a good variety of coastal scenery: the north is a bit wilder and there are various historic/archaeological sites if you're into that sort of thing.
Anglesey isn't too far from the Lleyn, where you'd be able to get over to Bardsey Island (again great for birds), although I'm not sure of the possibility of getting to either of St Tudwall's Islands off Abersoch....
Islands off the British coast? There are - literally - hundreds of the buggers so you've picked a life-long hobby there!
Paddy has already mentioned the Farne Islands (by the way, the guides he writes are very good). If you are birders you certainly should visit. There are very regular boats to Inner Farne and to Staples Island from Seahouses all year round but now (May into June) is the best time for birdwatching. There are breeding colonies of terns, puffins, shag and comorant, guillemot and razorbill, and kittiwakes - aside from the colonists, most of our common coastal seabirds can be seen.
I go back to the Farnes every year - love it there.
Do you like watching gannets? Islands with gannetries include Bass Rock (Firth of Forth) and Grassholm (off Pembrokeshire). You can visit both on the regular boat trips.
Canvey Island may prove a bit of a disappointment, however (unless you are addicted to 'The Only Way Is Essex' and kiss-me-quick hats).
Major Cynic wrote (see)
Hey Paddy, according to the Shorehouse (on the Isle of Arran) your wrote a book called '41 walks around the island'. As we're going there on the 2nd of June, and to be fair to my wife if I only have one full days' walking which would be the best route? One suggestion has been Goatfell via Glen Sannox, The Saddle and North Goatfell? What would be your choice? Will I be able to find a copy of your book on the island? If some how I could weasel an extra half day walking, say about 4 hours, what could I do? Thanks
Major... the first edition of my guidebook had 41 walks in it... but the latest incarnation has 45 walks. Check it out at Cicerone, for the printed book, e-book and Kindle versions, or have a look at the Google Books version for a sneak preview of the contents. Best to go direct to Cicerone for the one with the latest updates (2011), but also check their website for even later amendments.
Goat Fell is fine for a full day's walk, if the weather plays its part. For a half-day walk, given the current fixation with islands, I'd have to recommend Holy Isle. It's an amazing little island and well worth including if you find the ferry timetable works in your favour.
You didn't say when you were thinking of going (and may already have been), but thought I should point out that at the moment, from the twitching side, the RSPB Malltraeth Marsh reserve on Anglesey has a Baillon's Crake (a 'MEGA') that has been present and calling (though rarely visible) for the past few days.
There are lots of good birding sites on Anglesey which also fill the 'wildlife' and 'scenery' criteria rather well - obviously South Stack for Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins, Fulmars and Choughs (and lots of other stuff, including Adders, Common Lizards and possibly Dolphin/Porpose/Basking shark) but also the Holyhead Breakwater for Black Guillemots, RSPB sites at Malltraeth Marsh, Valley Wetlands and Cemlyn (for general waders but also lots of warblers and other songbirds) and also good birding lots of other places including Newborough Warren (with Red Squirrels) and several island-off-island sites such as Llanddwyn (accessible at low tide) and Puffin (regular boat viewing trips from Beaumaris) Islands with seals a common sight, as well as many seabirds.
The whole of the 125 mile Anglesey coastline is walkable (now part of the Wales Coastal Path), with stunning views over the hills of Snowdonia and the Lleyn peninsula, and apart from a small bit of ruggedness around Holyhead Mountain it's otherwise pretty easy and flat.
recomend---THE SCOTTISH ISLANDS by hamish haswell-smith----regards lr
Ontario is a vast adventure playground just waiting to be explored and experienced
Minimal & lightweight footwear designed to enhance your outdoors experience
Become a fan of OutdoorsMagic
Follow us on twitter
Sign up to our free newsletter
Meet partners in our forum
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk