Just across the bay from Oban lies the scenic Isle of Kerrera, so named by Norse invaders in their language for “island of coppiced trees”. Today, the trees have given way to pasture for sheep and cattle, and a sparse population of only 30 something residents live on the island, making it a nature lover's paradise.
The isle, just a stone's throw from Oban's shore, measures seven by two kilometres and is divided into a south and north half. You can reach the smaller north part of Kerrera via a short ferry ride from Oban’s North Pier for a short stroll around Hutcheson’s Monument, a Victorian memorial to one of the founders of the Caledonia MacBrayne ferry company.
If you fancy a bit more of a hike, catch the south Kerrera ferry just down from the Manor House, and attack the 11 kilometre walking trail that circles the island and visits the moody ruins of Gylen Castle. Built in the late 1500s by Duncan MacDougall and burned in 1647, the castle, known in Gaelic as “Caisteal nan Geimhlean”, is remarkably well preserved, and its location on a rocky peninsula atop steep cliffs is particularly dramatic. The island, which seems to be unspoilt by modernity, teems with wildlife, so be on the lookout for otters, sea eagles, wild goats and Sika deer, not to mention intriguing geology and sea views.
Take a hike around Kerrera with our certified STGA Oban Walking Tour guide, Michelle. Put on your hiking boots and jacket and join us for an epic all day walk around one of the most wild and scenic of the Inner Hebrides. It's an easy day trip, but you'll feel like you are truly remote. Availability depends on weather, tide and ferry conditions. Get in touch today to book your Kerrera hike from Oban with our guide Michelle.