Other Ways To Spend Your Holiday

Geo-Cache and Geo-Trove

This is a new ploy - help to identify and record Colonsay and Oransay's human legacy. On your rambles you will find all sorts of sites of interest, everything from hut-circles to bait-holes. Many of these sites have never been recorded - including graves, homestead, bait-holes, wells etc. Now is your chance to make a lasting contribution - please visit the dedicated webpage. Of course, you do need a decent GPS unit.

Heritage Centre

Visit the temporary heritage centre at Port Mòr. For more information on the Colonsay and Oransay Heritage Trust visit their page.

Star Gazing

Despite increased light-pollution in both Scalasaig and Kilchattan, there are still some excellent opportunities to enjoy the sky at night. Many holiday homes are well positioned in this respect, otherwise the most accessible viewing points are around Kiloran Bay or the golf-course at Machrins. Look northwards to avoid the reflected lights of Glasgow and Lochgilphead; the Northern Lights are a rare but truly awesome spectacle and shooting stars can be seen most nights.

Cave Exploration

The caves at the north end of Kiloran Bay are visited quite easily, but the New Cave to the south requires a bit of planning. Make sure you have at least two torches, and that somebody knows where you have gone. The approach is quite difficult - wear long trousers and tread warily. There are quite a few other caves at Uragaig and elsewhere, but remember that they are all in use. The otters, bats, pigeons, spiders and other inhabitants are very tolerant, but please minimise the impact of your visit.

Wildlife Watching

There are at least seven quite distinct habitat examples in Colonsay, so it is very easy to plan a full week of great variety. No suggestions will be made here, for obvious reasons - all you need to do is to prioritise your interests and bear in mind any mobility considerations. For advice see http://www.snh.org.uk/

Antiquities and Social History

Almost any walk or expedition is enhanced by an objective. All the monuments in Colonsay and Oransay are listed and described in the RCAHM booklet available at the Bookshop (£9.95); there is also a website which will prove worthwhile http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/search.html but it may be enough to select sites from the Ordnance Survey map.

Make a Film

You could make a fim, and post it on You-tube! There are half-a-dozen examples already on line to inspire you - just enter "Colonsay" in their search button at the foot of this page to choose. One remains a bit of a favourite - it is a film by Laura Brown, showing the controlled explosion of a WWII mine in Kiloran Bay - the soundtrack is great, because the Bomb Disposal team allowed the primary schoolchildren to press the button! Here is another example, by Andrew MacGregor, who filmed the pre-operational inaugural flight.


Some things can almost go without saying, but do remember the delights of kite-flying, picnics, barbecues, cowrie-shell collecting, treasure-hunts, bicycling, kayaking, skinny-dipping, rock-pools, comparing lichens, following half-forgotten pathways, and admiring lizards, dragonflies and water-boatmen. If you happen to be a serious metal-detector person, and have permission to search, please have a word with Kevin Byrne as he has an idea for a worthwhile ploy...