A "MacPhie" is defined as an eminence in excess of 300ft in height, and is Colonsay's equivalent to a Munro, only smaller. The aim is to climb all the peaks on Colonsay and Oransay that exceed 300ft (91.46m), in the course of one connected walk. The journey has to start and finish with any point below High Water mark, and the "MacPhies" can be tackled in any order. There are 22 peaks in the Official List, and the distance is about 20 miles.

Although there is no competitive element in terms of speed, details of your favoured route and time may be of interest to other people. For example, Eric Brown took 6hrs 44mins on 11 July 1996 (Route:4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,3,2,1).

More recently, on May 2 2002, Jethro Lennox managed the remarkable time of 3 hours 56 minutes and 44 seconds, having started at the Strand and finishing at Kiloran Bay.

Each MacPhie is listed below but a handy pdf with a map of each one is available for download.

(Location, Height and O.S. Reference)

  • Beinn Orasa 93m 351893
  • Beinn Eibhne 98m 378904
  • Cnoc an t-Samhlaidh 93m 383926
  • Cnoc a' Raon a'Bhuilg 120m 372942
  • Beinn nan Caorach 126m 366941
  • Carn Mor 134m 373947
  • Binnean Riabhach 117m 364964
  • Cnoc Mull-araich 100m 370965
  • A' Bheinn Bhreach 139m 375972
  • A' Bheinn a Tuath 120m 381971
  • Beinn Uragaig 120m 385976
  • Beinn a' Sgoltaire 125m 392975
  • A' Bheinn Bheag 109m 406986
  • Carn an Eoin 143m 409985
  • A' Bheinn Bhreac 122m 414287
  • A' Mhaol Bhuidhe 100m 417983
  • Cnoc Mor Charraig nan Darach 92m 413973
  • Dun Dubh, a' Phairc Gharbh 104m 407972
  • Beinn nam Fitheach 105m 407967
  • Carn nan Caorach 110m 392948
  • Beinn nan Gudairean 136m 388950
  • Carn na Cainnle 116m 381945


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Colonsay Moorings Development

A Marine License Application for the 10 moorings due to go into Queen’s Bay was submitted to the Crown Estate in March. CCDC also submitted an application to Marine Scotland in late April. Both these applications have had a considerable amount of input from MOWI who are one of our key match-funders for this development. We hope to hear if our applications are successful in the next six to eight weeks. MOWI would like to see the moorings installed as soon as possible, but as you would expect, COVID-19 has impacted many of the administrative and physical processes required to see the 2 tonne anchor blocks put in place. Similarly, the Path Development has been delayed due to an inability to source materials. Our funder, Paths for All, are understanding of the situation and are willing to work with us on this. Colonsay Estate has agreed in principle to the path up to the church and we are working through the details with them.  
In the meantime, CCDC have been corresponding with other marine establishments, and are working on a management plan which incorporates an online booking system for the moorings.  
If anyone has any thoughts or questions about the moorings. Please contact Roz Jewell: rjewellccdc.ldo@gmail.com