I here you say ‘where is that’. It is the most southern Hebridean island just off the coast of the Mull Of Kintyre in the southwest of Scotland. The island is certainly a good one to visit as Kirsty and I found out last week when we took a wee trip there!
WE acutally started by going to Knapdale peninsular where we stopped overnight on our way to Gigha. We camped out in Port Ban Holiday park which happened to be right by a beautiful beach. The view looked out to Islay and Jura with the Paps the stand out feature of a completely amazing panoramic view. Going swimming was so refreshing after a long drive from Perth. The sea was beautifully clear but frigid and we didn’t stay in for long! After relaxing near the ruined church we went back to the Tent and grabbed some food before going and watching the sunset at 9.30p.m. unfortunately we had both forgotten midge repellant and suffered as a result! I was especially bad in the morning when i had just woken up and had to endure putting the tent away while getting eaten alive. The drive round the Knapdale Peninsular is spectacular with some really gorgeous views.
We eventually got to Tayinloan, where the ferry to Gigha departs from. The crossing is about half a hour and we checked in as soon as we were across. The island only has one single track road going the length of it and we explored the southern end on our first day. we soon found the wind farm and there was a almost deserted beach just beyond it. Swimming here was great fun and some cows decided to join us on the shore for a while. Achamore gardens are the main attraction on the island and they are really pretty while being slightly overgrown and wild in appearance. The entrance is perhaps the best part with a really beautifully planted pathway from the car park to the education hut. The walled garden is just right in terms of formality with its very definite borders being more wild than they might have been. The Gigha Hotel served up some good fish and chips with great peas and had a good choice of Scotch for a wee night cap.
The next day we decided to explore the north end of the island and went on a great walk to the top of the most northern hill on the island before going to find a palm tree planted on the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect again and as we explored some more we found another gorgeous beach where we spent the rest of the afternoon. I had brought a wetsuit so was more prepared to spend longer in the water and went on two swims one to cool off when we got there and a longer one later on in the day. The beach was almost perfect and the crystal clear water was not too cold in a shortie. We decided to go to the boathouse restaurant that evening for something different. I was not expecting the best food Iv’e had this year but that is what i got with my absolutely delicious fish curry with about 5 different kinds of seafood cooked to perfection in a delicious curry sauce. Kirsty had The fish and chips with the fish falling apart when you touched it.. Exceptional food in a really friendly and chilled setting. After dinner we went back to the north end of the island where we watched the stunning sunset from the top of a hill by the beach we had been at earlier in the day.
After going for another swim in a secluded bay it was time to say goodbye to Gigha and head back across to the mainland and up to the ferry from Tarbert to the Cowal Peninsular. This ferry crosses the end of Loch Fyne and took us to Tighnabruaich a lovely little village that reminded me a bit of Lochcarron. After having some lunch we went on to our second campsite at Glendaruel. This campsite could be lovely but be warned about midges as it is at the bottom of a valley with quite a lot of shade from the trees. it happened to be windless when we were there which meant that they were out in force for most of the time that we were there.