During our week on Colonsay, Ardkenish kept coming into conversations, so it was a place we had to visit.
We left it until our last day on the Island, but I am so pleased we managed to fit it in!
To get there we parked near to the islands airport, then walked across part of the island's golf course...
Then along a track, lined with cattle: cows, calfs and a bull, enough said about those, if you are a regular reader of this blog you might have picked up that I go into panic mode if I have to walk any where near cattle!!!!
Cattle behind us magnificent views ahead.
Now this is what you would call a location - no road, but at least it appears to have electricity!!!!
Oh yes and we saw some seals-
Then it was time to face the cattle again, but this time they had moved slightly away from the track so it wasn't such an ordeal
Thirty years ago this year I met Mr S for the very first time here at Tobar Fuar, it was late evening and he was putting up the last of the tents for a Schools Hebridean Society expedition, I had just arrived with a group of thirteen year old boys who were to share a wonderful three weeks at this beautiful bay.
This year's visit was our first visit to Colonsay since that expedition and now I am wondering why we left it so long before we returned.
On our return to Tobar Fuar, or Machrins as it is known by the islanders, we set to on trying to work out where exactly we had pitched the tents all those years ago, it appears that part of the shore has now been washed away. but we decided that it was on the flat area near to the beach in the photo below.
Once we had established the location of the tents we then went on to explore the rest of the bay
I had forgotten how stunning it was!
When we were here thirty years ago, I was the kayaking instructor, so I spent many a happy hour paddling around these small islands in the bay, this year though there were a lot of nesting birds including a large number of terns on the shingle island below, so we decided it would be best if we didn't take the kayaks out this time, so we just sat on the rocks and enjoyed the views instead.
Oronsay is a small island located off south Colonsay which can be reached at low tide by walking or driving across the sandy causeway known as the Strand, we opted to walk over the sands.
We arrived at the Strand early so walked along the coast for a while and sat on the rocks waiting for the tide to go out, which gave us time to eat our lunch before walked over to the island.
We crossed a little too soon so waded in places but the sand was firm and it gave us longer on Oronsay.
Oronsay is an island managed by the RSPB, with a ruined priory, Mesolithic shell mounds and iron age fort so far too much to look at in the four hour window provided by the low tide.
A 14th century Augustinian priory, it is said that Oronsay was the original landing place of St Columba, but as he could still see Ireland he moved on to Iona, this cannot be confirmed as no Celtic Christian remains have ever been found, but I like the story. Beautifully maintained, I could have spent all my time on Oronsay sat within it's walls, looking at all the wonderful stone work on the two crosses, walls and carved stone grave slabs which are now housed in the old Priors House .
The Priors House
The grassland area or Machair
lots of nesting birds including lapwings and red shanks here, so we stuck to the tracks as much as we could.
Didn't get to see as much as we'd have liked so we will just have to return another day - such a shame!!!!
Having just enjoyed a glorious week on The Island of Colonsay in the Hebrides and taken hundreds of photos, I have to share just a few with you.
We spent the first five days of the holiday in a cottage over looking Kiloran Bay, so I thought it only fitting that I show you a few of the views from around the bay as an introduction to this beautiful Isle.
Looking across Kiloran Bay towards the cottage where we were staying