Tiree, located to the west of the Isle of Mull and just south of neighbouring Coll, is one of the sunniest places in Britain thanks to its exposed location on the Atlantic Ocean. This also means that it is one of the most windy places too which is why its waves and white sandy beaches are popular with windsurfers. Every October the island hosts the Tiree Wave Classic - a world championship windsurfing event.
Though only 10 miles long and 5 miles wide, the sky and sea stretch from horizon to horizon. With no woodland and only three sizeable hills on an otherwise flat landscape, there is nothing to obscure the view. And the only sounds you are likely to hear are the waves lapping on the vast expanses of white sand beaches and a myriad of birdcalls.
The island is one of the sunniest places in Britain, and with the moderating influence of the warm Gulf Stream, winter temperatures are generally higher than on the mainland, while summer evenings are warm and balmy. Tiree is also known as a windy place, with the strongest winter gales normally occurring in December and January. The advantage, however, is that midges are almost non-existent in summer.
There is something of fascination for all visitors, young and old. The beautiful beaches provide miles of potential sandcastles, gently sloping paddling pools, and windsurfing for the more adventurous. Tiree's history and architecture capture the imagination revealing bygone ages, and the abundance of birds and other wildlife will keep naturalists engrossed for many an hour. And if all you want to do is walk and walk and walk...
Although the charms of Tiree have remained a well-kept secret, the island is not difficult to get to. There are frequent flights operated by British Airways/Flybe from Glasgow, and Caledonian MacBrayne runs regular ferries from Oban. The island's residents provide a wide variety of very comfortable accommodation, and there is always a warm welcome.
The ferry service runs operates Monday to Saturday from Oban to Coll and Tiree. Bikes are carried for a small charge.
The official Caledonian Macbrayne website lists all the current ferry timetables in detail. Winter timetables may have few sailings. Vehicle reservations are always required.
CalMac also operates a day cruise from Oban to Tiree in association with Kennedy Coaches and provides lunch at the Scarinish Hotel. This includes 6 hours ashore on Tiree and runs on Thusdays only from June to September. Visit the CalMac ferry web site for details. Non-landing cruises and evening dinner cruises from Oban are also available.