The island of Coll Lies to the north of Tiree and west of Mull. This is a beautiful Scottish island famed for its sandy beaches, birds, and hospitality. It is about thirteen miles long from the north to the south of the island, and three miles wide at its widest point. As Coll is a fairly flat island it has become popular for walkers and cyclists. Access to the Island is by Calmac ferry from Oban.
Arinagour is the main population centre (total island population is around 160) and also where the Oban ferry arrives. The village has a post office hotel, bar and restaurant, a general store and you can hire bikes or get a taxi. As there is limited accommodation on Coll the island is always tranquil. Wild camping is allowed and this often suites people who cannot get booked before they arrive. Although Coll has more than twenty sandy beaches, none are near Arinagour and so even day trippers should try and get to other parts of the Island.
There are many bird watchers who come to Coll as it has a wide variety of birds to see at different times of the year. The Corncrake is one of the star attractions and the RSPB have purchased a fairly large part of the South West part of the island and turned it into a bird reserve. There are no specific opening times as you can visit at any time free of charge. However a donation is always helpful so that the good work can continue. The crofts now cut their hay later in the summer to allow the corncrakes to finish their breeding and this appears to have led to an increase in numbers and not just in the south of the Island.
Coll has a number of Archaeological sites worth visiting if you are interested in the ancient past. There is Breachacha Castle, a medevil building with a square keep. This was the seat of the Macleans in the 1400's and was restored in the mid sixties. There are also standing stones at Totronald and Iron age forts such as those at Dun an Achaidh and Feall Bay. At Killunaig there are ruins of a medieval church and its cemetery.
Crossapol Bay Photo Courtesy of Gordon Wilson
Although there are limited organised things to do on Coll, it is a great place to visit if you are prepared. Excellent surfing and wind surfing also great sea kayaking and diving as well as fishing. However none of these activities have support such as boat hire or sport shops etc. Many people visit Coll quite simply for the peace and quiet as well as taking walks over the fields or beaches to appreciate nature at its very best.
To get to Coll by public means, you must get the ferry from Oban. Visit the Caledonian MacBraynes web site for up to date information.