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The Scottish Inner Hebrides (1)

THE ISLE OF EIGG – slow adventure on a magical eco-friendly island

The isle of Eigg is a wonderful isolated getaway for naturelovers. Hidden just south of the busier Skye peninsula in the Inner Hebrides, it’s a perfect place for slow time and hikes in beautiful scenery.

Besides the hikes and the many possibilities of enjoying wildlife, Eigg is also known for its sustainable solutions and self-sufficiency, which made it even more attractive for us to visit.

Hike to the Singing Sands of Eigg with a view of the isle of Rùm. If you’re lucky you can hear the sand singing 🙂 The quartz sands sing under your feet and in the wind.
Hike to the beach at Cleadale – North West side of Eigg.
Walking up to the Sgùrr. You can walk up to the Sgùrr, which is the largest pitchstone ridge in Europe. The hike is about 3-4 hours return from the Pier.
The Sgùrr – 1289 ft (393m).
View on the top of Eigg at the Sgùrr – where it’s possible to see the Isles of Rùm & Skye and the mainland.
The main road on Eigg.
Eigg is wonderfully peaceful also because there are not many cars on the island. Only the residents of Eigg are allowed to take their cars with them on the island from the mainland.
Besides the hiking trails you can therefore enjoy the quiet walk from South to North of the island by the main road, without being bothered by many cars.
Hike to Cleadale on the North side of Eigg, with a view of the Isle of Rùm.
Tolkien
It is said that the view of the Isle of Rùm from Eigg has inspired Tolkien for his Lord of the Rings.
If you take the time to stay on Eigg, you will discover the many different moods of the weather and the landscape. The longer you stay, the more beautiful it gets.

Eigg – the most eco-friendly island in Britain & their sustainable solutions

One of Eigg’s sustainable solutions is their off-grid electric system.  “In 2008, Eigg became the world’s first community to launch an off-grid electric system powered by wind, water and solar – and this group of residents largely taught themselves how to do it. Before that, without access to a national grid, residents relied on noisy, expensive diesel generators that only ran for a few hours a day.” – BBC, 2017.

Eigg’s journey towards sustainability and Self-sufficiency is now taught as an option in schools in Scotland, developed by the Education Scotland.

The new Isle of Eigg electrification scheme was a community inspired project to electrify the whole island and was the biggest project of [their] first ten-year plan for the sustainable development of the island.“, About Eigg. For a detailed description of Eigg Electricity, you can follow this link: About Eigg.

What can you do on Eigg?

Beside hiking, you can cyckle, kayak, sail, go to the Galsmidale café & bar, watch wildlife:

Birdwatching: There’re 212 different species of birds on Eigg (including Golden Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Raven, Buzzard, Red Throated Diver, Stonechat, Cuckoo, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Twite, Great Northern Diver, Jack Snipegeese, waders, various passerines, Quail, Pomarine Skua, Glaucous, Iceland Gull, Little Auk, Subalpine Warbler, Red Breasted Flycatcher, Arctic Redpoll, Common Rosefinch, Black Headed Bunting, Glossy Ibis and Woodlark.). The best time for birdwatching is in Spring (May and early June).

View when arriving at the pier of Eigg

Sealife. Around Eigg if you’re lucky you can spot whales, dolphins and seals between July and September (porpoises, Minke whales, the Killer Whale, the Basking Shark…). When we were on Eigg in July, we saw seals near the coast at the pier of Eigg.

Eigg has also a rich plantlife with “500 higher plant species and a bryophyte list numbering well over 300 species of which over 20 are national rarities.”

 

ACCOMODATIONS & PRACTICAL INFORMATION

 

Where is Eigg:

North of Glasgow – 7 miles (about 11 km) of the mainland of Scotland – just below the isle of Skye.

 

How we got to Eigg (the journey itself to Eigg is beautiful 🙂

-> From Glasgow the train to Fort William

-> Then the beautiful train trip from Fort William to Mallaig (driving on the Harry Potter bridge 🙂

-> Then the ferry from Mallaig to Eigg.

Link to train: Scotrail

Link to ferry: Calmart

The pier and shop on Eigg.

Where to sleep on Eigg:

There are several options for accomodation on Eigg: house rental, wild camping, camping, yurt, bothy, camping cabins, B&B, eco-cabin, yacht, caravan, hostel..

We chose the last option, and stayed at the Glebe Barn Hostel at Galmisdale. A very family friendly hostel with very helpful hosts. The hostel has a great location  in nature with a beautiful view. We can highly recommend it.

On this link you can find all the accomodation possibilities on Eigg.

Glebe Barn Hostel

Where to shop on Eigg:

Eigg has a small grocery store with alle the essential needed food: Isle of Eigg Shop. Here is also a link to their facebook page. The shop is located rigth at the pier. You will not miss it when arriving on the isle by boat.

How is the weather on Eigg right now:

On this link, you can check out the weather on Eigg right now. If the wind is too strong, the ferries to Eigg might be canceled.

Link to the hikes on Eigg:

Walkhighlands

Additional info about Eigg: 
- Eigg is a small island, about five miles long by three miles wide (9kmx5km). 
- Population of Eigg (also known as Eigeach or Eiggers): around 100.
- The name of "Eigg" means "edge" in Old Norse, and refers to the Sgùrr.

 

Links:


@photos: naturesustainable.org

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