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Island Hopping

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

The girls and I spent the single sunny day we had during the school holidays having an adventure on Kerrera. It’s true that you seldom explore the places closest to where you live, and so this was a first for us. Like Lismore, you can see Kerrera from Oban bay, and while there is a ferry from Oban which crosses to the North end, we made the short drive (five minutes!) down to Gallanach and took the wee ferry from there. This ferry was a novelty – it is open, with no roof, and we stood on the small deck, which takes twelve people or one car, with the wind in our hair and the seagulls cries in our ears while we made the two-minute crossing.

With few people and even fewer cars, it’s a great place for walking, with defined routes around each end; a castle to explore; a bunkhouse and tearoom; spectacular views across to Mull or to Oban; and an honesty shop. Which is why we were there in the first place. I was ‘working’. The many joys of being self-employed include being able to turn a delivery into a whole day of adventure, and we did, with a backpack full of soap and a picnic.

We took a slow meander up the road from the ferry to the Balliemore Farm Shop, happily distracted by sheep, bracken, hills, trees, the sun, treats in mommy’s backpack – there is a quote about all islands being Treasure Island to a child, and the wee piece of Kerrera we saw was certainly full of treasure. The farm shop is mostly unmanned and run through an honesty box system – you make a note of what you’ve bought and leave cash in the box or send a bank transfer. There are lovely things to buy, all locally sourced or produced on the farm. I say mostly unmanned – we were greeted by the most beautiful collie and black lab who were desperate to play but had to come second place to the ice cream.

We made the short journey back to the mainland feeling like we’d gone much further than we had, legs a wee bit tired, tummies full, hair all blown about. We’ve already planned our next visit, and you should too. There’s lots of interesting information about Kerrera on the internet, you could start by visiting the island’s Development Trust website, IKDT - Isle of Kerrera Development Trust or the Calmac website Ferry To & From Kerrera | Visit Kerrera | CalMac Ferries for the ferry time table, and have a look at the Balliemore Farm facebook page .

It’s great to see Shepherds Cottage Soaps in another wee shop, supporting and being supported by other local businesses. You can also find us on Lismore in the shop at the Gaelic Heritage Centre and Café Home Page | Failte gu Ionad Naomh Moluag - Welcome to Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre and in Oban at Bay Bath and Body.

Where will you explore next?

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