Sunday, 3 February 2013

Travel: Holiday to Scotland's timeless beauty of Coll


Rolling waves, remote white sand beaches and striking turquoise waters. It's the perfect place to recharge your batteries on a remote hideaway that has hardly a mobile phone signal and only one main road.

Tottering on the edge of the Scottish Inner Hebrides, is the timeless beauty of Coll. Reachable only by ferry, the island boasts the most sunshine in all the UK, but is still one of the country’s best kept secrets.
The beautiful remote Scottish island of Coll

Before you get to the island, it is advisable to break up the journey. Glasgow is a good stop-off to savour the bustling art, shopping and cosmopolitan restaurant scene and the art deco delights of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Grand Central Hotel is a luxurious stop-off, from £79 a night, right at the heart of Glasgow Train Station and within walking distance of the city’s attractions. Close by is Charles Rennie Mackintosh's art nouveau architecture around nearly every corner in this revamped city. The designer is Glasgow’s equivalent to Gaudi in Barcelona and given a free hand to leave his stylish mark on the city’s landscape. 

Building tours of Glasgow School of Art show off the greatest amount of Mackintosh’s work but you can also see fine examples of his vintage designs in Queen’s Cross Church at Garscube Road or at the Willow Tearoom in Sauchiehall Street.

Trains leave Glasgow regularly for the coastal town of Oban and its ferry terminal, or if driving, it is a two hour journey along the scenic A82 and A85 roads. From Oban, you will need to take a Calmac ferry to Coll and Tiree (www.calmac.co.uk) with the price for a return passage for two adults and a car around £130.
Coll has an irresistible natural charm and untouched beauty with isolated, idyllic, sandy yet windy beaches to explore.
Most of its 23 beaches are reached by following short trails, but once there, you will nearly always have it to yourself to relax, play or picnic while starring out at the crystal clear turquoise waters. Sometimes a seal, basking shark or whale is even seen passing by.

It is best to base yourself near the main village of Arinagour, close to the ferry terminal, as this is the only site with a general store and post office, along with The Island CafĂ© and the island’s only pub and restaurant at The Coll Hotel.

Opposite the pub is the new Coll Bunkhouse (www.collbunkhouse.co.uk) which opened during the summer of 2012 and is a hostel with all the latest facilities, sleeping up to 16 people from £19 to £23 per person a night.

The pace of life is slow, but the tranquil atmosphere on the 13-mile-long island is something rare to find. It can bring out your spirit of adventure to explore and time to fully recharge those batteries before returning to the rat race.
Coll has to be one of the most hidden and exhilirating beauty spots in the British Isles.
For discounts on attractions in Scotland and ideas for activities, visit





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