Easdale island is unique. The smallest permanently-inhabited inner-Hebridean island, it was once the heart of Scotland’s world-renowned slate mining industry.
With abundant flora and fauna, and plenty of marine life to be seen, this small island offers so much for the holidaymaker. Although Easdale island only occupies an area of 25 hectares (62 acres), all of the houses are situated on the south-east corner of the island, in the lea of the 38m tall hill. This makes the Back Shore and areas around the abandoned and flooded quarries seem like an isolated wilderness, where you can walk and explore without encountering another soul. The view from the top of the hill offers a panoramic vista of sea and distant islands peppered by passing yachts, trawlers and the ferry from Oban to Colonsay and Islay. On a warm summer’s day, swimming in one of the quarries is exhilarating and fun.
Easdale’s rich history is visible all around the island, and there’s the award-winning Easdale Island Folk Museum which tells the story of the slate mining and the community’s past. In 1881, a huge tidal storm flooded the slate quarries forcing them to be abandoned. The population, which had stood at 400, dwindled to a handful by the mid-20th century but increased to over 65 permanent residents by the start of the 21st century.
The island’s population is diverse, with many commuting to work in nearby towns and a number employed by local companies associated with the leisure and tourist industries. At the heart of the island is the award-winning Puffer Bar and Tearoom, and the community hall, which stages regular entertainment, from pantomimes to plays and music to art exhibitions throughout the year.
The car-free island, accessed by a short passenger ferry, journey from Seil, is a go-to destination for visitors and holidaymakers looking for something different and special. Whether it’s peace, quiet and relaxation or adventure and activities you are after the island and surrounding area offer the very best of Argyll on Scotland’s famed west coast.
Easdale island is situated 15 miles (24km) south of Oban which has a railway station that connects to Glasgow in just over three hours through spectacular and iconic landscape. Driving from Glasgow takes around two-and-a-half hours, slightly less from Glasgow International airport, and your route takes you north along the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. The area is well served by local and regional buses and there are plenty of taxis available in Oban.
The town of Oban is a ferry transportation hub for travel to almost all of the Hebridean islands, from nearby Kerrera and Mull to distant Coll and Tiree and even on to the Western Isles of Barra and South Uist. Around an hour’s drive north of Oban you find yourself at the edge of Glencoe, the gateway to the fabled Highlands.
Oban is a thriving town which offers all the services you require, from supermarkets, restaurants and bars, to leisure activities such as a sports centre, cinema, sea kayaking and boat trips around the area. The town has a whisky distillery with a visitor centre and there is superb pony-trekking and horse-riding available at nearby Glencruitten. Nearer Easdale island, there are pubs and restaurants on Seil island and a well-stocked general store at Balvicar.
Each September, the island is proud to stage the World Stone Skimming Championships, when competitors and visitors from across the globe come to compete for the coveted title of world champion.
Easdale island is a warm-hearted and friendly place, with something for everyone. The island can be your base for day-trips to places such as the islands of Mull, Luing or Kerrera, or visits to castles, ancient monuments or historic sites such as the Kilmartin Glen standing stones. Seafari Adventures make several trips per day from Ellenabeich out to the spectacular Corrywreckan Whirlpool where whales, seals, dolphins and sea eagles are regularly spotted.
On the other hand, a holiday on Easdale island can consist of quiet relaxation and endlessly looking out over the ever-changing marine landscape visible from the front of both An Rubha and Chattan cottages. The choice is yours.
Online information hub for visitors to Easdale island
Easdale Island Community Hall:
The events calendar and details of Easdale Island’s varied Arts Programme which attracts international, national, and local performers.
Easdale Island Folk Museum:
Award winning, community owned museum on Easdale Island documenting the slate industry and the island’s history.
The World Stoneskimming Championships:
The World Stoneskimming Championships are held every September on Easdale Island
The Puffer Bar and Tearoom:
A warm friendly welcome and great homemade food in a beautiful location await you at Easdale Island’s Puffer Bar and Tearoom.
Slate Islands Heritage Trust
Heritage centre based in Ellenabeich with information about all Scotland’s Slate Islands.
Scotland’s foremost sealife adventure boating specialists. Sea.fari take small groups out on powerful RIBs to visit the neighbouring islands, the wildlife, and the world famous Gulf of Corryvreckan whirlpools.
Easdale Islands Seaweed
Seashore foraging tours
Walks for All the Family! A downloadable collection of walks across the UK suitable for pushchairs and others with limited mobility.