Isle of Coll 2018-04-03T09:58:54+00:00

Stay on Coll from £22 per person, per night…

5* hostel accommodation on the Hebridean Isle of Coll.

BOOKNOW

The Isle of Coll

The Isle of Coll is a real hidden gem amongst Scotland’s Hebridean islands. Situated around 40 miles West of Oban, the island is off the beaten track and offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle on the mainland. With numerous sandy beaches and an abundance of wildlife, Coll rewards the intrepid explorer looking for an island adventure.

At around 13 miles long and 3 miles wide the Isle of Coll is a great size for getting out and about – big enough to find your own peace and quiet but small enough so that you don’t get lost! With a local population of just over 200 people, don’t be surprised if you choose a beach for the day and find that you have it all to yourself.

View map of Coll on Google Maps

Arinagour is the main settlement on Coll and you will find most of the local services here, including the ferry terminal, post office, petrol station, shops and accommodation. Both Island Stores and the The Ethical Sales Co. will be happy for you to order food and drink before coming to Coll so that it’s waiting for you upon arrival and to save carrying it across from the mainland – phone 01879 230484 and 01879 230262.

The medical centre, school, fire station and church are also located in and around Arinagour and the village is generally at its busiest just after the ferry arrives from the mainland.

Outside of the village, you’ll find the airport around 4 miles to the southwest, between Uig and Arileod. Nearby is the RSPB bird reserve and information centre at Totronald. Situated around 3 miles west of Arinagour, Ballyhaugh is the home to Project Trust, the single biggest employer on the island with over 40 years of operations.

More detailed information about the facilities and amenities on Coll is provided at Visit Coll.

In many ways Coll is a blank canvas giving you the opportunity to use your imagination.   However, there are a variety of activities you can enjoy on Coll although for some you may have to bring your own equipment:

No equipment required

  • Boat trips – new Coll venture, IsleGo, offers Hebridean boat tours and charters. Contact them for more info.
  • Kayaking – kayaking equipment can be hired locally and, if available, you can have a guide for your adventure
  • Tours – local tours can be arranged, one of which is bookable via Calmac
  • Day Trips to Tiree – On a Wednesday (and Saturdays in peak season) you can day trip to Tiree with Calmac
  • Non-landing cruise to Barra – On a Wednesday you can take a non-landing cruise to Barra with Calmac
  • Community Centre – our multi-purpose facility offers a range of activities (table tennis, badminton, etc.) as well as space to relax and drink a cuppa
  • Cycling – bikes can hired at the local Post Office and are a great way to explore Coll
  • Walking – walking on Coll is not too strenuous and affords more time to enjoy the ever-changing views as you wind your way around Coll
  • Events – Coll plays host to a number of varied events throughout the year including regulars like Coll Bird Festival, Coll & the Cosmos, Coll Half Marathon and the Coll Show, to more sporadic music concerts and theatre.   In 2018, Coll is having its first Homecoming.   See here for events that take place at the local community centre.   There are other summer events held elsewhere on the island, such as beach football.
  • Beaches – with ‘blue space’ being great for your health, where better to visit than an island with so many beaches to choose from?  If you forget your bucket and spade these can usually be purchased at the local Post Office.
  • Shopping – Coll has a few gift shops, with wonderful local grafts from glass etching to clothing, as well as galleries and a Saturday market at An Cridhe
  • Enjoy the community – Coll is a welcoming and friendly community, and while many of us do have to work, there is still often time for a bit of a blether and some local knowledge to help make your stay as enjoyable as it could be.  Or why not catch up with us in the pub or hotel garden?

Bring your own equipment

Coll is also a great island for water and beach sports, although you will have to bring your own equipment.   Some of the locals go surfing, and visitors have been seen sand-yachting.   Please remember to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code at all times.

Marine Wildlife

In the summer time, basking sharks are regularly spotted in the bay close to the bunkhouse whilst otters and seals can be seen all year round. Whales, dolphins and porpoise are also sighted in the waters around the island.

Bird Life

There is a wide variety of breeding species on Coll and there’s a good chance of seeing meadow pipits, twite, skylarks and stonechats amongst others. Coll is also home to approximately 10% of the UK population of corncrakes in the summer. In winter time huge flocks of barnacle geese, greylag geese and white-fronted geese inhabit the island.

On the ferry over from the mainland it’s possible to see petrels, gannets, manx shearwaters, auks and a range of other seabirds.

Flora

Coll is famous for it’s gorgeous carpets of summer flowers as a result of it’s unique grassland landscape known as machair. There is over 300 different species of wildflower on this small island.

One of the specialities is the pyramidal orchid with its distinctive pyramid-shaped flower head. The bloody cranesbill is widespread too, also characterised by it’s deep magenta blossoms, a common colour right across the machair.

“Before the railways there was no standard time, each city or town set its clocks by the sun.” – Tiree Tech Wave

This link has two clocks showing ‘Coll Time’ – Arinagour and Ballyhogh.   With appreciation to Tiree Tech Wave for adding Coll to their page.