Difference between revisions of "Easdale"
Revision as of 15:08, 21 September 2012
Once the centre of the British slate industry, Easdale Island is the smallest permanently-inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides, off Scotland's west coast. Situated in the Firth of Lorn, it covers an area of less than 10 hectares but has a permanent population of about 70, plus a similar number who own residential property and visit regularly.
There is one settlement on Easdale, however the neighbouring village of Ellenabeich (on the island of Seil) culturally considers itself part of Easdale due to its proximity and common heritage.
Unless you have your own boat, the only way to get to Easdale is by a ferry operated by the Argyll and Bute Council. This runs at set times (and occasionally on demand) from early in the morning until late at night on a daily basis. Timetables and fare information can be found either in the waiting rooms in Ellenabeich or Easdale or on the CalMac  website. The crossing takes approximately 3 minutes.
Be aware that the ferry only carries 10 passengers and no cars and is not wheelchair accessible.
At the Ellenabeich side, the ferry must be summoned by the spotlight and/or the klaxon horn in the waiting room.
Skippers may berth their own vessels in Easdale Harbour upon completion of a Berthing Agreement .
Ellenabeich is connected to the rest of Seil and the Scottish mainland by the B844 road, linking with the A816 near the hamlet of Kilninver. A small car park is available on the sea front adjacent to the ferry waiting room.
West Coast Motors  operate the 418 bus service from Oban railway station to the ferry waiting room in Ellenabeich up to five times per day, with no service on Sundays. Be aware that buses often read 'Easdale' on the front of them. Bicycles can also be taken on board for free.
Various bus, train and ferry connections are available in Oban.
With the exception of some construction and agricultural machinery, there are no vehicles on Easdale. Hence, the only way to get around is by walking. That being said, the path that follows the circumference of the island is less than a mile in length. It is possible to walk around the island and summit the 38m hill in less than two hours.
There is a risk of falling into former slate quarries - be careful.
There is one local art and craft shop  on the island. A post office and village shop can be found in Balvicar on the island of Seil.
The Puffer is the only place to drink on Easdale. That being said, it was voted Best Community Pub in the 2010 Scottish Licensed Trade News Awards. Serves a variety of international, national and local alcohol.
Options for sleeping on Easdale and in the surrounding area can be limited at times. In addition to Easdale and the surrounding area, a variety of accommodation can be found in Oban.
There are five self-catering properties on Easdale:
Tigh Earla, ☎ +44 1852 300154. Offers 2 double rooms, plus 1 double sofabed. =.
An Rubha, ☎ +44 7831 838717, . Offers 3 double rooms. =.
An Lionadh, ☎ +44 1688 400388, . Offers 4 bedrooms and sleeps 8 +2. =.
5 Easdale Island, ☎ +44 1786 870266, . Offers a twin room and also has a double sofabed. =.
64 Easdale Island, ☎ +44 1555 772370, . Offers 1 king room, 1 double room and 1 twin room. =.
Bed and Breakfast
Garragh Mhor, Ellenabeich, ☎ +44 1852 300513, . Offers 3 double rooms and 1 twin room. =.
Wild camping on Easdale, although legal, is not recommended owing to lack of space and the chances of falling into a disused quarry.
Highland Arts, Ellenabeich, ☎ +44 1852 300273. Limited pitches are available for tents and campervans. =.