Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of the Isle of Gigha
The presence of the Vikings and Scottish settlers can still be felt on the Isle of Gigha. Its history is filled with turbulent times and legendary tales. The Isle of Gigha is a part of Scotland that has retained its beauty, tranquility and splendor, and has remained an island of mystery, discovery and curiosity. Given the name of Gudey (meaning the Good Isle), by King Hakon, it eventually became Gigha, when the Gaels renamed the Scottish island.
Located of the coast of Kintyre, the Isle of Gigha has an estimated population of 150 residents and is a small island that falls under Argyll and Bute. In length, this Scottish island measures a mere 9.5 kilometers and a width of 2.5 kilometers, covering a total 1 395 hectares. The island is almost three hours away from Glasgow, and the Tayinloan port (near Tarbert) ferries visitors from the mainland to Ardminish, the only village on the island. Ardminish has the basic necessities such as a small shop and a post office. Cheese was produced on the island until the 1980s when the creamery was closed down. The milk that is gathered from the Ayshire cattle and goats is used locally and shipped to the mainland for cheese production. Over and above tourism, the Isle of Gigha has another source of income, Gigha Renewable Energy Ltd. Here, the Dancing Ladies (V27 wind turbines) generate power, which is sold as electricity, and the profits are invested back into the island community. Accommodation on the island can be found at the Gigha Hotel, which also serves as a local pub that offers guests everything from cake and tea, to meals.
As with most Scottish islands, the right to ownership of the island has resulted in numerous conflicts over the years. A once treeless island, the woods were planted after 1850, near Achamore House. Owners included the MacNeils, Hamers, Scarlets, MacDonalds and lastly, and most significantly, to James Horlick, who bought the island in 1944. It was Horlick who created the legendary Achamore Gardens that attract thousands of visitors each year. Other attractions include the breathtaking beaches where seals frolic in the waters along the shore, the St. Catan’s Chapel ruins, a scenic golf course and the staggering variety of bird species that have settled here due to the undisturbed peace of the woodlands and tranquility of the Achamore Gardens. The Isle of Gigha is an island in Scotland that overflows with natural wonders, magnificent photographic opportunities and an atmosphere of peace and relaxation, rarely found today.