Self-Catering Accommodation on Eigg

Abandon your home comforts and disconnect for a while!

Many tourists visiting Scotland want to stay in a luxury cabin in the Highlands.

They want to experience the raw rugged nature that Scotland has to offer, but they also want to make sure that they can upload their photos at the end of the day, have the option to stay up-to-date on their social media feeds and also access their television streaming channels, as if they were still at home.

They might think that simply by being close to a wild expanse they are disconnected from their homes – but they couldn’t be further from the truth.

On the Isle of Eigg you won’t find any of these distractions. Here you’ll struggle to find a television with a clear picture, let alone any phone signal or internet. Despite the island only being home to around 100 people, there are a number of self catering accommodations that offer visitors the chance to become a member of our little community. Whilst staying on Eigg with us you’ll be getting a truly authentic experience of island life. You’ll have access to the same grocery shop that we have, the same non-existent phone signal and the same beautiful scenery!

Take a look at just a few of the places you could stay at on Eigg:

Amazing Eigg Shed

Perfect for couples (or a small family) this compact yet airy space is the ideal hiding place for folks looking to escape the day-to-day urban experience. The clue really is in the name. In your cosy Shed you’ll find everything you need to make your stay comfortable but nothing more! A comfortable double-bed settee saves on space whilst a compact kitchen has all the necessities to serve up a hearty meal after a day of exploring the island. Visitors can also make use of outdoor furniture and two kayaks, should they wish.

£70 per night (includes pick up and drop off from ferry).

Sweeney’s Bothy

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a ‘bothy’ is a small hut or cottage, traditionally built for the use of farm hands and herdsmen as as a form of shelter for them to use during the bitter Winter months. You can still find these rugged shells across Scotland, they’re free to stay in and provide nothing but a roof over your head. Sweeney’s Bothy on Eigg is a modern update of the bothy experience. One cosy space provides everything a sole visitor or couple should need. A wood-burning stove provides warmth whilst a sole gas stove grants you limited cooking capabilities. An outdoor shower and toilet make this an experience that will connect you with nature – ideal for those looking for a real country escape.

£75 per night (includes pick up and drop off from ferry).

Laig Caravan

Offering much more space than the other two options, but with the same limited amenities, the view from this well looked after caravan has to be seen to be believed. Overlooking the neighbouring Isle of Rum, you’re literally a stone’s throw away from a tranquil beach, giving you the option to wake up at first light and take a dip in the sea at your leisure. Once more, there’s no electricity, no wi-fi and no mobile phone network, so you’ll be blissfully disconnected from the outside world!

What you do get when you stay at the Laig caravan is the opportunity to enjoy the company of another with just enough amenities to keep you fed and warm. Although you can make use of the Isle of Eigg shop should you wish to pick up supplies, you can book a hamper before you arrive so that you’ve got something special to tuck into on your arrival.

£50 per night (extra charges apply for hampers) 


Outdoor Activities On Eigg! [BUFF]

Come to Eigg to explore our island and push your limits!

Eigg is a perfect place to come to escape and experience the great outdoors, but it’s not exactly a beach and cocktails destination…

Part of the fun of experiencing our island is to embrace everything that the island has to offer, that means living without mobile data and taking everything that our crazy weather system can throw at you. You have to be an ‘outdoorsy’ type if you live here, Eigg isn’t really a place where you can hole yourself away for days on end.

If you want to socialise, stay fed and enjoy life then it’s kind of important that you can enjoy the adverse weather conditions, not just endure them. Unsurprisingly, over the last few decade we’ve invested in loads of different ways of enjoying these stunning 12 square miles and we’d be more than happy to share them with you on your next trip.

Take a look at the kind of activities we get up to on Eigg:

Mountain Biking

Whilst you’re welcome to bring your own bike on the ferry to Eigg, it’s undoubtedly easier to simply hire one from Eigg Adventures. Laraine and Owain bought the outdoor pursuits company back in 2015 after growing weary from their time incorporate lives, they run activities out of their Adventure Base and also hire out equipment. You can hire mountain bikes from them for as little as £15 per day.

Kayaking

It’ll come as no surprise to hear that the island’s a great place to get some kayaking done. Many of the accommodation options (including the Amazing Eigg Shed) come complete with their own kayaks and whilst this does give you the freedom of taking to the sea whenever you like, it’s much safer to book a guided trip. Once more, Eigg Adventures are the ones to contact.

Nature Walk

We’ve already mentioned a few of the must-see sights that you can visit whilst walking around our island, but you’ll need a good pair of binoculars and some local knowledge to see the rarest sights that the island has to offer: its wildlife! Just under 200 species of bird have been spotted on Eigg, not to mention the wide variety fauna and flora, seals dolphins and even whales.

Archery

Take a firm stance, notch your arrow and adjust your aim for the island breeze before letting your shot loose! There’s more than enough time and space to hone your archery skills here, but it’s advised that you take a few lessons before diving into shooting by yourself. You can book a 45 minute session for £12 per person with Eigg Adventures.

Organic Gardening

If you’d rather keep your feet on solid ground and your hands away from deadly weapons then you can enroll in a day’s worth of organic gardening lessons from Neil and Sue, two of the most experienced horticulturists. They’ll show you how to grow organic vegetables, how to preserve them and also turn them into delicious meals! Courses start at £50 for a half day and £100 for a full day.

Sailing

Finally, one of the best ways of getting to grips with how the Hebridean islands relate to each other is by seeing them from the sea. Eigg Adventures have partnered up with Selkie Explorers to give visitors the opportunity of sailing out from Eigg to the surrounding islands. A day’s sailing is priced at £90 per adult and £60 per child which includes a dinner cooked aboard the boat itself, with fresh caught fish if you’re lucky!


The Artists of Eigg

Eigg is home to so much more than just beautiful countryside and wildlife…

As a community essentially separated from the outside world it should come as no surprise that there is an entire culture and art community completely endemic to the island.

Many people tell us how striking the landscape is around Eigg and we’re inclined to agree with them. Indeed, the scenery is so splendid around our islands that we often have dozens of artists at a time coming to visit us here desperate to capture the wild nature of our island either on film, paper or in the form of music. Many have tried, but it’s up to you to seek out their work and decide if they’ve succeeded or not. Eigg has been presented as charcoal sketches, photograph exhibitions and ice sculptures – this series of works only helps to contribute to the artistic allure that the island has for visitors.

For those seeking a refuge from the distractions of the modern world and a chance to truly connect with nature, Sweeney’s Bothy is the place to stay on Eigg.

This single room space offers artists the opportunity to get truly ‘off-grid’ and discover what they’re truly capable off. Perched on a piece of croft land with a commanding view towards the neighbouring isle of Rum, this hut was designed by artist Alec Finlay in conjunction with Creative Scotland’s Year of Natural Scotland in 2013. All artists and creatives that stay in the bothy are encouraged to share their experience on the website after their trip is completed, their thoughts as well as the work that they have produced during their stay has contributed to an ongoing exhibit of the creative scene in Scotland.

A handful of artists also live on the island including a number of musicians, crafters and producers. Check out their work through the sites below:

Damian Helliwell

Nowhere is folk music more loved and cherished than in Scotland, so it should come as no surprise that a number of folk musicians have called Eigg their home over the years.

Over the course of a year Damian Helliwell and a talented group of musicians put together a folk music record that became critically acclaimed upon release. Metta served as Damian’s compositional debut and served to place Scottish music firmly in the realms of World music.

Website: www.metta-music.com

Gabe McVarish

Although he might sound Scottish by name, Gabe is a born and raised American hailing from Northern California. The talented fiddle player was two-time winner of the US Junior National Scottish Fiddle Championship before reaching the age of 17, his natural born talent for his instrument soon sent him to his ancestral homeland in Scotland. After studying music in the Highlands and spending years busking around the world, Gabe settled in nearby Lochaber to record, write, perform and teach.

Website: www.gabemcvarish.com

Catherine Davies and Pascal Carr

With the aid of Pascal Carr, Catherine Davies has been making baskets and weaving willow on the Isle of Eigg for nearly 20 years. After spending a weekend learning how to weave baskets in 1999, Catherine became enamoured with willow-work. Soon she’d obtained an award from the Millenium Forest for Scotland to promote the use of willow. In 2000 she moved to the Isle of Eigg to plant willow and build a workshop where she could continue her work in peace.

Website: www.all-about-willow.co.uk

Pictish Trail & Lost Map Records

Pictish Trail is the recording name for Johnny Lynch, an auteur music artist with a style that is completely his own. After running Fence Records in Fife for a decade he upped sticks and moved to Eigg where he launched his own record label and started recording more of his own music. In 2014 he celebrated living on Eigg by holding his very own music festival there, celebrating the artists on his label and the joy of island life.

Website: www.pictishtrail.co.uk


4 Interesting Facts About Eigg

Feast your mind on these four interesting tidbits about Eigg!

Eigg is the most eco-friendly island in Great Britain

On 1st February 2008, we switched on our electricity grid which serves the entire population of the island with completely renewable energy, thus making Eigg the most eco-friendly island in Britain! Our system uses a 9.9 kWp PV system, a 24 kW wind farm and three hydro generation systems (combining for 12 kW).

In conjunction with a backup system made up of diesel generation and batteries, we now have continuous renewable power throughout the island. We’re proud to say that we were the world’s first community to launch a completely off-grid power system that solely relies on renewable energy; we receive plenty of visitors each year who come from far and around just to see our power systems!

Our moorland plateau is over 1,200 ft high

Fancy a brisk walk? Then why not take a hike up to the highest point on Eigg, An Sgurr. The peak of An Sgurr is an impressive patch of pitchstone which you can clamber upon for that ‘top of the world’ feeling. On a good clear day you can get a commanding view over the other small islands, the Outer Hebrides and even the mountains way out on mainland Scotland. Besides the view, there’s plenty to see whilst you’re up on our moorland plateau. Due to its altitude and climate this part of the island is home to a number of different plants and creatures which you can spend a whole day spotting should you wish. Don’t forget to take your binoculars!

At one point in history there were over 500 people living on Eigg.

This massive boost in population came during the 18th century when the potato was introduced as a crop to the island. The successful growth of this new plant led to a boost in health for the rest of the island and also a diversification in their output. Soon the islanders were happily growing oats, as well as farming cattle for milk and beef.

Ever at the mercy of their lords, this productivity has often been been disrupted by disgruntled lords who often insisted on their subjects using equipment and machinery that they have provided so that they could levy more tax from them. Our population has not reached this heady high since; around 100 people currently live on Eigg.

Eigg Islanders have travelled far and wide

It can be tough eking out a living on our island: you don’t have easy access to many of the modern luxuries that mainland folk take for granted. Cinemas, supermarkets, hardware shops and discos are all very exotic pleasures here, but at least we’re better off than our predecessors. Without access to an electric grid and being largely shutoff from the rest of the world, many islanders from Eigg have chosen to abandon ship (so to speak) for greener pastures. One particular exodus led to a handful of families emigrating to America in 1821, they settled on a plateau not totally dissimilar to the one we have on our island and they named it Eigg Moutain. Little remains of their settlement their today, but the area is still well loved as a recreational space for hunting and winter sports.


Our Top Walking Picks on Eigg

The Isle of Eigg is a one-of-a-kind destination.

Less than 12 square miles of unspoiled landscape, it’s best enjoyed on foot – which is a good thing because visitors are forbidden from taking their own vehicles onto the island.

The few vehicles that you will see trundling about Eigg are either trial electric off-road buggies or cars that have been on the island for decades. Many visitors comment on the dilapidated state of some of these cars and for good reason; the remaining vehicles on the island have been granted an MOT exemption, so owners tend to leave any repair work to the last minute.

If visitors think the state of our cars are bad then they should see what our ovens look like! One of the drawbacks to living on an island is that it’s kind of difficult to get hold of New World cooker spares here (or any kind of spare parts for that matter!), so we tend to only buy hard-wearing appliances or run what we do have into the ground.

As a visitor to the island you won’t have to worry about any of these niggles though. All you’ll have to concern yourself with is making sure you see as much of the island as possible and as we’ve said, the best way to do that is on foot.

These five walks are well worth checking out whilst you’re here:

The Sgurr of Eigg

Home to the annual Easter Eigg run, the Sgurr dominates the landscape.

It’s the tallest point on the whole island so, naturally, a brilliant start to your journey that will give you the opportunity to get your bearings and appreciate stunning views across to the neighbouring isles.

The Massacre and Cathedral Caves

One of the darkest parts of the Isle’s history, 400 local inhabitants were brutally murdered here when a long running feud with the Macleods of Skye came to a head. Remains of these people were discovered as recently as last year prompting a rare visit from the police. The Cathedral Cave is also worth walking to but can only be entered at low tide.

Forgotten Settlement of Grulin

Only crumbling walls remains of the small village of Grulin which was once the home to as many as fourteen families. Once home to a small thriving community of crofter, the Highland Potato Famine of 1847 struck the families there particularly hard, causing the then-owner of the island, Dr. MacPherson, to evict the entire population who left their homes to ruin.

Galmisdale and Lodge Gardens

Even on a rainy day the Lodge Gardens are pretty enough to warrant a visit, the same goes for Galmisdale Bay, which is why we recommend this excellent walk which incorporates both of them. Take a look at the historic Clanranald Pier, before exploring the Kelpie Woods and discovering the impressive Lodge along with its formal gardens.

Kildonan Loop

Finally, this 3-4 hour long walk is ideal for walkers looking for a challenging way to fill half a day. Taking in coastal views, stunning flora and even giving you an opportunity to spot some wild seals, this is a great route to introduce you to the island and incorporates the ruins of the Kildonan Church, home to many interesting stories and legends.


Eating on Eigg

Eat clean, organic, isle-produce whilst you can!

Some are surprised by how we all get by here on the Isle of Eigg, without access to a supermarket or high street stores – but we’re not completely without our luxuries…

Our island is home to a number of small businesses that supply our population here with some truly delicious produce, because of the high demand that these businesses often have to deal with they often require advance notice so that the can ensure that they can provide everything for their customers. Additionally, before you make your trip to see us it’s worth checking with these businesses personally to ensure that they’ll be open during your stay, as some of them operate within what many might consider as irregular working hours.

Although it’s a good idea to bring along any niche ingredients that you think you might not be able to find on the island (exotic fruits, spices or mass-produced foods are hard to come by), you can easily feed yourself indefinitely on the produce of the island and the limited selection that is imported in.

These independent businesses are well worth visiting whilst you’re staying with us:

Isle of Eigg Shop

The namesake for this site and often the first port of call for most visitors to the island, the Isle of Eigg Shop is one of the longest running businesses here. The small shop stocks everything that you’ll need for your stay here, as well as some extra special treats that you could buy to elevate your home-cooked meals.

Daily deliveries of fresh produce from the nearby fishing port of Mallaig can keep you stocked with fresh seafood, whilst you can also pick up quality Scottish meats courtesy of Lochalsh Butchers and lovely fresh bread from The Bakehouse.

Eigg Organics

The Isle of Eigg has long been known for its well-established environmentally friendly approach to tourism and Eigg Organic typifies this mentality. Rated by the Guardian as one of the best campsites in the UK, this westward facing farm also offers a cosy bothy and even a canvas yurt to stay in, but it’s the owners’ open attitude to their organic values that makes it a good place to pick up some food at.

Whilst you’re visiting you can take part in an organic gardening course: learn how to create your own organic Eden back home and understand how to grow your meals from the seed to your plate. Lessons include sessions focusing on cooking, preserving and include a lunch prepared from the garden there. Once you’re done you can buy as many veggies and eggs that you like for your own Eigg-based meal.

Laegorna

The only restaurant on the island is only open to non-residents during the summer and is a truly one of a kind dining experience for any visitors looking to get wined and dined for a special night out on the island. Wide-open windows give diners a huge view over the neighbouring Isle of Rum and it’s also in walking distance from Laig Bay and the Singing Sands, making it a perfect stop-off for a lazy walking tour.

The style of dining changes each night, so it’s worth checking their website before you make a booking with them. One night you may be in for a £30 per head 3-course meal, the next you could be sharing a table with a group of locals – that’s part of the joy of this independent restaurant that, best of all, champions local island produce over everything else.