Welcome to Tiree, Scotland!
The tiny, windswept island of Tiree is an extraordinary and mind-bogglingly beautiful little piece of paradise, cast adrift in the Atlantic Ocean. The most westerly isle of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, Tiree benefits from the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. There are 18 immaculate beaches, and a frankly shocking amount of sun, making it the “Hawaii of the North.”
Tourists can be dissuaded by distance, ease of access, and Scotland’s wet and windy reputation, but a worldwide local can find unique and unusual spots in the most unlikely of locations. This is an insider’s guide of the best of Tiree.
Surf’s Up in Tiree
Tiree is, first and foremost, a paradise for surfers. Sparkling white sandy beaches and waters, that are shockingly warm for somewhere this far north, combine with the blustery winds from the South Atlantic, that allows Tiree to get perfect breakers all year round. You will be, continually, amazed that the azure waters and ivory beaches are in the Hebrides, and not in Hawaii.
Worldwide Local Tip: Surf Tiree provides a dreamy combination of surfing, yoga, kitesurfing, and paddleboarding, along with a picturesque accommodation in Island House, and idyllic evening lobster cook-offs on the beach. You’ll enjoy a magical experience on this hard-to-comprehend island.
For the Landlubber
As an island of only 30 square miles and around 650 inhabitants, Tiree’s focus is largely seaward. It does, however, have an impressive amount to offer landlubbers. Just exploring from the cliffs to the cove of Balemartine, Isle of Tiree, is a pretty remarkable and fascinating experience, especially since fishing and crofting are still a way of life here. Coastal walks are peaceful and beautiful, while beachcombing and birdwatching will reap huge rewards for enthusiasts. Cycle or hike down to Balevullin Bay to see the beautiful old Skerryvore Lighthouse, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “the noblest of all deep sea lights.”
Worldwide Local Tip: Tiree can be a real escape from the grind of modern life, with some pleasing throwbacks to a simpler style of life. Locals are friendly, welcoming, and pleasingly chatty, keys are left trustingly in car ignitions, and the local police station has its own flock of chickens. Getting around is easy, but on the tiny isle of Tiree, flagging down a cab is not usually an option.
Eat Like a Local
Tiree is a favorite holiday destination with a load of famous chefs, and although the dining options on the island are limited, they are pretty top notch. The Ceabhar Restaurant serves up delightful locally-sourced options, and the Beachcomber Cafe is a winner for its crab sandwiches, but the standout is Tiree Lobster and Crab. Nothing fancy, but for mouthwateringly fresh seafood it really can’t be beaten.
Worldwide Local Tip: For something a little more DIY, head down to the harbor early chat up the local fisherman. You’ll be able to buy lobster straight from the boat, and whip up your own feast in comfort and style!
Enjoy Your Stay!
Tiree is a little speck of sun-drenched heaven, with some of the best beaches in the UK at every point of the compass. Its far-flung location can be off-putting, but as a worldwide local you know that the best experiences come with a little adventure. With this inside knowledge, you’ll be able to find the most rewarding and remarkable things to do on this magical Scottish island.