The Isle of Kerrera is situated at the mouth of Oban bay and acts as a physical breakwater for this important west coast harbour. To access Kerrera you travel 2.5 miles south from Oban to Gallanach where a ferry crosses the 600 metres of the Sound of Kerrera between the Scottish mainland and the island itself (5 minute journey). There is a vehicle exclusion policy on the island, except for those of the locals, making it a walker’s paradise.
The Calmac passenger ferry takes 12 people per trip and in busy periods the ferry runs repeated trips. Islanders are delighted and proud that after many years of persistence, a new road connecting the north end to the Calmac ferry was constructed in 2021 and is now open. This is a really positive and important change for island residents, almost half of whom live at the north end of Kerrera.
Kerrera Marina, situated at the north end of Kerrera, has a new lease of life with managers Tim and Gill Vollum. Alongside providing excellent services for boats, they run the Waypoint Bar and Grill and offer a private ferry service directly into Oban.
In contrast to its busy neighbour Oban, Kerrera is quiet and rural offering outstanding views of the surrounding coastal areas. The island is best known for the ruined Gylen Castle, built in 1582, open for visitors to view, and also has a range of lesser known sites of historic and geological interest, alongside its stunning natural landscape. It takes approximately one hour to walk from the ferry to the castle and close to the castle is the delightful Kerrera Tea Garden & Bunkhouse- a perfect lunchtime pit-stop.
More than 15,000 day-trippers visit the island annually from Oban, to walk or cycle around the southern 6km loop of the island. Most of the south end of the island is owned by Dunollie Estate, with most of the north end being owner occupied. Many visitors take the Marina ferry to the north end and enjoy views of Oban bay and visit Hutchenson's Monument.
The main industries on the island are sheep and cattle farming and tourism.
Kerrera is 4.7sq m and sparsely populated. A recent increase in the number of children on the island and some returners to the island, coupled with those who have chosen to build their lives and businesses on the island has resulted in a current population total of 68 full-time residents, including 18 children, as of June 2019. Please see our recent piece about our 100% island population increase on the Islands Revival blog:
Many thanks to Tesco Bag of Help, their funding allowed us to build this website and help to inform islanders and visitors of our island projects and wonderful wildlife.