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 passenger ferry takes 12 people per trip and in busy periods the ferry runs repeated trips. There is also a ferry service provided by the marina at the north end of the island, which exists to serve the marina but residents are also permitted to use it. There is no road linking the north and south ends of the island so in effect there are two split communities within one already very sparsely populated island community. The IKDT continue to push for a new road to join the community together and allow all islanders to access services equally. Oban Marina, situated at the north end of Kerrera, has a new lease of life with owners Gary Adams and Catherine Peat who took over in 2017. 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.
Many thousands of day-trippers visit the island 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.
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 64 full-time residents (48 adults and 16 children as of May 2018).