Isle of Lis­more

The Oban Times - - FEATURE -

ACROSS Loch Linnhe from Port Ap­pin, the is­land of Lis­more claims an­cient ori­gins. An early Chris­tian set­tle­ment was founded there by St Moluag, who, le­gend has it, staked his claim to the is­land in a cor­a­cle race against St Columba. Columba was nar­row­ing ahead as they neared the shore, so Moluag, des­per­ate to claim the land, cut off his own lit­tle fin­ger with an axe and threw it on to the shore – en­sur­ing that at least a part of him reached the is­land first.

The is­land’s Gaelic name ‘LiosMor’ mean­ing ‘great gar­den’ is an apt one, par­tic­u­larly once the fuch­sias which dec­o­rate ev­ery hedgerow bloom - though the fer­til­ity of its soil may owe less to an in­fu­sion of saintly blood than to its lime­stone base and tem­per­ate cli­mate.

Lis­more can be reached by a car ferry from Oban, but the lit­tle pas­sen­ger ferry from Port Ap­pin of­fers a more in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence and with an abun­dance of wild­flow­ers, the is­land lends it­self to a close-up ex­plo­ration on foot or bike. Spend a day ped­dling around the is­land’s sin­gle track roads, stop­ping to ex­plore the sites. Tire­four Cas­tle is an Iron Age broch, whose im­pres­sive re­mains can be climbed for un­beat­able views over the loch. Co­ef­fin Cas­tle dates to the 13th cen­tury, and you can also scram­ble up the ru­ins- take a pic­nic and en­joy the views over the is­land and the loch! Achan­duin Cas­tle west of Ach­nacroish also dates to the 13th cen­tury, its brooding ru­ins over­look­ing the is­land of Bern­era.

Stop in at the Lis­more Gaelic Her­itage Cen­tre for a cof­fee and cake- the cream scones are renowned here! While you are there, browse the his­tory of the is­land.

Lis­more is a won­der­ful day trip get­away that is so close yet feels like a world away.

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