A September 2003 trip
to Isle of Iona by milliebell
Quote: This is to share my experiences of Iona, a beautiful and tranquil place.
North Shore Beach was lovely. I had this lovely clean sandy beach all to myself, and the water was crystal clear and the views were lovely. Much nicer than the overcrowded beaches you find on the main resorts, if you get the weather.
Iona is fairly flat, so it is a nice place to go strolling if you’re not a hardened hiker.
To get there from Oban, take the ferry to Mull (£6.45 return for a foot passenger). Buses meet four ferries a day at Craignure (not Sunday) for the 1 hour’s drive to Fionnphort (£9 return). From there, the ferry to Iona takes 5 minutes and runs frequently throughout the day (£3.50 return). Timetables are widely available in Oban.
For the most part, once you are there, you get around on foot. You can take a bicycle if you wish.
On my arrival, I was given a very warm welcome by the owner, and introduced to other guests who were around. I found the hostel to be a warm welcoming place overall. There is an excellent self-catering kitchen which was very well equipped, and one long table encouraging guests to socialise. There was also a drying room, and proper bathrooms--i.e. not rows of cublicles, but individual toilet and shower rooms with plenty of space to get dried and dressed without getting your clothes soaked.
I slept in a four bedded room with two other girls. They were big solid pine bunks and very comfortable. Each person had a very large storage area. Bedding is provided.
This was excellent value for money at £12.50 a night. I have stayed in many hostels in Scotland, and this wasthe best by a long shot.
The hostel is part of a working farm, and to access it from the road you have to walk across the grass around a field. It is very close to North Shore beach--off road access--just go across the fields at the back. This is a beautiful, clean beach with crystal clear water, and I had the place to myself. If you're going out after dark you will need a torch [flashlight]. There is a shop in the village, but there is a limited, expensive choice of foods, so stock up on supplies on the mainland.
This is not a party hostel. Many people come here for peace and reflection. There is no TV, payphone, internet access, stereo etc. Check out is before 10.30am. The hostel is closed 2-4pm. Check in is from 4pm-7.30pm. Quiet hours are 10pm-8am.
My only regret is that I only stayed for one night (in September 2003). I wish I could have stayed there longer.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2003
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom