An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Within a short distance of the densely populated Glasgow are a number of islands that guard the Clyde as it exits to the sea. Bute, Arran and Great Cumbrae are perfect settings for some stunning cycle rides amongst the rich mountain and seascapes that surround them.

Further ‘oot’ lie the Mull of Kintyre, the Firth of Lorn the Small Isles and Skye. It’s here that the diversity of the Scottish islands really start to hit you. These are the islands of myth and legend.
For many, the majestic islands of Islay and Jura are better known for their whiskey than their wildlife. The real island connoisseur though knows them for their sheer and utter beauty. You’d think they would be hard to beat yet Mull and Skye, the islands where the mountains meet the sea, are real contenders. They are breathtaking.

There are plenty more challengers though. These are perhaps not so well written about which makes discovering their secrets even more satisfying and the very essence of islandeering. A firm favourite is Colonsay along with its adjoining tidal island of Oronsay. They are fun to get too with the ferry often touching the giant jacuzzi of the Corryvrechan, a whirlpool that is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Then there is the sister islands of Tiree and Coll. One is the island below the waves and the other is a land of rocks and peatbogs, separated by the thinnest of Sound’s which makes for a great spot to see basking sharks, Minke whales and dolphins.