Child friendly self catering, Argyll – Isle of Colonsay, Argyll, Scotland
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About Colonsay Holidays
Colonsay, off the west coast of Scotland, is one of the most westerly and sunniest of the Inner Hebrides. Colonsay Holidays has a stylish small hotel, a budget hostel and a large variety of holiday properties dotted around this peaceful unspoilt island. Choose from traditional farmhouses, crofters cottages to charming apartments; sleeping 2-14. Colonsay is as "outdoorsy" as it comes - if you want, wild goats, huge glorious beaches, breathtaking scenery, endless blue skies and a glimpse of real island life, then Colonsay's for you.
The Away with the Kids review
Colonsay is a little off the tourist trail but it is well worth the visit. Boasting the highest sunshine hours and the best beaches of anywhere in Scotland, and indeed, the world - with its surfing and sandy beaches both a children's and adult's paradise. You can choose from a dozen sandy beaches for picnicking, swimming and shell collecting. The most spectacular beach for surfing is Kiloran Bay. Colonsay is perfect for cycling, even for quite small children, with its gentle hills and quiet single track road.
There are no TV’s in any of the holiday cottages as there is no terrestrial TV signal on the island. This may come as something of a shock to the system for some of our offsprings but parents find that, on the whole, families feel more bonded after an evening of board games and rediscover the pleasure of getting stuck into a book on a rainy day. Every house has a selection of games and books. You’ll find that the grand landscapes, appealing countryside and diverse wildlife more than make up for the lack of the goggle box.
Colonsay Holiday Cottages
The self-catering holiday cottages are restored crofters’ cottages, Victorian farmhouses and former estate houses. They are scattered all over the island and most have spectacular sea or loch views. A couple of cottages are nestled in amongst the woodland gardens of Colonsay House. There are also a number of beautiful apartments located in a south facing wing of Colonsay House, a pretty Georgian house built in the Palladian style.
All of the holiday cottages are comfortably furnished and as well equipped as space allows. Nearly all properties have a dishwasher, washing machine and microwave. A few cottages have quite small kitchens where we simply cannot fit a dishwasher or washing machine. Each property has an open fire or wood/coal burning stove and a garden area with outdoor furniture.
Colonsay House Apartments
You can also stay in beautiful apartments located in a south-facing wing of Colonsay House, a pretty Georgian house built in the Palladian style where the owners live. The first and top floor have a number of apartments with the largest being able to accommodate a family of 6 in three bedrooms. The Colonsay House garden is considered to be one of the finest rhododendron gardens in Scotland. Colonsay House remains a private residence and the walled gardens immediately in front of the house are not available to apartment guests. The extensive woodland gardens, however, are available at all times.
The Colonsay Hotel features scenic views over the sea to the neighbouring island of Jura. Located 1km from the ferry pier in Scalasaig it's accessible yet wonderfully remote, cosy and warm, with more than a dash of style. The hotel is very child friendly and parents feel the hotel is more like a large country house so they feel relaxed and let their children roam around freely. There's a library, with books and games, and a log room, both with crackling fires and painted wooden floors, not to mention the garden for lounging on sunny days. The restaurant, more gastro pub than formal, serves mainly local produce, including plentiful seafood. A kids’ menu is available. Live music from local musicians is often featured in the bar, as well as quiz nights and a kids DVD night.
Family Friendly Hotel Rooms
Children are warmly welcomed. An extra bed can be added in Ardskenish room, with Pigs Paradise offering suitable accommodation for a family, with a double room, plus a sitting room with space for 1 or 2 children. Baby cots are available on request. There is free WIFI access for all everyone staying at The Colonsay Hotel. There is also a tennis court available free every morning at Colonsay House.
The Lodge is located in a peaceful spot in the centre of the island with commanding views towards Loch Fada. It is quiet and peaceful with no other houses close by. The pub, shop and pier are 2 km away. The Lodge is very well equipped and has a large garden with lawns and shrubs and outdoor furniture. The Lodge consists of a Victorian former gamekeeper's house and two traditional stone bothies adjacent to the house. The bothies are particularly rustic with exposed stone walls on the inside. The house is newly refurbished and is extremely comfortable. Sleeping a maximum of 16 people in two separate buildings, for those on a budget, the Lodge is a peaceful and comfortable base from which to explore the island.
About the Island
The island offers a stunning variety of landscapes and views, across its 8 miles (13 km) in length and 3 miles (4.8 km) at its widest point. In a day's walk, you can see white sandy beaches, trout filled lochs and dramatic cliffs, home to thousands of nesting guillemots, terns and seagulls. At low tide there is a glistening mile-long stretch of sand that joins Colonsay to the Isle of Oransay. There are colonies of grey seals and they can be spotted all around the coast of the island. Otters are found along the eastern coast of the island and occasionally dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks can be seen further out to sea. The north of the island has wild goats.
Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries has regular ferries from Oban year-round, with an extra summer service from Kennacraig. The journey takes two and a quarter hours and is a beautiful one, passing between the mainland and the islands of Kererra and Mull and then sailing south west past the islands of Seil, Luing, Scarba and Jura.
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