The Treshnish Islands are a beautiful string of islands, sitting a few miles south of the Treshnish headland, renowned as a sanctuary for seabirds – and particularly famed for the apparent fearless friendliness of the puffin! There is a wonderful view of the Treshnish Islands from the wooden gate just beyond the Haunn Cottages – a view which stops me in my tracks every time, even after 20 years of living here!
We haven’t been to the islands for years – our last visits were both thanks to the generosity of Turus Mara! One visit was with Ulva Primary School, when our daughter was in Primary 1, and the other was ‘a landladies tour’ when Turus Mara invited local accommodation providers to experience one of their trips! I particularly remember the school trip as it was wonderful to watch the children experience the joy of ‘puffin therapy’, and we landed on Staffa and had a good look in Fingal’s Cave. We keep meaning to go again, as it is a magical place – perhaps next year!
Based at Ulva Ferry, Turus Mara have been taking visitors to the Treshnish Islands for decades. Father and son skippers, Iain and Colin, run two boats which enables them to offer a comprehensive selection of tours, some are all day, some are shorter, some will take you to Staffa and onwards to Iona too. They allow dogs, which is great for our dog-guests. It is a far shorter drive from Treshnish to Ulva ferry, and there is also the community bus if you would like to leave the car at home.
There is an historic connection between the farm and the Treshnish Islands as they were part of ‘Treshnish Estate’ at one time. The islands were marketed for sale along with the farm, by the previous owners in 1994 when we moved here. We could have never afforded to buy the islands as well as the farm, and anyway we can look at them from here, and go on a Turus Mara trip every now and then if we want to! The islands are now owned by the Hebridean Trust who have a base at Hynish on Tiree.