Sunday, 6 January 2013

TIREE

Tiree is the westernmost of the islands of the Inner Hebrides, and has a reputation for being the sunniest spot hereabouts. The island's land mass covers 7,834 hectares, its population is around 800, and its highest point is Ben Hynish at 141 metres. Its beautiful pale beaches are a magnet for surfers and windsurfers, and one of the big events of the year is the Tiree Wave Classic, the longest standing windsurfing event on the British calendar. The island's physical attributes mean that tourism and crofting are the biggest sources of income. Access to the island is by ferry from Oban, with a daily service to the port of Scarinish. The name of the island derives from the gaelic "tir iodh", or "land of the corn", possibly a reference to the days of St Columba, when Tiree provided the monastic community on Iona with grain. Tiree played an important role during World War II when a large RAF station was built on the island; this subsequently became Tiree Airport in 1947. The island also hosted a number of RAF chain home radar stations. The Hynish Centre on Tiree is a visitor facility with accommodation based around Alan Stevenson House, built in honour of the famous lighthouse engineer. The island's past is explained at the Sandaig Island Life Museum. Wildlife enthusiasts should head for Kenavara, which is a breeding ground for the island's main seabird colony, and is home to birds such as shags, fulmars and kittiwakes.

Map of the area.


© 2010 Milady G, via Wikimedia Commons

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