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Start your island story with Caledonian MacBrayne

Start your island story with Caledonian MacBrayne

Soak up the beauty of the Scottish Isles this autumn

There's never a bad time to head to the Scottish Isles but with all the vibrant colours of autumn and some of the best opportunities for wildlife-spotting, the post-summer months provide a true treat for visitors. Whether you're into your food and whisky, or adventuring is your bag, here are some ways to make the most of your island experience in the coming months.

Take a wildlife safari on Mull

Mull is famed for its incredible wildlife, with 300 miles of dramatic coastline from which you can spot glorious golden eagles and sea eagles, as well as the UK's largest land mammal, the mighty red deer. Its stunning beaches and waters are populated by playful otters and seals, alongside porpoises, dolphins and whales.
The most direct route to Mull is by ferry from Oban, which takes 50 minutes.

Enjoy a dram on Islay

As the weather changes and the colder months start to arrive, there's surely no better way to warm yourself up than with a small dram of whisky. As Scotland's whisky island, Islay is the perfect place to test out your knowledge of the famed drink or even try previously untasted tipples. There are nine working distilleries on Islay, including the big names like Laphroaig, Bowmore and Ardbeg. Head along to some of the distilleries for tours and tasters, and be sure to make a pitstop in their shops too, where you might just find that rare bottle.
Get the ferry to Islay from Kennacraig on Kintyre, landing at Port Ellen (2 hours 20 minutes) or Port Askaig (from 1 hour 55 minutes).

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Relax on Arran

If you're after a spot of indulgence on your island experience, Arran is a good place to head, with the wonderful Auchrannie Resort providing the health spa of your dreams thanks to its two swimming pools, variety of treatments and award-winning restaurants. There's also the Isle of Arran Distillery and the Isle of Arran Brewery for all your whisky and beer needs, plenty of places to eat and gorgeous views all around, giving you the chance to take a real breather.
You can take the ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick, which takes 55 minutes.

Eat your heart out on Skye

If your idea of the perfect short break revolves around food and drink, Skye is the place for you, especially in the cosy surroundings of autumn. Home to the only Michelin restaurant in the Hebrides, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides is quickly becoming a haven for foodies from near and far. Enjoy a special dining experience at Kinloch Lodge thanks to chef Marcello Tully's splendid cooking or take a class if you're keen to learn how to do it yourself. You can also visit The Three Chimneys, which is renowned for its fish and seafood and beautiful location, while Scorrybreac in Portree boasts exquisite fine dining and fresh seasonal Scottish produce. Loch Bay is the only Michelin-starred restaurant on the island and has a fantastic reputation for contemporary Scottish cuisine, with chef Michael Smith preparing food with a French twist.
Get the ferry to Skye from Mallaig on the mainland, from Lochmaddy on North Uist or from Tarbert on Harris.

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