In his latest cruising feature, Peter Cumberlidge picks out the best remote island destinations you can easily reach from the UK by boat
Size: 10nm long
Watering holes: The cosy Island Café in Arinagour overlooks the loch – superb home cooking and good wines
Choosing a favourite Scottish island is almost impossible, but Coll has that quality of feeling far-flung while being fairly easy to reach from the popular cruising trail.
Nine miles out from the Sound of Mull, Coll is a short run from Tobermory on a calm day. Long and low with few houses, this wild windswept island is a perfect refuge from the clamour of modern life.
There are no facilities apart from one hotel, a café, a public loo and the Oban ferry, which lands in Loch Eatharna (pictured above).
Instead you have peace and quiet, big skies, undisturbed wildlife and some of the finest white beaches in the world.
Off Coll’s north point, the Cairns of Coll are small humped islets where you often see dolphins or basking sharks.
Cruising down the east coast you reach Loch Eatharna with the hamlet of Arinagour at its head. You can anchor well into the loch or use one of the visitor moorings.
At the south end of Coll, glorious Crossapol Bay is fringed with hillocky dunes and gleaming sand. Tiree island nearly touches the west end of Coll, a name to conjure with. Part of the poetry of late night shipping forecasts, Tiree is almost the last weather report as you nod off.
Don’t miss: Anchoring in Crossapol to see the sun set over the Outer Hebrides