5 reasons why the Isle of Tiree is perfect for sun worshippers
Imagine an island fringed by golden bays, surrounded by azure waters and bathed in glorious sunshine. Crete? Majorca? Hawaii? No. This is Tiree, the most westerly of the Inner Hebridean islands.
Discover the Sunshine Isle of Tiree
Sitting 60 miles west of Oban, far out in the Atlantic Ocean, this beautiful isle is officially one of the sunniest places in the UK! It’s also home to some of the best beaches in Scotland. So if you’re a sun seeker, pack your sun cream, grab those sunglasses and hot-foot it to Tiree this summer.
1. The sunshine isle
Thanks to its location, Tiree has some of the highest levels of sunshine recorded anywhere in the British Isles. It also benefits from the influence of the Gulf Stream, which warms the surrounding waters. The island is flat and treeless, with the sea and the sky often filling your field of vision, a blaze of blue on a sunny day. Thanks to the mild climate, flora thrives here. In spring and summer, the island’s machair is covered in wonderful wild flowers. No wonder it’s called the ‘sunshine isle’!
2. Leave the pac-a-mac behind!
Tiree also gets much less rain than the mainland, with rainfall averaging just 45 inches per year. In 1883, George, the eighth Duke of Argyll, wrote that Tiree’s climate was: “far better than that of the mainland. There is much less rain, the rainfall scarcely exceeding the average of 35 to 40 inches…Its strong yet soft sea-air, its comparative dryness, its fragrant turf full of wild thyme and clover, its miles of pure white sandy bays... all combine to render it most attractive and wholesome in the summer months.”
3. Life’s a beach
Every sun worshipper loves a beach. And Tiree’s beaches will take your breath away. They fringe most of island, providing miles of clean, fine white sands, natural tidal paddling pools and great surfing, body-boarding and windsurfing for the adventurous. One of the loveliest is Balephetrish Bay on the north coast of the island, a two-mile arc of sand where you can watch waders feeding in the breakers and look out to Skye.
4. A brilliant breeze
So the sun is shining, the days are long, the beach is beckoning. Surely the scourge of the Scottish summer – the midge – is lying in wait ready to ruin this island paradise? Well, no. Being fairly flat and exposed Tiree is also known as a very windy place. In winter that can mean gales, but in summer it means an ever-present breeze that keeps those maddening midges at bay.
5. Glittering skies
As the sun sets on Tiree, don’t head inside. The dark skies have much to offer. There’s no light pollution out here and the stars are simply stunning. Walk outside on a clear night and the canopy of celestial bodies will take your breath away. Gazing at the heavens from a Tiree beach on a moonlit night is an experience you’ll never forget. Look out for shooting stars!
Of course, you do get rainy days on Tiree, but there’s still plenty to see and do. The island is home to some great wee cafés and restaurants serving up tasty Argyll food.