Monday, 29 December 2014

Island 270 - Eriska, Argyll

Eriska is located 12 miles north of the town of Oban and 3 miles north of the village of Benderloch on the west coast of Argyll and Bute and at the end of a no through road.  It is linked to the mainland by a bridge.

The public road ends here
  The notices say Private Property and Access for Residents Only.  As the entrance to a luxury hotel, I thought the entrance wasn't very grand or welcoming and perhaps a tub of flowers on either side would have been an improvement or maybe a coat of white paint on the walls? 

Eriska is home to a 5 star luxury hotel.  I wasn't sure about how Scottish access rights apply to private bridges, so I emailed the hotel a few weeks before my holiday asking for permission to visit the island.  However they never bothered to reply.  I made the assumption that if they wanted to refuse me permission, they would have replied.  I parked my car at the end of the public road, ate a few blackberries off the bushes nearby, put on my smartest coat. so that I might possibly look like a paying guest and walked purposefully down the drive.  A few cars drove passed me but no one stopped and asked what I was doing.

The bridge is covered in planks of wood, which were quite loose and made a loud noise as cars drove over them - not a very grand way to access a posh hotel!.  It was also impossible for me to walk across it without making a noise.  I didn't venture far onto the island and didn't see the hotel, which is in the middle.  I spotted a lady walking towards me and decided it was time to go in case there were any awkward questions.

Should you happen to have a seaplane or helicopter at your disposal, you can land both at or near the hotel!  The prices for rooms and meals are way out of my price range.  Dinner is £50 but afternoon tea is a more affordable £15.  Self-catering accommodation is also available and there is a spa and a 6 hole golf course, both of which are open to non-residents.

Looking east from the Eriska side of the bridge

Drive to the hotel
Looking towards the mainland from Eriska

Looking west from the Eriska side of the bridge

Looking towards Eriska across the bridge

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