island off the west coast of Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK

Gigha (Gaelic: Giogha) is an island 3 miles off Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. The name is probably from Norse Guðey, “god’s island” or “good island”. It’s about 6 miles north-south by 1½ miles wide, and in 2011 had a population of 163. The main attraction is Achamore Gardens.

Like other Hebridean islands Gigha was Norse into the Middle Ages, but the Scottish mainland broke free. King Haakon IV sailed south to re-establish control but on Gigha he learned that John of the Hebrides was defecting to the Scots. It was not a good prelude to the Battle of Largs of 1263, which scuppered Haakon's campaign, and Norse territory was thereafter ceded to Scotland except for Orkney and Shetland.

Get in


A small roro Calmac ferry plies from Tayinloan on the mainland to Gigha, taking 15 min. This sails daily year-round, hourly; Apr-Oct it’s 9AM-6PM and Nov-Mar until around 4:30PM. Until the end of March 2025, return fares are £18.30 for a car, £6.40 per adult including driver, and £3.20 per child aged 5-15.

1 Tayinloan is the mainland ferry pier, half a mile off the A83 to Campbeltown. The usual approach is via Loch Lomond, Inveraray, Lochgilphead and Tarbert, maybe three hours from Glasgow. Another route is by ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick on the Isle of Arran, then a smaller ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig south of Tarbert, then A83. (Satnav users beware: "Tarbert / Tarbet" is a common Scottish place-name, there's even one on Gigha.) You can leave your car in the free car park at Tayinloan, but Gigha is just about big enough to be worth bringing a car.

Gigha is within kayaking distance of the mainland, or take the kayak on the ferry to start fresh exploring the island.

Scottish Citylink Bus 926 runs 4 or 5 times daily from Glasgow Buchanan station to Tayinloan (3 hr 30 min) on its way to Campbeltown. The route is via Dumbarton, Tarbet on Loch Lomond, Inveraray, Lochgilphead, Tarbert (Loch Fyne) and Kennacraig (for ferries to Islay). One bus a day runs via Glasgow Airport. Booking is recommended, as this is a busy route connecting with several ferries.

On school days there are a couple of extra runs along A83 by West Coast Bus 449 from Lochgilphead via Tarbert, Kennacraig, Tayinloan and Muasdale to Campbeltown.

Gigha airfield towards the south is a grass strip only suitable for microlights and aircraft under 600 kg.

Get around


On foot, or hire a bike to see the north end.

See and do

King Haakon IV learned on Gigha that John of the Hebrides was deserting him
  • 1 Ardminish is the island's main settlement, straggling along the lane south of the ferry pier.
  • Achamore Gardens, High Row PA41 7AD (centre of the island), +44 1583 505390. Dawn to dusk. The mansion, built in 1884, is not open to the public. One owner in the 1940s was Colonel Horlick, who made his money from the bedtime drink and laid out the gardens, open year-round. The mild climate allows species from Australia, New Zealand and the Andes to thrive here. Dogs on leash welcome. Donation.
  • Kilchattan Chapel mid-island near the gardens is the ruin of a 13th-century church.
  • Ogham Stone near the chapel is the most striking of the island's prehistoric structures. It’s badly weathered and the inscription can’t be deciphered for sure, but it looks 5th century and might commemorate Vicula Maq Comgini - Fiacal son of Coemgen.
  • 2 Bodach and Cailleach are a pair of standing stones about a metre tall. In Gaelic Bodach is a bogeyman and Cailleach is a witch.
  • 3 Giant's Tooth on the lane north looks more like a mitten.
  • 4 Fisherman's Cave is a natural recess, with carvings and inscriptions from the 18th century.
  • Wildlife includes guillemot and eider. Lots of other ducks, grouse and pheasant, but seldom geese. Gigha lacks many mainland mammals, such as deer, weasels or hares, a bonus for the nesting birds.
  • Golf: Gigha GC is nine holes, half a mile north of the ferry pier.
  • 5 Creag Bhàn at 100 m is the highest hill. On a clear day you can see Rathlin Island and the County Antrim hills to the southwest.
  • Gigalum is the island just southwest of Gigha. It has a farmhouse but no inhabitants. Cara to the south likewise has an uninhabited farmhouse.
  • Ardminish Stores, Gigha PA41 7AA (head of lane from pier), +44 1583 505251. M-W, F 9AM-5:30PM, Th Sa 9AM-1PM. This is a Post Office and licensed grocer's with fuel and bike hire.

Eat and drink

The Ogham stone


  • Camp and Motorhome Site (next to ferry pier), +44 1583 505188. Quiet site open year-round.
  • The Yurt is by the Post Office above the ferry pier.
  • Gigha Hotel (above the ferry pier at Ardminish.). Hotel and restaurant are closed for renovation.
  • Springbank B&B (opposite Achamore House), +44 1583 50504. 3-room B&B.



As of May 2023, Gigha has no mobile signal. The mainland approach road A83 has a basic signal from Three and Vodafone. Finish any important calls before you get south of Tarbert.

Go next


Back to the mainland it must be:

  • A short drive north on the mainland brings you to Kennacraig, where you can catch a ferry to Islay.
  • Or go south on the mainland to Campbeltown and the Mull of Kintyre.

This rural area travel guide to Gigha is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.