archipelago in the mouth of Loch Broom, Highland, Scotland, UK

The Summer Isles form an archipelago of mainly very small islands opposite Polbain, a village north of Achiltibuie in the Highland region of Scotland.

Understand edit

Of all the islands, only Tanera Mòr is inhabited and hardly anybody stays all through the winter. In the summer, some houses, including the former school, are available for rent. Painting and photography classes are also run.

Islands edit

  • 1 Tanera Mòr
  • 2 Tanera Beag
  • 3 Isle Ristol is tidal, walk across from Old Dorney.
  • 4 Eilean Mullagrach
  • 5 Horse Island
  • 6 Eilean Dubh
  • 7 Bottle Island
  • 8 Priest Island  
  • 9 Isle Martin: see Ullapool for this outlier.

Get in edit

Unless you have your own boat, you are dependent on an excursion from either Ullapool or the closer Badentarbet pier in Polbain.

Get around edit

Other than walking on Tanera Mòr, you can only see what your excursion allows but this includes great cliff scenery, seascapes and views of the mainland, grey and common seals and numerous breeding sea birds in season.

See edit

Tanera Mòr guardian
  • Priest Island is an RSBP reserve.

Do edit

  • Walk. There are numerous footpaths around much of the island from the landing stage.

Buy edit

Summer Isles post office and café
  • Stamps, Post Office. Almost unbelievably, Tanera Mòr shares one characteristic only with Lundy in south-west England and Caldey Island off the coast of Tenby, Wales, out of all the islands that form part of the UK. It issues its own postage stamps, which are valid throughout the UK. Valid stamps only cost their face value and make a talking point! Of course there are numerous historic sets on sale as well.

Eat and drink edit

  • Cafe. Beverages and light snacks are also available in the post office and are worth their weight in gold, if only because the building provides shelter from the midges.

Sleep edit

Connect edit

As of Aug 2022, the islands have no mobile signal from any carrier.

Go next edit

  • Achiltibuie is near Inverpolly Nature Reserve and has mountains to hike up.
  • Ullapool is the area transport hub, with buses to Inverness and ferries to Stornoway on Lewis.
  • North Coast 500 is a motoring itinerary, with Achiltibuie a side-loop.

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