Raasay is one of the most beautiful islands in the Inner Hebrides. Tucked between the Isle of Skye to the west and the Scottish mainland to the east, it is just 14 miles long and 4 miles wide. We first discovered it 20 years ago when we bought the Manse and have loved it ever since. The views, the sense of space, the pace of life and the special qualities of a small island community make Raasay the perfect holiday destination for families with children of all ages.
While many visitors choose to scale Dun Caan, the distinctive flat topped mountain where Dr Johnson and Boswell are reputed to have danced, there are inland and coastal walks to suit all tastes, forests and beaches to explore, historic sites to discover and a diversity of geology, landscape, flora and fauna rarely found in the British Isles. The seas around the island are teeming with life. You’ll see seals, otters, basking sharks, dolphins, porpoises and even Minke whales. Raasay is also home to over 60 species of birds, including the famous golden eagle, sea eagle, sparrow hawk and tawny owl.
For the adventurous visitor, Raasay House Hotel and Activities Centre offers a wide range of day activities including climbing, abseiling, coasteering, kayaking and mountain bike hire. It also has a licensed bar and restaurant overlooking Raasay Sound and is just a ten minute walk from the Manse. For more information, go to www.raasay-house.co.uk. Or do your own thing and explore the island on foot, using some of the well marked footpaths. Calum’s Road, by local author Roger Hutchinson, is recommended reading for all visitors and gives a fascinating insight into life at the north end of the island. Raasay Distillery opened in September 2017 – more details are available at www.raasaydistillery.com.
Raasay has a well-stocked, friendly shop and post office in Inverarish village, a few minutes walk from the Manse. Local meat and vegetables are available here as well as all basic supplies. The nearest Coop supermarkets are at Broadford and Portree on Skye.
It is simple to cross to Skye on the ferry for the day. The Cuillins are easily accessible as are all the other attractions of Skye such as Dunvegan Castle, whisky distilleries, boat trips, potteries and many fabulous walks and beaches. There is even a golf course within 5 minutes of the ferry terminal at Sconser!
There are several highly rated restaurants on Skye which are well worth a visit, including the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge and The Three Chimneys.
For more information about what to do on Raasay, visit www.raasay.com. To find out about what life is like for an accidental crofter on Raasay, read Paul Camilli’s blog on www.lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com