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Venue: Colonsay

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Venue Type:
No. of Trails: 1
Car Park
Bike Hire
You can get to Colonsay by Calmac ferry from Oban or, Islay (Port Askaig), or SeaFari RIB from Seil island, just South of Oban.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
The Isle of Colonsay is a lovely, peaceful island in the Inner Hebrides with many beautiful beaches, pretty wildflowers, historical/archeological places of interest and great wildlife, especially birds. While the riding is not what you'd go here for, a mountain bike is the best way of taking in all that the island has to offer and the island loop does include a few decent sections of trail.

Basic bikes can be hired from Arche's Bikes, although you may wish to bring your own as his fleet is not the largest or newest.

There are a number of decent places to eat on the island and even a brewery.

Trails at Colonsay


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
Tour de Colonsay26.36125.5 Easy Easy

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Comments and ratings for Tour de Colonsay
Lovely ride, although potentially tough on the bike with exposure to sand and salt water. To get the most out of this route, try to be at the South of the island just before low tide to make going ove... read whole comment...
cat89 gave this trail 4 stars about 5 years ago

Tour de Colonsay

Viewed 1402 times
Length: 26.3 Miles
Ascent: 612 m
Time: 5.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
This route is mostly on low-traffic single track road and farm tracks and takes in most of the highlights of the Isle of Colonsay. There is are optional extensions to Urugaig (included) and the tidal island of Oronsay (mentioned).

NOTE: On disembarking from the ferry, if you wish to visit Oronsay, pop into the Calmac office to enquire about tide times before setting off!

Head up the hill out of Scalasaig towards the hotel, then turn right (tag 1) onto a track leading up towards the mast. This is the old road to Kiloran and you get good views from the top. Alternatively, you can simply head right immediately after getting off the ferry and take the road round, but the route given is more scenic and avoids the tarmac!

When you descend back down to reach the road (tag 2) turn right, then immediately left (pretty much straight on then straight on), which will take you onto a track leading downhill to a loch on your left hand side. The track narrows and becomes a bit muddy for a while, but then improves as you head into Kiloran Woodland Gardens (tag 3). Here, there are some paths through the gardens that you can take if you want a bit of singletrack and to see the gardens, but do ride with care and consideration as they're very definitely NOT mountain biking trails.

When you reach the main road again, turn right (tag 4) and right again (tag 5) towards Kiloran. Shortly after a left hand bend, turn right onto a farm track (tag 6) signposted to Balnahard. This takes you North behind the dunes of Kiloran Bay, then follows an undulating course to Banahard Farm. At the top of the first climb, you can walk up to a great viewpoint on your left overlooking Kiloran from the North (tag 7). Just before Balnahard farmhouse, there is a raised beach and a sculpture of a whale (tag 9) on the grass in the field (probably more obvious if viewed from the sky). Continue past the farmhouse until the track ends at a byre. Here, (tag 8), head through the gate and make your way down to Traigh Ban, a lovely unspoilt sandy beach, with some good rock pools for exploring and (if you visit between late Spring and mid Summer), the machair is a magnificent technicolour carpet.

Return to Kiloran by the same route and where the farm track rejoins the road (tag 10) turn right, heading up past the viewpoint over Kiloran Bay. You can either check out the beach then about turn or add in the Uruagaig extension as follows. Continue through the small settlement of Uragaig. At the to of Uragaig, there is a cottage (tag 11) at which turn left to follow a path down to a pebble beach with a cave or two. Return via the same route.

Follow the Kiloran road back to the main road and head straight on to continue the loop round the island, passing through Kilchattan before reaching the coast again. After a left hand bend, take the turn off right down a track leading to the airstrip (tag 12). This takes you over the golf course and passes a couple of nice beaches and the airstrip before becoming a bit boggy, before a small climb and then a short, but fun descent (tag 13) to the sandy beach of Plaide Mor near Ardskenish farm. While you can take the trail behind the dunes, this can be quite sandy so I recommend visiting the beach on foot then bearing left from the bottom of the descent to take the meandering track across the grass.

When you reach a junction on the opposite side of the headland (tag 14) take a sharp left, pass through a gate and make your way across Traigh nam Barc to the next headland. if the tide is out, or you want to keep your bike free of salt and sand, then take the long way round, sticking to the grass. You pick up the track again between two small streams at the opposite side of the beach, and this will lead you to Garvard farm. When you reach a junction at a building just after passing through a gate (tag 15), turn left up towards the main farmhouse and from there take the track down to the main road.

If wishing to visit Oronsay, a tidal island which boast a well-preserved ancient priory, RSPB reserve, some nice beaches and only 5 human inhabitants, then turn right at the T-junction. You may wish to leave your bike at the end of the road (tag 16) and go to Oronsay by foot.

If not going to Oronsay, turn left at the junction, then right after after a few hundred yards onto a farm track signposted to Balerominmore (tag 17). Follow this past the farmhouse and down to the beach (tag 18). There is another even nicer beach on the far side of the sand dunes. Return via the same route, then bear right on rejoining to road.

After a couple of miles, you'll reach a T-junction (tag 19) at which you should turn right to return to Scalasaig. If you wish to visit one final beach, turn right up a farm track at the hotel (tag 20) and diverge from this trail down to the beach. Otherwise, continue on down to Scalasaig to catch the ferry back, grab a bite in one of the cafes, visit the brewery or whatever!

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