Thursday, July 18, 2013

Eilean Bhan - 1

The island is Eilean Bhan - The White Island - which now serves as a footing for the Skye Bridge. When the bridge first opened a security camera was placed to monitor the access point to the island. This pesky camera discouraged me for several years from jumping the wall and exploring the island.

Eilean Bhan became famous as the residence of Gavin Maxwell after his home at Sandaig burned down. I was made aware of the history of this little island by reading John Lister-Kaye's book The White Island. And the photo in the last post was of the memorial to Teko made by John Lister-Kaye. Teko, the last of the Ring of Bright Otters, died in 1969.

These days the camera is gone, and the island is easily accessible via guided tours offered by the Bright Water Centre in Kyleakin. Last month I phoned them up and signed on to one of their tours. Driving onto the Skye Bridge I parked in a small parking area recently made by the gate that gives access to the island. There I was met by Mike, who told me I was the only one who'd wanted a tour that day. Our first stop was the memorial to Teko, and then Mike showed me around the old Keeper's house that Maxwell had renovated.

Our next stop was the Lighthouse. I have been to many a Scottish light, but this was the first one that I have ever been allowed to climb. Next time we'll ascend a steep sets of stairs and ladders to reach the top of the light.


  1. It is a wonderful hidden island. The wealth of flowers was unexpected. And we liked the hide, though failed to see anything much (no otters!) from there.

    1. The hide was beautiful. I would love to spend a week on the island in their self catering facility.