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Inchcailloch, Balmaha

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Outdoor Activity
Inchcailloch is an island on Loch Lomond in Scotland. It is 85 m at its highest point. It is also known to some as Inchebroida.The name Inchcailloch means "Isle of the old woman" or "Isle of the Cowled Woman" in the Scottish Gaelic language. Saint Kentigerna went to Scotland from Ireland to preach and spread Christianity and the island is thought to be named after her.Geography and geologyInchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch, and Inchcailloch all form part of the Highland boundary fault.There is a burial ground in the north of the island, and a bay, Port Bawn (Port Bàn; White Port), in the south.Like many of the Loch Lomond islands, it is quite heavily wooded.TransportThere is a passenger ferry across the short channel separating it from Balmaha on the mainland. As a result, it receives more visitors than most of the Loch Lomond islands, currently 20,000 visitors per year. There is a camp site in the south at Port Bawn and a nature trail.HistoryInchcailloch has been used as a hunting forest since the reign of Robert the Bruce. Deer still roam the island. White deer have been seen on the island in 2003. The narrow crossing is very shallow making an easy passage for deer to ford. The island was farmed until the early 19th century, being recorded in 1800 as producing good wheat and oats; the ruins of the farm can still be seen. For around 130 years, Inchcailloch was an oak plantation. The resulting timber was processed at Balmaha (on the site of the Highland Way Inn), for making wood vinegar (pyroligneous acid), wood tar, and dye.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We spent the Bank Holiday Monday afternoon on the island having been deposited there by the Margaret, a quaint custom-built wooden boat that has spent her entire life on the loch. There were various w...  more »
  • Spent an afternoon on Inchcailloch Island. Well worth a visit - great views from the summit, lovely wee beech, perfect spot for a picnic. Less busy mid-week, best time to visit  more »
  • I visited the island with friends at the weekend and it was gorgeous. A 15 minute walk from the ferry takes you to a little beach. There's a few picnic tables and the island was covered with bluebells...  more »