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Inchcailloch, Balmaha

(4.9/5 based on 40+ reviews on the web)
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 came 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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  • Get the private boat ferry from the Balkans Boatyard, arrange a time for them to come back for you. Then just enjoy this beautiful little island. Two hours is enough to see it all. We pretty much had ...  more »
  • Blessed with wonderful weather this weekend.5 minutes crossing gets you away from the hordes in bal maha to a lovely spot. 
  • Love this wee island. Been going since I was a young child when my dad had a boat in Loch lomond in the 80s and the island was pretty much deserted. Now of course it is a tourist attraction and on a g...  more »