HOLY ISLE and beyond


Holy Isle

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The island is around 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long and around 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) wide.

Holy Isle has an ancient spiritual heritage stretching back to the 6th century with the hermit cave of 6th Century monk Saint Molaise, and evidence of a 13th Century monastery.

The island is now owned by the Samyé Ling Buddhist Community, who belong to the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The settlements on the island include the Centre for World Peace and Health, founded by Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, on the north of the island. This is an environmentally designed residential centre for courses and retreats which extends the former farm house. It has solar water heating and a reed-bed sewage treatment system. The approach from the ferry jetty is decorated with Tibetan flags and stupas. On the southern end of the island lives a community of nuns who are undertaking three year retreats.

ponies_holyIsleThe remainder of the island is treated as a nature reserve with wild Eriskay ponies, Saanen goat, Soay sheep and the replanting of native trees. The rare Rock Whitebeam tree is found on the island, an essential link in the evolution of the Arran Whitebeam species, Sorbus arranensis, Sorbus pseudofennica and Sorbus pseudomeinichii. These are indigenous and unique to Arran.

There is a regular ferry service from Lamlash, and the island is popular with holiday makers staying on Arran. Visitors are requested to stay on the paths and not to bring animals onto the island.

See more:
HOLY ISLE website

HOLY ISLE travel timetable