Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

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AndrewSansum
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Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by AndrewSansum » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:46 pm

Hi,

We are considering a family cottage holiday on Coll this August. Plan would be to accommodate surfing and snorkelling for the kids but also take sea kayaks.

What we are scratching our heads over at the moment are launch options. There clearly are a couple of slipways with good access but to get directly onto the west coast beaches looks like trolly down machire tracks.

We’re only looking for 2-3 hour paddles as we need to wake the kids up for breakfast eventually. Does anyone have experience accessing launch sites?

We’re sufficiently competent/experienced to know when conditions are suitable/appropriate to paddle etc.

Trying to decide if we should chance a trip or if logistics will make it too much hassle.

Would welcome any advice.

Thanks
Andrew


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Last edited by AndrewSansum on Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Owen
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Re: Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by Owen » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:58 am

I've circumnavigated Coll, so came at it from the sea. I don't remember there being anywhere on the west side to escape. Coming from the sea we were met by bay after bay with fantastic long beaches and not a sole on them. The surf was huge. There are a few places on the east coast.

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Robert Craig
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Re: Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by Robert Craig » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:04 pm

Only been there once. We launched on the east coast, first at the new ferry slip, which was 'orrible, with a scramble over big boulders and exposure to waves, than at the old ferry slip further up the loch, which was fine. We paddled to the beach facing the Cairns of Coll, which was beautiful, then round the Cairns themselves, which we magical. Surf on the west coast beaches was too big for us. So not very helpful experience for you, i'm afraid.

Crossapol Bay and Gunna sound we good as well

Enjoy!

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Re: Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:29 pm

When we went, the surf on the west side was significant, even though it was generally calm. We paddled from Mull, didn't find many landings on the East coast north of Arinagour but some nice bays south of there. Crossapol Bay won't have the surf and has a track down to the beach but I don't know whether vehicles would be permitted. We went through Gunna Sound for a look at the West and it was just too bumpy, so explored the east side of Tiree then back up the east coast of Coll to the North tip (very nice beach but not accessible by road). Looking at OS/Google you could launch on the West coast at NM 234 628.

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Neptune
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Re: Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by Neptune » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:50 pm

Andrew,

Coll is beautiful but regged. The beaches on the island are all accessable but some need a walk in to them from where you park your car, not too far in my opinion, 5 or 10 minute maximum. Some need more time, particularly those at the south end of the island.

As said the surf on the west coast can be bigger than on the east coast, but if like me your not intimidated and like to surf, it can be so much fun.

Have you also looked at Tiree? The beaches there are so much easier to access, with most of them a few steps away from where you park your car and are quite stunning. Like Coll those on the west side of the island facing the prevaling conditions usually have a much bigger surf than those on the leward east side of the island. In addition, on Tiree there are plently of places to rent that are right next to a beach itself, so you could just walk out of the door and down onto the beach itself.

I like to stay at Balephuil Bay on Tiree so I can get up in the morning and go and have 2 or 3 hours surfing every morning before anyone else gets up for the day. I can then shower and get breafast going for everyone else. If they are all tired after the days activities and I still have energy, I can then have a surf before a quick shower and bed.

I have also seen plenty of Seals, Dolphins, Porposes, Basking Sharks and Otters whilst paddling around the coasts of both Coll and Triee.

Both islands are very different to each other but both have their merrits and can be really stunning in all types of weather conditions.

I hope that helps.

Peter

AndrewSansum
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Re: Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by AndrewSansum » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:34 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. The message seems to be consistent- great beaches but loads of surf on the west. Access on the west feasible but not so easy.

We’ve spent a week on Tiree but we’re looking for something a little wilder. I think maybe we’ll just do a week and see what we think of the place. I will also take a surf boat although am only good to 3-4 feet in it.

Shall report back in due course.

Thanks
Andrew


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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:13 pm

Image
Coll is wonderful and...


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...yes the west coast has swell but...

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...there are places to land...

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...on some amazing beaches with...

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...wonderful views to the Outer Hebrides.

Douglas

AndrewSansum
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Isle of Coll - Advice as holiday destination please

Post by AndrewSansum » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:35 pm

Hi Douglas,

So inspirational! We are in the final stages of booking a 1 week stay in August. 5 of us, 3 surf boards, snorkelling kit, 3 sea kayaks, 1 or 2 inflatable SUP and a surf kayak :)

Next will be to work out a second week somewhere camping the week before not too far from Oban. Possibly Ross of Mull or loch Sunnart perhaps.

Thanks for the photos
Andrew


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