Canna

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom Scotland Scottish Islands Hebrides Inner Hebrides Small Isles Canna

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Introduction

Canna is the westernmost of the Small Isles off the west coast of Scotland. It is next to the smaller island of Sanday, and is linked by a bridge and by sand at low tide. Canna, Sanday and their surrounding skerries are owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), and are run as a farm and conservation area.

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Geography

Canna is renowned for its wildlife, including sea eagles, golden eagles and puffins. Recently, peregrine falcons and merlins have been sighted also. The island is also inhabited by a number of rare butterfly species. In the nearby waters one can spot dolphins and smaller whales.

Canna is noted for its tiers of basalt pillars that rise over the eastern half of the island and the sea cliffs that dominate its northern shore. The highest point on the island is Càrn a' Ghaill (Gaelic for rocky hill of the storm) at 210 metres. Another point of interest is Compass Hill. Its peak is at 139 metres and sits on the eastern edge of the island. It is made of a volcanic rock called tuff, and it has such a high iron content that the compass of nearby ships are distorted, pointing to the hill rather than north

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Getting There

By Boat

There is a scheduled ferry service connecting Canna with the mainland. The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Lochnevis sails to all four of the Small Isles from Mallaig throughout the year. It calls at Canna on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday during the winter; (the Sunday sailing has to be requested by 4:00pm on the day before sailing) In the summer sailings are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, twice on Saturday and Sunday. The ferry has limited space for vehicles, and visitors are not permitted to take cars to the Small Isles.

By Train

If not travelling to Mallaig or Arisaig by car, you can reach the ferries by scheduled ScotRail train service (although note that the pier at Arisaig is not as close to the railway as the pier at Mallaig).

The famous 'Deerstalker' Caledonian Sleeper provides first class (single cabin) and standard class (double cabin) sleeper and reclining seat travel between Fort William and London Euston every night except Saturday. Local trains connect to Mallaig.

If travelling by day train, travelling to Canna from anywhere further south than Fort William is only possible without an overnight stop in Mallaig on summer Saturdays, when the early morning train from Glasgow Queen Street station connects with the second CalMac sailing to Canna.

Travelling from Canna to points beyond Fort William by day train is likewise only possible on summer Saturdays, when the first CalMac sailing from Canna connects with the train to Fort William and Glasgow Queen Street.

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Getting Around

Vehicles are not permitted on the island. Canna is 7 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide, and most easily explored on foot.

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Eat/Drink

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Sleep

The National Trust for Scotland is the only provider of accommodation on the island.

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Canna Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 7:28 on Jul 6, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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