On the Isle of Seil
Ealachan Bhana is situated on the waiting-to-be-discovered Isle of Seil, a beautiful Hebridean island that although only 5 miles long by 2 miles wide, will surprise you with all it has to offer. Seil Island is easily accessed by the famous 'Bridge Over The Atlantic', which was re-designed by Scotland’s famous architect, Thomas Telford.
Seil Island, sometimes also known as 'Easdale', was originally one of the 4 slate islands known as the 'Islands That Roofed The World'. Today Seil Island’s bright and gold speckled slate is still clearly evident around the coastline and on the pretty slate miners' cottages at Balvicar and Ellenabeich conservation village.
Whatever the time of year there is always something to see; otters, seals, dolphins, porpoises, pine marten, deer, sea eagles, herons, oyster catchers, curlews and many more. In the summer months minke whales and basking sharks also visit our shores. Sealife Adventures and Seafari operate whale and wildlife watching boat trips from Seil Island with opportunities to also visit the world-
famous Corryveckan whirlpool, the third-largest in the world, that sits between the islands of Scarba and Jura.
On the southeast of Seil Island, the renowned Ballachuan Hazelwood nature reserve hosts a large number of lichen, bryophytes and fungi as well as providing a rich habitat for butterflies and it has a great coastline for otter spotting.
About half way along the road from Balvicar to Cuan (where you get the ferry to Luing) is Kilbrandon Church, which is named after St Brendan the Navigator, an Irish monk from the 6th Century. The church has an exceptional collection of 5 stained glass windows designed by Douglas Strachan, considered the most significant designer of stained glass windows in the 20th century. His work can also be seen in Edinburgh Castle.
The neighbouring slate islands of Easdale and Luing are also just 3 minutes away by local ferry. There are local museums on Seil Island, Easdale and Luing with extensive information on the local area both past and present; well worth a visit.
Things to do. Seil island offers considerable scope across a wide range of activities including walking, bird watching, sea-kayaking, sailing, fishing, cycling, golf (Seil has its own 9 hole coastal golf course) and photography.
Whether it’s a peaceful stroll along the shore or enjoying the views at Pulladobhrain anchorage, the Atlantic Bridge or around the whole of Easdale Island you’ll be inspired by what you see. For the more energetic, enjoy high point views from the trig point on the ridge, or the almost aerial views from the impressive slate cliffs across Ellenabeich, Easdale Island and on to the Garvellachs, even Jura, Colonsay and Islay on a good day.
Eating out. If you do want to eat out and enjoy local seafood and game, there is the characterful Tigh an Truish Inn by the Atlantic Bridge, the Oyster Bar at Ellenabeich where you can watch the sun set, or if you fancy a short trip across the water to Easdale, the charming Puffer Bar. Just a little further away is the new award-winning Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing which also offers good food and sea views alongside interesting local history