It took a three hour boat trip from Oban to visit this small fish shaped Inner Hebridean Island, which is about seven miles off the coast of the Isle of Mull. Mull is off the coast of Oban on the West Coast of Scotland. The Isle of Coll has a population of about two hundred and only has one real village which is Arinagour, half the islands population live in the village which is where the ferry drops you off.
There is not a lot on Coll, which is only roughly about thirteen miles long and 4 miles at its widest, apart from over thirty beautiful white sand dune beaches with stunning blue seas…..unfortunately for us it was just a little bit misty on the day we visited. But if you go to the southwest coast you will come across two amazing castles, they are called the Old Breachacha Castle and the New Breachacha Castle.
They look so amazing as you drive up to them, as Coll is quite flat, you see then coming way in the distance and neither are what I would say castle shaped, infact from a distance they just look like great big lumps of stone. But as you get nearer they start to take on a shape, both very different from each other.
The Old Castle is a mid 15th century tower house with later modifications and was the strong hold of the Macleans of Coll, the island having been granted to John Maclean in 1431.
The Old Castle was superseded by a new dwelling in 1750, the old castle continued to be occupied and falling into a ruinous state only in the mid 19th century.
In the 1930’s some work was carried out to prevent further dilapidation to the castle, it was only restored in the 1960’s and is now a family home. We came across on the same ferry as the owners and when we were exploring around the castles the owners were out feeding the sheep, so even if you own a castle you still have work to do. The castle is now a Category A listed building. The New Castle will be be featured in another post, as both castles are so different from each other.