The Last Post

Just over nine years ago the first post on ‘Life on Tiree’ was published and we would like to express our appreciation for all those who have followed our blog over the years.  We had lived in England for about forty years and friends wanted to know more about our return to Scotland and the […]


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Comings And Goings

For the Isle of Tiree it has been a busy week with all kinds of comings and goings. The weekend  saw the return of the Tiree Music Festival after a 2 year break as a result of the pandemic. (This event has become a marker date with events ‘Pre’ and ‘Post’ Pandemic.) To accommodate the […]

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Where The Music Meets The Ocean

‘Where the Music Meets the Ocean’ that’s the strapline for Tiree Music Festival 2022. Surely there can be no other UK Music Festival so close to the sea. Just across the single track road from the festival site, the family campsite is almost on the shore and in the bay yachts sat anchor. You could […]

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Fèis Week

It is the week of the Fèis. In 1990, the Fèis Thiriodh was established to foster and promote the language, culture and music of Tiree. Most of these traditions have been handed down through the medium of Gaelic and the language is used as much as possible. For those of us who have little or no Gaelic, there is much to learn about Tiree’s traditionl culture.

The yacht – Blue Clipper – leaving just hours before the ‘invasion’.

Iseabail Chaimbeul, a Tiree resident, reported – Another brilliant week at Fèis on Tiree, celebrating 30 years! Such brilliant tutors and an amazing committee working so hard to make it all happen. Móran taing dhuibh uile.  Earlier in the week Feis Thiriodh youngsters and tutors Scott Wood and Mhairi Marwick Wood, performed for Tigh a’ Rudha Care Home.

Thursday evening – foot passengers descending via the gangway

The weekend witnesses another ‘Fèis’ – Fèis Chiùil Thiridh. In other words Tiree Music Festival. Over the weekend the island’s population more than doubles with the arrival of those attending the festival.

Foot passengers coming up the stern ramp

Due to the pandemic ’TMF’ had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021. This must have created all manner of problems for the organisers as both events had to be organised well in advance. There must be a sigh of relief that TMF 2022 is actually underway.

Foot passengers heading up the pier

It has not been without its problems. Early in the week the festival organisers were informed by the company that was about to set up the Big Top that they would not be able to carry out the work due to a lack of specialist staff. 

TMF Bus Stop by the pier

What a blow!  However, at short notice they were able to borrow a Saddlespan Stage from Nevis Range in Fort William which has allowed them to continue the festival. Good News indeed.

The ‘MV Clansman’ arriving out of the murk

With no Big Top TMF will  be held completely outdoors and those attending the festival are advised to be aware of the weather and bring appropriate clothing.

The ‘Mighty One’ approaching the pier

The weather for much of the week has had a major impact on flights to the island.  Poor visibility resulted in the cancellation of flights on several days, even making it impossible for the air ambulance to land.  On Friday morning the first flight was cancelled, but in the afternoon two flights were able to land.

The bridge

CalMac, the ferry operator, has an amended timetable in place to facilitate the arrival and departure of festival goers and the vital commercial vehicles.  Running Wednesday to Wednesday there is an  additional sailing on most days. 

The sound of the ‘PIPES’ could be heard coming across the waters of the bay

The first wave of the invasion was on Thursday evening, with the arrival of the ‘MV Clansman’ with around 550 passengers on board,  the majority of them being foot passengers. It seemed so appropriate that the Skipper on these crossings is from the Isle of Tiree. Working closely with the captain and crew of the ferry, the pier team safely brought vehicles and fort passengers ashore.

From the wings of the bridge a watchful eye

First of all the vehicles and their passengers came ashore, followed by the foot passengers.  The majority of the foot passengers came off via the car deck, with some descending the gangway. No one was allowed to make their way up the pier until the car deck had been cleared.

The Elevate Stage

At the head of the pier buses were ready and waiting to take foot passengers, to the site by An Talla at Crossapol. Much of their luggage was transported by van to be collected later at the site.

Saddlespan Stage

Just over twelve hours later the second wave arrived. The ‘MV Clansman’ entered the bay out of the murk that hung over the island. From the stern of the ferry the sound of the bagpipes could be heard and as the vessel swung round to berth the piper could be seen as well as heard.

TMF Glamping

With more vehicles and foot passengers leaving the island, all the inbound foot passengers were brought off via the car deck, once it had been cleared of vehicles. Once again the pier team must be congratulated for the manner in which the arrival of almost 600 passengers was managed.

Transmit Festival in Glasgow is no rival when it comes to views
Keep smiling no matter the weather

The Tiree Music Festival Website paints an idyllic picture of ‘Life on Tiree’ – Think picture-perfect white sands. World-famous surf. Deserted roads lined with lush greenery and wild flowers. Not forgetting more sunshine than practically anywhere else in the UK. It’s little wonder that the tiny Hebridean island of Tiree is nicknamed the ‘Hawaii of the North’. 

The expanse of Baugh Beach Crossapol

The sand is white and the surf is world famous, but when over a thousand festival goers descend on the island the roads are no longer deserted. As for sunshine, this year it has deserted the West Coast of Scotland, including the Isle of Tiree. As the festival goers made their way onto the island you could see the shock on some of their faces as they encountered the mist and drizzle. Some were decidedly under dressed for the weather.

Wild Swimming – no wet-suits

At least the forecast does not include high winds and by Sunday there might even be some sunshine.  It may even be out for the Sunday Service led by Celtic Worship from the Saddlespan Stage with Church on Tiree involved in the gathering.  The band, Celtic Worship, is a collective of some of Scotland’s most talented folk musicians who approach worship from a unique standpoint, blending traditional and contemporary Christian music with the sounds of their native roots.

This is ‘Life on Tiree’

The MV Clansman heading back out to sea
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Remarkable Seamanship

It was Tuesday evening and the wind had been gusting to 40mph from the South East, the swell was clear to see and it was high tide. These were far from ideal conditions for berthing at Tiree. Earlier in the day the ‘MV Clansman’ had been unable to berth at Colonsay, although en route to […]

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A Nautical Theme

It must have been around 10am that a caller at our home enquired about an unusual ferry berthed at the pier. A quick look at Marine Traffic confirmed that the vessel was the Hebridean Princess.  Built as a ferry she no longer operates in that capacity as after a refit in 1989 she emerged as […]

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Walking from our home towards the pier we could see two enormous masts out in the bay. A quick glance at Marine Traffic revealed that the masts in question belonged to the yacht Drumbeat. At this point in time we did not have the camera with us as the weather, although just about dry, was […]

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Every Reason To Be Grateful

The photographs may have a nautical theme but the narrative is much wider. The latter is an explanation of why we have every reason to be grateful. The occasion was a brief visit to the Mainland port of Oban for an appointment at the ‘Lorne and Islands Hospital’. The appointment was on the Friday morning […]

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Sunday evening brought to a climax a weekend of celebration Throughout the UK many came together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  Here on the Isle of Tiree the weekend began with the lighting of a beacon/bonfire on top of Ben Gott on Thursday and concluded on Sunday with ‘afternoon tea’ in An Talla (the […]


A Timely Catch-Up

A month has passed since we last reported on our life on Tiree. On that occasion we were travelling south to meet up with our family for a celebration – our Golden wedding – although the actual date was in January. In all we were off island for two whole weeks. However, we have been […]

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