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Map view
Canna

Why it's ace - by Magda
It is a very special island and part of the Hebrides which are romantic and wild. It has a fascinating history and is within the Small Isles National Scenic Area – so there is something for everyone. You can stay on the island. Or eat at our lovely café! Discover a natural way of life. Come and visit us!

First you need to take the ferry boat from Mallaig. You might visit other islands on the way because Canna is the furthest of the Small Isles. The adventure and wildlife is apparent from the moment you leave the harbour. You'll see the dramatic landscapes of the mountains of Skye and Rum, with the ever changing light of the West. Porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks or minke whales are often seen on the journey across the sea.

Canna will appear on the horizon with steep basalt cliffs, rich green fields and a sheltered harbour. It is really two islands – you land on Canna but can walk over a bridge to Sanday. Canna is about six miles long and half a mile wide – so it is quite easy to explore. Its highest cliffs are about 200m – and, on a good day from there, you'll see the Outer Hebrides, Rum, Muck, Mull and Coll - and Knoydart and Ardnamurchan.

Canna is great for birding - among the species that nest on the island are sea and golden eagles, peregrine, merlin, eider and shelduck, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills and puffins. Up to 137 species of birds have been recorded! Seals and otters live by the shores while the woodlands and wild flowers contribute to a rich Lepidoptera. If it's warm, you can swim from one of the beaches, or maybe just fish from the rocks for mackerel and pollock.

People have lived on the island for thousands of years. There's plenty of evidence, from Neolithic monuments to early Christian sculptured stones to the ruins of abandoned townships. Many of the place names hint of Canna's past - for instance, the name of Sgorr nam Ban-naomha means 'the cliff of the holy women'.

The whole island is a sheep farm – but there's a variety of buildings on the island, too: St. Edward's Church, Coroghan Barn, Canna House, Change House, the primary school, Tighard (a B&B) and the Bothy (the island's restaurant). Each has its own history but Canna House is also home to a unique collection of Gaelic literature, folksongs, stories and images. The collection was created by Dr. John Lorne Campbell and his wife Margaret Fay Shaw Campbell. In 1981, the Campbells gave the island and its collections to the National Trust or Scotland.

The population varies but is usually around 20 people, including children. (There's a primary school but teenagers must take the ferry to school on the mainland.) The community is small but vibrant, and the summer months are busy with visitors and activities. We'd love you to share the magical atmosphere of Canna.

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