Download GPX file for this article
56.50931-5.50999Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Castle Coeffin

Lismore is an island ten miles north of Oban in the sea inlet of Loch Linnhe. It's one of the Inner Hebrides islands, but little developed for tourism, and overlooked by visitors who sail by on the ferries. Lismore in Gaelic means "big garden" and it's low-lying, fertile and often lashed with rain. Unusually for these parts, it's a limestone ridge, the perfect antidote to peat bogs and midges. It was quarried in the 19th & early 20th century for lime but this industry has gone.

Get in[edit]

The Council-run ferry at Port Appin

See Oban for long-distance routes across the Scottish mainland.

Calmac ferries sail from Oban to 1 Achnacroich midway along the island, taking just under an hour. Year-round there are four sailings M-Sa and two on Sunday; times vary with the tides. Until end of March 2024, return fares are £26 per car, £6.10 per adult including driver, and £3.10 per child; bikes are free. Space for vehicles is limited so reservations are advised.

There's also a ferry between Port Appin 15 miles north of Oban and 2 Point at the north tip of Lismore (sometimes loosely referred to as Port Ramsay, but that's further south). It sails daily year round, hourly M-Sa and every couple of hours on Sunday, and takes 10 minutes. It's run by Argyll and Bute Council so it's not on the Calmac website; return fares are £4.60 adult, £2.60 child. There's no public transport to Port Appin: a school bus runs twice on schooldays from Oban to Appin village, two miles east of the pier. But if you get stuck, Port Appin has accommodation and eating and drinking places - two standouts are Pierhouse and Airds Hotel close to the ferry landing.

Get around[edit]

Map of Isle of Lismore

Bring a car or bike. The island is 12 miles long, with a paved single track lane running the top 9 miles of it; the south end is rough track only suitable for 4WD. There are no filling stations on Lismore.

Explore Lismore offer tours and transfers on the island.


St Moluags Cathedral
  • 1 Saint Moluag's Cathedral (Lismore Parish Church). St Moluag (510-592), a contemporary of St Columba, founded a monastery on the island. In medieval times this small church was the cathedral for the scattered diocese of Argyll, since it was easier then to get about by sea than by land. Note the doorways, sedilia (priests' seats), piscina (area for washing sacred vessels) and medieval grave slabs. It's now a Church of Scotland parish church and no longer a cathedral; the stain glass windows are modern. St Moluag's Cathedral, Lismore (Q1949638) on Wikidata St Moluag's Cathedral, Lismore on Wikipedia
  • 2 Ionad Naomh Moluag (Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre), +44 1631 760030. Apr-Oct daily 11:00-16:00. Small museum of island life, volunteer-run so the opening hours are just a statement of good intentions. With cafe.
  • 3 Tirefour Broch is an Iron Age structure on the east coat by Clachan.
  • 4 Castle Coeffin, Clachan PA 34 5UL (grid ref NM853437). 24 hours. Scenic but scrappy ruins of a castle built in the 13th century over a Viking fortress - Caifen was a Danish princess. It's an oblong tower within a bailey of later date. The even scrappier ruins to the northeast are the Norse "Castle Rachal". Free. Coeffin (Q5140582) on Wikidata Coeffin on Wikipedia
  • 5 Achanduin Castle is the ruin of a 13th-century fortress. Not much left of it, you come for the walk and the views.
  • Bernera is the tidal island beyond Achanduin Castle. See the remains of its medieval chapel and burial ground, limestone cliffs, seals and bird life.
  • 6 Eilean Musdile is the islet with the Stevenson lighthouse off the south tip of Lismore. Best view of it is from the ferry from Oban to Lismore; the ferry to Craignure on Mull also passes nearby.


Port Ramsay
  • Walk Highlands suggest several hikes, many can be done as day trips from the ferry piers.


The Post Office and general store is open M-F 09:00-17:00 and Sa 09:00-13:00.


  • Stock up on food essentials at the Post Office, which has meats, cheese, bread, beverages and snacks.
  • Liosbeag Cafe is at the Heritage Centre (Ionad Naomh Moluag), same hours.


Lismore has no mains water, the houses and farms all draw from bore holes. Bring your own refreshments or stop by one of the small shops. The Post Office sells bottled drinks.


  • 1 Bunkhouse, Baleveolan Croft PA34 5UG, +44 7720 975433 (mobile). Dorm with 6 beds, 2 double rooms plus campsite & caravan / tourer pitches.
  • 2 Bachuil Country House, An Airidh PA34 5UL (north of Clachan), +44 845 490 0562, . Two doubles and one twin all en suite. B&B double £120.
  • Half a dozen self-catering lets available, see island website.


As of April 2022, Lismore has no mobile signal from any UK carrier.

Go next[edit]

  • Back to Oban for all routes by car or public transport.
  • Mull and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula are just five miles west, but you have to return to Oban and take a ferry or wind around Loch Linnhe by road to reach them.
This rural area travel guide to Isle of Lismore is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!