Carna is a very special place in many ways, but one that always shines through is its presence in the memory of many families who have spent their holidays on the island enjoying the quality time together that Carna is perfect for. Here, we thought we would share the story of one visiting family experiencing Carna for the first time and what they made of it.
“Every year, my wife and I pack up the car with children and dogs (our own!) and head off into the sunset to discover a new part of Scotland for a one week, winter holiday… the location always changes, but the ‘mission-goal’ remains the same… isolation, beauty, birds and animals!
Sadly our 2014 visit to the islands of Carna, which lies just off the coast of Ardnamurchan, will be the last time our children get to discover a new part of Scotland… from now on it will be Carna every time!
We arrived, our car creaking with enough provisions and shopping to last us well past Christmas. We were met by Tom who brought us to the island. He gave us detailed instruction on how to operate the small boat that is provided as a little ‘run around’. He then deposited us in the larger of the two cottages on the island (Carna House) and showed us the basics of living without mains electricity and then he was gone… leaving behind him a family with no ipads, no telly… in fact no parenting tools at all!
He needn’t have worried! Carna provides more entertainment than one can know what to do with… walking to the top of the hill is a must, as is walking along the sea shore looking for shells, fishing off the pontoon… and also, (though this may not be everyone’s cup if f tea), fashioning a rudimentary catapult with which to ‘ping’ brussel sprouts at your youngest child!
The boat also provides masses of fun and adventure… though make sure you follow the map carefully because if you don’t stick to the channels you will soon run aground! Our first voyage on the boat we were treated to the spectacle of two white tailed eagles soaring close overhead, a family of otters mucking about, not 20m from us, and an inquisitive family of seals less than 10m from us!
We visited in late November, when the sun barely gets over the hills to the south of Carna, so it was dark by four o’clock, at which time people withdraw to the cottage, light the gas lamps and the fires and settle down to games of battleships or reading stories to one another.
The facilities are perfect… they are sufficiently simple to maintain the feel of a ‘back to basics’ holiday, whilst still providing essentials, such as hot water and good cooking facilities.
The cooker in the kitchen is more than capable of producing bread, roast dinners and cakes. The wood burning stoves belt out heat and on several occasion we had to open windows to cool down!
Billy’s (5) favourite moments were “I liked when we were going to see the otters… and going fishing for cole fish… and I liked us all reading the story of ‘Danny Champion of the World… i liked making bread and brownies with daddy. I got pinged by brussels sprouts which was awesome!’
Jack’s (6) favourite moments were “What I most liked was seeing the hinds on the hill and going on the boat trip. I also like eating the swiss roll”
THE SCRIVENOR FAMILY, PERTHSHIRE, NOVEMBER 2014.
The Scrivenors returned for more fun Carna action in July 2015…