island of shuna holiday lets, Scotland

A unique eco-friendly holiday
on a private Hebridean island

Escape the stresses of modern life and get back to nature on an island where time stands still. Imagine a holiday with no cars, no telephones, no roads, just an abundance of wildlife (red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, otters, seals, eagles) and the romance of life on a private island. A model for sustainability, Shuna, a working farm, has no ugly power lines. Solar panels and a small turbine harness the power of the sun and the wind for electricity. With a boat (provided) to visit neighbouring islands and explore Shuna's hidden coves you may even catch your own fish supper!

sunrise from the pier 

The Island

Shuna is approximately three miles long and one and a half miles wide, covering an area of over 1,000 acres. The island is 20 miles south of the Hebridean tourist hub of Oban, known as “The Gateway to the Isles.” The boat trip to Shuna from the mainland pier at Arduaine takes around 20 minutes. Shuna has just five holiday cottages so you often feel as if you have the whole island to yourself. Visitors are free to explore without restriction. Sheep are farmed on the island, which remains a working estate and visitors are welcome to join in with the farming activities when appropriate. The main architectural feature is the ruined castle - a Victorian neo-gothic classic. Legend has it the local Argyllshire architect went down with the Titanic in 1912, complete with the plans he was hoping to export to America.

Shuna Castle 

 The Cottages 

Until 2005-2006, Shuna holidaymakers had to rely solely on gas and paraffin, but thanks to a cutting edge renewable energy system that combines wind and solar power, all houses now have electricity. Water comes through taps from natural springs, although the pipes can be subject to occasional bovine vandalism! In keeping with the island’s “green” ethos, houses also have low-voltage electric lighting systems. Fires or wood-burning stoves (fuelled by logs you chopped earlier!!) provide warmth and atmosphere as you rest up in the evening to discuss your island adventures.

The South End House, which is mainly accessed by boat, is the ultimate escape from modern life. It boasts one of the most spectacular locations anywhere - two miles from any other property with uninterrupted views southward to Jura. Set in a beautiful bay close to ruined farm buildings and ancient burial mounds, families come back year-on-year to make this their very own island getaway.

The Pier House and the Boat House are perfect accommodations for those keen to spend a lot of time on the water. They are just yards from the pier, the main hub of activity on the island, where boats are launched and livestock and provisions come on and off. The cozy Boat House was built lovingly by the island’s owner and is the most luxurious cottage on the island with a state-of-the-art kitchen, Aga and wood-burner. The Pier House is a larger, cheaper option, but again is perfect for water sports enthusiasts and has the same fantastic views across Loch Shuna to the mainland and Loch Melfort.

Two hundred yards up a farm track lies the Garden House. Sitting next to what was the walled garden of the castle, overlooking woodland, this characterful cottage is packed with period features and has a real sense of the past belonging to it. It is also a good choice if you have toddlers or babies as it is a safe distance from the sea.

Revamped Oakwood Cottage available to rent from May 2014.

Located on the edge of a wood, with lovely walks into the island, is Oakwood Cottage (known to long-time regulars as the Bungalow). Set above its own bay but still only a short walk from the pier, this cottage is ideal for those who want a bit of seclusion but not too much. Oakwood, which was not advertised for letting in 2013, will be undergoing a revamp this winter in time for the summer season.

There are mains charging points in every house. There is also a charging station below the Boat House at the pier for keeping mobile phones, laptops, mp3 players etc topped up. There is fairly good coverage for mobile phones around the island, and at sea. There is also an island laundry at the pier, which can be made available for an extra charge.


click on thumbnail for bigger image

Boats and the Sea

 A knowledge of boating and the sea is NOT necessary to enjoy a holiday on Shuna. Included with each holiday let is a 19 foot long aluminum hulled open assault craft with a small outboard motor. Each boat will take a maximum of six people. This will enable you to travel back and forth to the mainland during good weather, and to explore both the coastline of Shuna and much of the surrounding sea. You can visit sheltered bays, picnic on unspoilt beaches and make land on uninhabited islands! For the more adventurous we also have canoes for adults and children alike. Lifejackets are provided. We also have a fleet of sit on canoes for use in our own sheltered Pier Bay, which are freely available for the use of all cottage visitors.

Boating and the sea 

We are pleased to announce that Rob and Kathryn James will be managing the Shuna cottage business and living in the farmhouse, starting mid-November.

Island of Shuna Facebook page


 "This place is just the best place for a great holiday! We have been three years in a row and will be back next year. Peace quiet rest and a fantastic pace of life." 

Yvonne Birks 

"Hi, yes it was absolutely stunning, enjoyed every moment! back now to normal life!!"

Lorraine Cruse



Paddling stealthily  

through silk seas 

we hold our breath 

as the otter surfaces. 


His log body floats across the waves 

head raised 

then with a flick  

he is gone 

long tail sliding into darker depths. 


Up again 

like a champagne cork 

bobbing and chomping 

on a luckless fish. 

We hear bones crunching. 


There’s snow in the air 

and the ridges are dusted 

like Christmas Stollen. 


A cloud the size of Scotland 

presses down on the heron’s languid flight 

and a rubber-headed seal 

pounces on a bouy 

a toy to play with in its loch-sized bath. 


Then hail hits the waves 

A pounding of diamonds 

Beautiful and sharp. 


Mica Schist captures the brilliance 

In its ripples 

Nature’s mirror ball 

Reflecting the rainbow’s fraying end. 


We float home 

with eiders whistling in our ears 

the urgent flock of redwings 

in the twinkling of our eyes 


our heads ablaze  

with birds and beasts and light. 


© Sally Brown