The island of Oronsay
January 14, 2017
Oronsay is a small, privately owned tidal island to the south of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides. With an area of just over 2 square miles it is connected to Colonsay by a tidal causeway known as The Strand and having no facilities of its own, it is entirely dependent upon its tidal access to and from Colonsay.
The island is best known for Oronsay Priory, a 14th century Augustinian ruin, probably on the same site as the original, founded in 563 by St Oran. It became an important religious centre for the islands and Argyll over the next two hundred years. The ruins are well-preserved and there is a wonderful collection of carved gravestones and the Oronsay Cross, which was carved on Iona, is one of the finest examples remaining.
Along with southern Colonsay, the island became a Special Protection Area in December 2007 in order to preserve their resident populations of choughs and breeding corncrakes.
The islands south of Oronsay are home to several seal colonies and one of the small islands, Eilean nan Ron (Seal Island) is a nature reserve.
The tiny Seal Cottage stands alone in a lovely location overlooking the sands, grey seals can often be seen in the water and rocks here. The views across to Jura and the Paps are magnificent.