Shopping & Services

Shopping on Colonsay

For a small island, Colonsay offers a good range of shopping outlets, as well as essential services. 

The Colonsay General Store

The store has an excellent range of fresh produce and can supply most things.  It also has a well thought through selection of wines, beers and spirits.

Open Monday to Saturday, 9.00am to 5.30pm; Sunday 11.30am - 12.30pm.

You can pre-order your supplies by phone or via the website and have them waiting in your cottage for your arrival. Find out more about this service on our website or tel 01951 200265

Colonsay Shop

The Bookshop

Open every day (except Sunday) from 3pm until 5.30pm.

Located prominently in Scalasaig, the bookshop specialises in Scottish publications but also has a supply of good holiday reading and children’s books with a distinctly Highland flavour.

Tel: 01951 200232 or 01951 200320

Bookshop web-page

The Old Waiting Room Gallery

The Old Waiting Room Gallery – down at the harbour & open most days

Stocking a great array of art, craft & gifts, including work by local and visiting artists. It is the place to buy your Colonsay Square Hat and peruse the Colonsay Wool Growers yarns, knitting kits and garden string. The Gallery is also home to the Tourist Information Point.

Old Waiting Room Gallery

Wild Island Distillery and Colonsay Brewery

Open most afternoons.

Just up from the pier you will find the Wild Island Distillery and Colonsay Brewery. It is home to Gold Medal winning Wild Island Botanic Gin and a number of island distilled seasonal specials.  You'll also find Colonsay Brewery's award winning bottled beers here too.


Colonsay Brewery

Christine’s Den

Open most afternoons.

The arts and crafts shop sells locally made items as well as delightful gifts from further afield. You’ll find the Den next to the fire station near the Colonsay General Store at Scalasaig. 

Colonsay Cycle Hire - Archie's Bikes

Bikes for hire: the best way to see the island.  £10.00 per day / £45.00 per week. Small children's bikes, Tag-alongs, Buggies and Helmets free with adult bikes. Call ARCHIE or JAN on 01951 200355 or 07833 900869 or 07525 424907.  Colnatarun Croft, Kilchattan.

Getting Married or having a Celebration

You can arrange to be married in Colonsay. The celebration can take place in any location on the island, and you can arrange for the Registrar to conduct the ceremony, or a Minister of Religion or have a Humanist wedding.  Catering can be provided by The Colonsay hotel, The Pantry or Colonsay House Gardens.  Full wedding packages can be provided by The Colonsay hotel.  Contact the Registrar on 01951 200263 or write to The Registrar, Isle of Colonsay, Argyll PA61 7YW.

Services on Colonsay

The Village Hall and Community Garden

Colonsay has an excellent and modern Village Hall, with all facilities to cater for 100 guests or even more.  The adjoining Community Garden is a great additional bonus, and by happy coincidence the office of the Registrar adjoins the Village Hall.  For more details Registrar: 01951 200263 Hall Manager: 01951 200157

Doctor

Tel: 01951 200328. There is a doctor and a district nurse on the island. The surgery hours are 9am to 10am and 5pm to 6pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The surgery is closed the other days except for emergencies.

The doctor is on call 24 hours, seven days a week. In the event of a medical emergency, an air ambulance will lift the patient to the appropriate hospital in Glasgow. The service is very quick and efficient.

Ferry service - Calmac

There is a daily ferry service to and from Colonsay from April to October. Calmac bookings can be made at Calmac or by telephone: 01631 566688.

The Colonsay pier can be reached on tel 01951 200308. 

Air service

Hebridean Air offers flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays, morning and afternoon to and from Oban and Colonsay.

There is also a flight from Colonsay to Islay on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to connect with the Flybe 0940 flight to Glasgow.

HebrideanAir operates a weekend flight to and from Colonsay on Friday and Sunday afternoons during the winter. Tel: 0845 8057465

See other transport links under Getting Here

Internet

There is free Wi-Fi access available at The Colonsay and the Council Service Point at the far end of the village hall.

Many accommodation providers have Wi-Fi too. 

Church services The Parish church is in Scalasaig and extends a warm welcome to all visitors; the church is always open and weekly services are held on Sundays at 11.30. The congregation is ecumenical and the services are conducted and maintained by the generosity of visiting ministers. The congregations of the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Church have come together for united worship and welcome members of all other denominations. See www.colonsaychurches.org 

The Island School: the younger children attend Kilchattan Primary School. Older children attend Oban High School but come home at weekends either by ferry or by special "scholar flights".

Tide timetables

The crossing between Colonsay and Oronsay is tidal. If you want to walk across you should make sure you go at the lowest ebb of the tide. The walk to Oronsay Priory and back will take some three to four hours so you should start the walk as the tide is receding.

The General Store and The Colonsay have a copy of the tide timetables and you can ask locals for advice. Also see Scalasaig tide times and scroll through to the relevant date.

Weather

The BBC provides excellent forecasts, in particular the Inshore Forecast for Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchan Point which is broadcast and also available on line.  Many local people use the Windfinder service, look for Colonsay Airport.

Fishing

The lochs are managed with a view to conserving the native brown trout. There are no rainbow trout and no imported fish. The native stock are a distinct strain, descendants of the fish introduced by the monastic community of Kiloran Abbey.

You may fish with a permit from March 17 to October 6, using only fly fishing methods.

A permit costs £25 per adult per week and can be purchased from the Office at Colonsay Estate. There are boats on Mid Loch Fada, West Loch Fada and Loch Sgoltaire available for hire for £10 a day (plus £10 deposit for the rowlocks).

Two good-sized fish (more than eight inches) per day may be kept for the table and all others must be returned to the water.