Where is The Isle of Eigg?
The Isle of Eigg lies off the west coast of Scotland. Roughly 170 miles from Glasgow and 200 miles from Edinburgh.
How do you get to Eigg?
From Glasgow the main way to get to Eigg by public transport is to take the train from Glasgow which travels the West Highland Line to Mallaig. From Mallaig a one hour ferry ride takes you over to Eigg.
Facts About the Isle of Eigg
- Eigg is 9 km (5.6 miles) long and 5 km (3.1 miles) wide
- It's highest point is the 393 m (1,289 feet) peak of An Sgurr (the rocky peak), which is easily recognizable from the mainland.
- The Islands landmass is a total of 12 square miles
- An average of 130 species of bird are recorded annually on Eigg
- The current population of Eigg is just over 100
- Eigg has the first completely wind, water and sun electricity grid in the world
- Eigg generates 100% of its electricity using renewable energy
There is a craft shop by the Cafe and also a shop and post office.
Some great Eigg websites:
Isle of Eigg - A great Eigg resource covering places to visit, accommodation, nature and heritage etc. and a page about the Eigg Heritage Trust.
The Small Isles – Scotland's Hebridean Treasure - some great information on Eigg from the meaning of place names to Geology and Archeology
Click image above for an article on sheep farming in Eigg
My Relationship with Eigg
I've visited Eigg several times over our 20 year relationship. My deepest ties with the island will always be spiritual ones. It's a place that I've visited with family, with the Centre for Human Ecology during my MSc (whose Alistair McIntosh played a pivotal role in the campaign for the buy-out) and worked with local folks but the visit that will always be monumental was in 2016 when I visited in pilgrimage. It was on that visit that the idea for the retreat was born.
Community Land Buyout
Scotland isn't like America I don't know of anyone in Scotland who owns land. In fact 50% of the private land in rural Scotland is owned by 0.008% of the population (source: General Registers of Scotland). Land ownership has a long and often brutal historical past. With the help of Alistair McIntosh (of the Centre for Human Ecology) the Isle of Eigg created a campaign to purchase the island from an absentee German owner. The island's inhabitants lives changed forever in 1997 when the community purchased the island. It also inspired many small communities to go the same route.
Articles on the community buy out on Eigg: