Nook & Cranny Holiday Cottages, Islay
About Our Location
The Oa Headland on Islay has many interesting places to walk and ramble. There are the Nineteenth Century ruined settlements of Tokamal, Grasdail on the west side of the Oa, near to a natural arch and blowhole at the edge of the cliffs and The Soldier's Rock which stands out proudly from the cliffs. On the Eastern side there are the old settlements of Lurabus, Inveravale, Ballychatrigan and Stremnishmore. New houses have been built above the lighthouse on the east coast and the new road gives easier access to Lurabus ruins. At the head of the Oa, which is now an RSPB sanctuary, is a monument to the American sailors who were drowned in two separate tragedies in the last months of the First World War. From this spot there is a wonderful view of the hills of Antrim and Rathlin Island also the surrounding areas of Islay right down to the South western point on the Rhinns of Islay and the lighthouse on Orsay Island. From this vantage point you may be lucky to spot the Golden Eagle and the rare Chough. RSPB organises walks throughout the summer which are worth thinking about.
Just above “The Nook” and “Cranny” cottages on the left hand side of the road above Lower Cragabus Croft House the remains of a chambered cairn stand out on the small hillock.
Right up to the middle of the twentieth century the Oa had its own church and school. The remains of the church can be seen alongside the old school and schoolhouse about two miles up the road from Lower Cragabus above the red telephone kiosk.
About a mile back down the road from The Nook & Cranny is the track to a safe bathing beach at Kilnaughton where there is also an old churchyard within which are interesting memorial stones. Beyond the lighthouse at Carraig Fhada there is a lovely sandy beach named locally as The Singing Sands. To reach this bay there is a marked pedestrian track.
Back on the west side, along the Kintra Road is the beginning of the Big Strand which stretches for seven miles, passing below the much acclaimed Islay Golf Course and Islay Airport and at the far end there are some quite high sand dunes which are great adventure areas for children.