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Craggy Island Triathlon - Follow the adventure !

Posted by Bertie Badger on Sep 17, 2016 9:39:51 AM

Who said that October is a quiet month in Scotland with not enough events thatcould attract people to visit this beautiful country ? 

Certainly, in October, days start to get shorter, the sun disappears in late afternoon, and the weather is not always with you. However, there are a lot of activities and events available through October with something to offer everyone. 

If you speak with Atilla at the Deck he would advise you to join the Craggy Island Triathlon, as a spectator (unfortunately, all the entries are sold out to participate at the 2016 edition), for the week end, on Saturday the 8th of October and on Sunday the 9th of October, 2016!


The adventure happens from Oban, a 30 minute drive from Eriska, and continues on the Isle of Kerrera, the closest island from Oban. 

The race is composed as below : 

  • 550m Open Water Swim from Gallanach on the Mainland to the Isle of Kerrera. 
  • 14km Off-Road Mountain Bike on the Isle of Kerrera. 
  • 8km Off-Road Run on the Isle of Kerrera, with the most incredible views of the island, the Forth of Lorne, and the Isle of Mull, the ruined Gylen Castle before returning to the finish at the ferry slip. 

To encourage the athletes during this hard competition, take up your starting position on the mainland at Gallanach beyond the Calmac ferry terminal, in Oban. And for the most assidous, cross over to the Isle of Kerrera, it is only 5 minutes ferry ride away from Oban, and enjoy this time to discover this wild and beautiful island!


For more information about Isle of Kerrera, click here to visit the Isle of Kerrera website. 

And if you do not want to go to the Isle of Kerrera by swimming, check the ferries timetable over here

Please find below the Craggy Island Schedule

  • Craggy Island Tri Day 1 (550m Swim, 14km MTB, 8km Hill Run)  - Saturday 8th October 2016. Start Time approx. 12:30pm
  • Craggy Island Tri Day 2 (550m Swim, 14km MTB, 8km Hill Run)  - Sunday 9th October 2016.Start Time approx. 2pm
  • Craggy Kids race (approx. 150m Swim, 4.5km MTB, 1.9km Run - Sunday 9th October 2016. TriStars 2/3 & Youth for ages 11-16. Start Time approx. 3pm


The Craggy Island Triathlon is a fundraiser for the Oban Mountain Rescue Team so its not simply about winning but also taking part or simply watching and considering for 2017!

After watching an event like that, I am pretty sure you will wish to book your entries for the next edition in 2017 ! In this case, Isle of Eriska hotel will be present on the start line to encourage you! 

Topics: sports

10 family activities to do from Eriska

Posted by Bertie Badger on Aug 8, 2016 7:20:59 PM

Every year we get requests about Family Activities when staying at Eriska and this always results in lots of research but in truth it is the blind leading the blind as we do not get involved in family activities as such so end up suggesting itineraries that we would like to do and the potential guests does not know the area well so often books activities that are a distance away or not ideal for the age group of children. So this year- just ot show we are learning- we have been monitoring the activities that gain the greatest reports from our visitors and tose taht the rave about whatever the weather. We have tried to take into account the lucky guests with the most sunshine and balance these with the guests who were caught out.


We have not listed them in any particular order and have taken family to mean multi generation party who have a variety of ability and interest but set out to keep the majority happy- no Pokemon Go mentioned!



  • 1. Sealife Centre 

If you want to discover scotish wildlife, we advise to go to the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary, at just 15 minutes driving from the Isle of Eriska hotel.You could meet the adorable seals and hear the touching stories behind their rescues or visit the playful otters and the other species. It is the perfect place to enjoy with family in case of rainning weather while learning about the scottish nature


  • 2. Seafari Adventures 

Seafari Adventures offers exceptional wildlife and nature boat trips to see whales, porpoise, dolphins, basking sharks, otter, golden and white tailed sea eagles and much more in our European Special Area of Conservation - Firth of Lorne. Our tip is dress warmly - they offer waterproofs but this does not keep out the cold at 30 knots! There are differents type of boat trips, for all tastes, all ages, ideal to take a big breath of fresh air with family ! It is located 1hour driving from the hotel, at the south of Oban, hence.


  • 3. Explore Mull 

The Isle of Mull, the most closest island from Oban, is one of the most beautiful island of west highland. It offers variest landscapes and activities for all family. Wildlife, castles, mountain hire bike, walking, each one will find what is he looking for in The Isle of Mull ! If you go to Mull, you absolutely must discover Tobermory village, on the west coast. It is a beautiful fishing village with colored buildings along the main street to the pier. You will find a good variety of shops, hotels and other accomodations. And if you are whisky lovers, we advise to go to the Tobermory distillery, very famous for it tradditional savoir-faire - with moderation of course ! 


It is easy to access Craignure from Oban, with a direct ferry go and return several times per day. Booking is required during busy summermonths on the Oban ferry, however, the other two are not possible to book, and places are normally available when required.

If you prefer, The Isle of Eriska hotel may also arrange a private charter from Eriska to Tobermory (Isle of Mull) and return would be £550.00 for the boat, with our partner Costal Connection. Departure around 10:00am from Eriska and return at 5:00pm so you can spend some time on Mull.

  • 4. The Jacobite's Train 

Fan of Harry Potter and of all it sorcery ? We have the perfect activity for your family ! Take the famous Jacobite train from Fort William (1 hour driving from the hotel) - which inspired the Harry Potter movies - and travel through the amazing landscapes,  until Mallaig village. 3 hours of pure happiness, and you will come back with full stars in your eyes. Find all the thrills of Harry Potter's movie, an activity to do from 7 to 77 years...


  • 5. Ice Factory 

Only  1hours drive from the hotel, you can discover the Ice Factory with a wide range of indoor & outdoor activities to ensure that you are entertained whatever the weather. No experience necessary, making for the perfect family day out. Rock climbing, ice climbing, ready for a sporting day with family ? Feel the adrenaline as if you were in natural environnement  !


  • 6. Sea Kayak 

For many one of the attractions is the sea and therefroe a desire "to get out on the water" and what better way to do this and potentially closest way without getting wet than in a kayak. This is an activity which can be adjusted to suit all ages and ability and depending on the weather can offer a challenge or stress free activity.  Guests of all ability and ages can take part and they will come to Eriska to allow you to set off and return with dignity! Sea kayak company is an excellent partner situated in Oban. Wetsuits and footwear are provided. 


  • 7. Mountain biking  

Why do not try Isle of Eriska's bikes to explore the island in family by a sunny day ? Isle of Eriska is an ideal place from which to enjoy tours into the majestic highland landscapes 

You can hire our mountain bikes to cycle on the island, exploring the surrounding area or load them up on the car for   a day trip.

You can pre-book and borrow mountain bikes and necessary equipment from our Spa Reception. And if you plan a day trip, The Isle of Eriska may arrange a picnic for all the family, for more information, please contact directly the reception team. 


  • 8. Archery

Would you like try a sport combining strengh and cleverness ? Try this ancient and noble sport using the traditional longbow of the Scottish Highlands. Learn the basics of this challenging weapon and test your martial skill under the guidance of former 'longbow World Champion of the Wand' 2006, Sean O'Byrne. Archery is taken part 4.5 miles from the hotel, in Artdorna - please contact 07867 785524 for further information. 


  • 9. Golf 
Why do not enjoy of the leisure facilities offered by The Isle of Eriska hotel during your stay ? Our Golf Course and Driving Range is open to Non-residents as well as our Residents from 8am until 8pm seven days a week. All ages and abilites are welcome to play the course and use the driving range.

No need to book in advance, turn up and pay to play! Enjoy stunning views as you make your way around our golf course for only £15.00 (adults) and £7.50 (children) a day and  £6.00 for our Driving Range. Golf clubs and golf trolleys are available to hire from our Stables Reception. Make a day of it an enjoy a golfers lunch in our Veranda Restaurant from 12.30pm until 2pm.


  • 10. Fishing 

Only 30 minutes drive from The Isle of Eriska hotel, relax in family at Inverrawe Smokehouse learning fishing along the River Awe, in the beautiful park of Inverawe. Afterwards- or as a break-  enjoy the smokery exhibition and taste the finished product with smoked salmon based in their nice coffee shop. Alternatively for tye more adventurous try Sea Fishing on the west coast with Blue Fin Chrters based out of Dunstaffanage Marina they have had some very successful seasons and trips in local water and  boats can be arranged to track down deep sea fish.


As you see it, West Highland is full of funny activities to do with family, at just few miles from The Isle of Eriska hotel. Whether sporting, educational, creative or  gourmet ?  What activity will you choose ? Make your choice and enjoy Scoltand ! 

Topics: sports

Glasgow 2014: Pretending You Know Everything About the Commonwealth Games

Posted by Bertie Badger on Jun 19, 2014 5:10:00 PM

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It’s just shy of a month now until the beginning of the commonwealth games, which this year is being hosted in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. With preparation near completion, the populous is eager to welcome the 6500 athletes and officials from all 71 countries participating and relive some of the excitement from London 2012.

But those among us that don't share the same enthusiasm for large sporting events may find themselves unsure about what the commonwealth actually is and will certainly struggle to participate in the chatter and excitement when the games have begun and so we have composed a beginners guide to get you through this difficult time.

The Basics

There are 17 sports in total during the games in which the athletes will be competing for gold. (categories like athletics and aquatics can be broken down further into multiple events, though it's easier to generalise them).

Via the process of elimination, the athletes are narrowed down to a selection of the fastest and most skilled few. You will be able to spot them immediately as the ones who cross "the line" first, throw stuff the furthest distance or win the most points. 


The commonwealth games, originally called the British Empire Games, is an international event in which the "Commonwealth of Nations" (composed mostly of countries who were once in the British Empire) compete in multiple sports.

The games were first held in Canada in 1930. It originally featured 400 athletes from 11 countries and has run every four years since its creation (except for both 1942 and 1946 as a result of World War 2).

2014 will mark the 3rd time that Scotland have hosted the games, with Edinburgh having hosted it in 1970 and 1986.

The Athletes

There are literally thousands of athletes competing in the games - so it's not practical to know who all of them are and who to support.

The simplest way for deciding who to back would to naturally support any from your own country. However, should this not be possible, don't worry - simply selecting another that you wouldn't mind winning would do.

Try and learn the names of some of the most famous athletes (even from other teams). They are famous for a reason and are good fallbacks if you are really stuck. Here's the must-know list:

  • Mo Farah

Expect to see the crowd go crazy when this British Athlete runs onto the track. With two Olympic Gold medals under his belt from London 2012, Farah is seen as a sure-thing for both the 5000m and 10000m this year.

  • Nicola Adams

Another popular Brit following the Olympics Games, Nicola Adams was the first woman to win a gold medal in Boxing at the Olympic Games and was selected to be an Ambassador for Glasgow 2014.

  • Usain Bolt
The fastest man in the world. Though it still remains a mystery if Usain Bolt will actually compete this year, he is the favourite for the 100m. However should he not make an apperance, supporting any of his Jamaican counterparts will generally be a good alternative.

Watching Live

One of the most important parts of pretending to know about sport is how you react while watching it. Though general screaming when your chosen team are winning with the occasional fist-pump may fool a few, you'll need to throw in some words to fool your most knowledgable friends. Here's a list of simple phrases to get you by:

  • "Come on!" - effective when your team is lagging behind, but not so much so that it's embarrassing. Though can also be used when you're athlete is winning and close to the end of the race/game.

  • "Ouch, that's going to hurt." - mostly used when someone falls over (laughing would be an acceptable alternative if the player is not seriously injured) though can also be used for contact sports like boxing.

  • "That's going to lose him/her some points" - most likely to come up during gymnastics when the athlete is a little unsteady, though can also be used for precision sports like shooting and indoor bowls.

  • "What was that?" - if your team are starting to lose to the point of no return, critisising their performance may save your pride. Take your chance at any evident fumbles or poor plays.

Hint: Always question the ruling of the referee if it goes against your favour. They are evidently trying to stop you from winning.

When in Doubt

Throughout the games, there will be full coverage on both TV and Radio with many commentators analysing the players and events that are worth talking about. Bring a notepad and write down a thing or two to use in conversation between events.

Escape the Craze

Of course, there is always the option of escaping the games entirely. Spending near 2 weeks attempting to take part in something you couldn't care less about is exhausting work. Save yourself the hassle and book a trip to the country where the closest person is three miles away; find a tranquil utopia where you can relax peacefully away from the craze of Glasgow and other bigger cities. 


Book Your Summer Break NOW!

Topics: commonwealth, glasgow 2014, mo farah, scotland hotels, luxury hotels scotland, luxury 5 star hotels, sports