Bucinch & Ceardach
Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater loch in Great Britain. It is on the boundary between the Lowlands and Highlands of Central Scotland. It is 24 miles long and varies from 0.75 miles to 5 miles in width. It has a maximum depth of 620 feet. Altogether the lake has more than thirty islands and islets.
Public access to the islands is free, but dogs should not be taken in order to protect the wildlife. The islands are a breeding ground for a large number of ground-nesting birds.
Those using a motor boat on Loch Lomond should observe the 6 mph speed limit which is in force for 500 feet (150 metres) from the shores around most of these islands. Neighbouring Inchmurrin Island is the only island on Loch Lomond that offers accommodation.
The word Bucinch means "Island of Goats" and its steep and rocky terrain is the perfect home for sure-footed mountain goats, although none now remain. The island rises steeply from its rocky coastline to the 78-foot (24 metre) high summit and is covered in trees and wind-blown shrubs.
The island's appeal is that it has remained totally natural and unspoilt having not been inhabited for centuries. There are the remains of a small jetty on the southeast side of the island.
Ceardach in Gaelic means "smithy" or "tinker" so Ceardach is known locally as Tinker's Island. It is situated to the east of Bucinch and is a tiny islet which is little more than a rocky mass surrounded by deep water and covered in a thin layer of topsoil.
Despite its insular situation, it supports a wide range of trees and shrubs, no doubt seeded by birds, humans, wind and rain over time. There is a mature oak tree, along with willow, brambles and holly. During dry weather the shallow soil means the plants quickly turn brown and can look autumnal even in the height of summer.
Ceardach has a natural harbour which is easy to access near some flat exposed rocks. It is the perfect place to arrive by boat and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine on the rocky plateau. The natural beauty and peace of the area are the main attractions.
Archaeological evidence has uncovered signs of an Iron Age furnace which may have been used for smelting ore. Fuel and ore could easily have been transported across by boat. It would certainly have been a desirable place to live and work, free from surprise attacks by animals or man.
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Bucinch & Ceardach Postcode for SatNav: G83