INFORMATION FOR GUESTS COMING TO SWEENEY'S BOTHY
We are your hosts - Lucy and Eddie - and we're looking forward to meeting you and hope you will enjoy your holiday in Sweeney's Bothy. We've put together some information below about getting to Eigg, travel on the island, what's in Sweeney's Bothy and local food and drink. Hopefully this will answer any questions you have before you come, but if you need anything else, please get in touch by email or phone 01687 482 414.
GETTING TO EIGG
There are two parts to getting to Eigg. First drive or get a train or bus to Mallaig or Arisaig. Then take the ferry to Eigg from Mallaig (all year) or Arisaig (summer only). See the current ferry timetables here.
In case there are any changes or possible cancellations to your ferry, it's useful if you can let us know how and when you're travelling to Mallaig or Arisaig before coming over to Eigg, along with a contact number so we can get in touch with you. You can do this by email or phone 01687 482 414.
Car and car parking - The main road to Mallaig is the A82 from Glasgow, or Inverness, to Fort William, then the A830 to Mallaig. Allow at least four hours for your journey from Glasgow, five hours from Edinburgh, or three hours from Inverness.
You can park your car in the car park at the Mallaig & Morar Community Centre, the first building on your left as you come into Mallaig. The ferry terminal is five minutes’ walk from the car park, but you can drive to where the ferry leaves to deposit any luggage before you park.
Please note: no cars can be taken over to the Isle of Eigg.
Train - The West Highland Line, which runs between Fort William and Mallaig, is a famously scenic train ride and is one of the Great Railway Journeys of the World. There are usually four trains a day Monday to Saturday and two trains on a Sunday. Check timetable details on the Scotrail website.
If you're bringing a bike with you, you must book it well in advance as there are limited bike spaces and it’s often booked up! Bikes are free on the ferry and train and a great way to get between the bothy and the pier.
- The summer timetable, with ferries every day except Wednesday, runs from early April to mid October.
- The winter timetable, with ferries on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, runs from mid October to early April.
You don’t need to book for this ferry, but you can call 01687 462403 (option 2) for information, especially in case of possible bad weather. Check CalMac's Service Status webpage or get service status text alerts by texting ‘CALMAC 19’ to 60030. Or call Calmac office in Mallaig on 01687 462403, option 2.
Arisaig Marine’s Sheerwater ferry from Arisaig to Eigg from April to September only. Booking essential call 01687 450 224
You can see the current ferry timetables for both services here.
Ferry Cancellations - Eigg is an exposed island with occasionally extreme weather, even in the summer. Please be aware that ferries are sometimes cancelled. We recommend you take out travel insurance, if you don’t already have it, to cover any costs incurred due to travel problems. For information on what CalMac does and does not cover in the event of ferry cancellation, see the information on their Disruptions FAQ webpage.
We do love our weather forecasts on Eigg! We look at them two or three days in advance to get an idea of what the weather is likely to be, but things can change really fast, so sadly there's no guarantees. However, here's a couple of our favourite weather websites if you want to keep up with our musings - XCWeather and MetOffice
Overnight accommodation in Mallaig or Arisaig - You may want to stay overnight in Mallaig or Arisaig before coming over to Eigg. For accommodation in Mallaig or Arisaig please see the Road to the Isles website. You can also stay in Fort William, just over an hour’s drive from Mallaig or Arisaig, or get the 0830 train from Fort William, which connects with most ferries.
YOUR HOLIDAY ON EIGG
We will meet when you come off the ferry on Eigg and give you a lift to and from Cleadale - where Sweeney’s Bothy is located - at the start and end of your holiday. If you would like to stop at the shop en route, that’s fine. There’s plenty of time.
Sweeney’s Bothy is around an hour’s walk from the pier. If we’re going over, we can always give you a lift or pick up shopping for you. Otherwise you can enjoy the walk or stick out your thumb and ask for a lift.
You can also hire a bike from Eigg Adventures. Bike hire is normally £15 per bike per day, but our partnership with Eigg Adventures means we can offer a reduced deal of £10 per bike per day - for bookings of three or more days only - if you book in advance. If you’d like to take up this offer, click here. Eigg Adventures also offer kayak hire and archery lessons, see their website for more information.
Charlie Galli runs a taxi service and can be reached on 01687 482 404. It’s £10 for the pier to Cleadale.
The bothy has floor to ceiling windows all across one wall with an amazing view out over Rum. There is table, seat, two benches, an armchair and library snug with a small collection of maps, fiction, non fiction and books about Eigg.
The bothy is 150 metres up a steepish path. We will help you with your luggage. Suitcases on wheels can be pulled up there, but the bigger they are, the harder it is! We recommend carry bags or rukcsacks or small wheel cases.
The mezzanine bed is accessed by ladder, but a simple mattress can also be provided for the floor - please let us know if you would like one. All bedding is supplied and there are a couple of extra blankets if you’re worried you might be cold (you won’t be, the bothy is very cosy!). We also provide towels and a dressing gown.
Sweeney's Bothy is heated with a wood burning stove that has a hot-plate and an oven for cooking. The kitchen has a single gas ring and sink. There is no fridge, but a cool-box with freezer blocks is provided. The bothy has basics like teas, coffee, sugar, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, olive oil, matches, foil, kindling and washing up liquid.
We ask our guests to separate their bottles, tins and plastic milk cartons, and to compost vegetable waste.
The bothy is connected to a water supply that comes from a natural spring. It is safe to drink. An outdoor shower is installed on the decking outside the bothy, with hot water supplied by a back-boiler on the stove and a solar hot water panel. There is no washing machine.
There is a separate composting toilet 15 metres from the bothy. Toilet roll is provided.
The bothy is off-grid, meaning it has a photovoltaic (PV) panel generating enough electricity to provide lighting and allow you to charge a mobile phone/laptop/camera. There isn’t enough to run a hair dryer, hair straighteners or similar items that make heat or require a lot of power.
There is no internet or 3G access at the bothy, but there is an internet cafe at the Pier, and wifi at the learning centre in the Primary School. There is no mobile phone reception. The nearest point for mobile signal (depending on your network) is in the middle of the island, two miles away. Emergency calls can be made to and from our house.
WHAT TO BRING
Walking shoes/boots or, especially in the winter, wellies!
Slippers for wearing indoors
Waterproofs, torch or head-torch
Sunscreen & midge repellent in the summer
And anything that you'll enjoy while having a very relaxed and off-grid, off-line break in the beautiful peace and quiet.
SHOPPING & PLACES TO EAT
The Isle of Eigg Shop is a well-stocked shop and has a post office. The post office has a cash point which is free to use. The shop is 4 miles from Sweeney’s Bothy, but can deliver if you order in advance or make an arrangement whilst you’re on the island. The shop accepts cash, debit and credit cards.
For most of the year you can also order organic veg and eggs from Eigg Organics, next door to the bothy.
Next door to the Shop is Galmisdale Bay Café & Restaurant which is open most days for breakfast, lunch & dinner in the summer months and on ferry days in the winter. It also doubles as a pub most evenings in the summer and occasionally in the winter months. It also accepts debit and credit cards.
Ten minutes walk from Sweeney’s Bothy is Lageorna. With quite possibly the finest views of any restaurant in Scotland, Lageorna offers a set price menu of great tasting food made with the finest local produce.
There are lots of lovely crafts to buy on Eigg. You can find most of them in the Isle of Eigg Craft Shop at the pier and some makers offer the opportunity to learn new skills while you're here. Have a look at A'Nead Hand Knitwear, All About Willow, and Libby Galli Felt Artist.
If you have any questions about your holiday on Eigg or Sweeney's Bothy, please do get in touch by email or phone us on 01687 482 414.