The isle of Taransay became part of Borve Lodge Estate in 2011, when it was advertised for sale and bought by our owners, Adam and Cathra Kelliher. The remote Scottish island is one of the most stunning locations in the Outer Hebrides, made famous by the BBC show ‘Castaway 2000’. Britain’s first reality TV show transformed it from a little-known holiday destination to one of the most recognised names in the Hebrides, and up to nine million viewers watched for a year as an initial group of 36 ‘castaways’ were put ashore for a ground-breaking social experiment that was to change many of their lives.
Taransay has been inhabited since around 300 AD, when it was home to Celtic pagans. In 900 AD Taransay was taken over by Vikings when they invaded Scotland, and throughout history it has been the site of fierce battles. At one time there were three villages on the island, but the population dwindled over time and, in the mid-1970s, the last remaining family moved to the mainland.
Effectively two smaller islands connected by a sandy isthmus, Taransay comprises about 3,445 acres of spectacular white, powder-like beaches, rugged cliff faces, heather moorlands and machair grasslands. It may be the largest island of Scotland that lacks a permanent population, but today Taransay is home to a wide range of wildlife, including red deer, Golden and sea eagles, a whole host of sea birds and a large seal colony.
Adam spoke about his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy Taransay – plus how he and Cathra are working to preserve this ‘place of such extraordinary beauty’ – to outdoor adventure website Mpora for its special Scotland edition.