Eilean Shona


An island lying in the mouth of Loch Moidart in the W Highlands, Eilean Shona (or just Shona) lies 4 miles (6.5 km) north northwest of Acharacle and 28 miles (45 km) west of Fort William. Measuring 2½ miles (4 km) by 1½ miles (2.5 km), its highest point is Beinn a' Bhaillidh at 265m (868 feet). The eastern section of the island, known as Shona Beag, is attached by an isthmus. The island extends to 543 ha (1342 acres), or 640 ha (1581 acres) including Shona Beag.

In 1993, the island was sold for around £1.3 million to entrepreneur Richard Branson's sister Vanessa and her husband Richard Devereux. With its permanent population having declined to 11 (1961), 17 (1971), 12 (1981), 9 (1991), 9 (2001) and 2 (2011), Eilean Shona is now marketed as an exclusive hide-away. Author J.M. Barrie (1860 - 1937) is known to have rented the island in the early years of the 20th century and it is said to have provided the inspiration for his play Mary Rose (1920). Its principal residence, Eilean Shona House, is a modest lodge surrounded by a large informal garden and there are several other cottages.

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