Known as ‘the garden of the Hebrides’, Canna has fertile soils, green meadows and has been recognised as a bird sanctuary since 1938. The island supports over 20,000 breeding seabirds, including puffins, razorbills and guillemots. Canna is connected to the smaller island Sanday to the south-east of the island by a small road bridge.
Canna might be small but has an abundance of wildlife, wild flora, over 1,000 sites of historic interest (Canna is thought to have been inhabited since 5000 BC) and a rich Gaelic heritage. There are regular events through the summer months and ceilidhs are often hosted in the shearing shed which visitors are warmly welcomed to.
You can sail from Rum to Canna on the MV Loch Nevis (Caledonian MacBrayne service) every day through summer except Tuesday and Thursday. The 1hr boat trip offers up beautiful views and the chance to view seabirds and a variety of marine-life. Bella Jane boat trips also offer regular RIB trips over to Canna throughout the summer months (April - Sept).
Arriving in Canna
The ferry docks at Canna Pier on the east of the island. Amenities include toilets, a shower, a Community Shop (open 24hrs using an honesty box) which sells food and crafts, Cafe Canna and refuse/ recycling facilities.
Accommodation options include a guest house, campsite and self catering properties. More details available here.
There is an abundance of wildlife on the Small Isles. Here are some of the highlights on Canna:
Explore Canna’s smaller neighbouring island Sanday (connected by bridge) and make your way to the eastern part of the island to see the local puffin colony. Enjoy a virtual visit here.
Look to the skies on warmer days and you are likely to see either golden or sea eagles over Canna.
The waters around Canna are home to a range of sealife including the Common Dolphin, Harbour Porpoise, Minke Whale, Orca Whale and Basking Sharks.
Walking/ Places of interest
Canna coastal circuit. Take a circular walk around the whole of Canna with magnificent views out to the neighbouring Small Isles and beyond. Allow 8-9hrs (summer conditions) for this 12mile walk.
Canna House on the island has an archive of Gaelic materials from the collection of the Campbell family. Take time to visit the Canna House Walled Garden whilst here.
Visit the Rocket Church (near the pier) so named for its shape. It houses an exhibition about the island’s natural and archeological history.
Take in a beautiful sunset from Sanday beach or in Autumn/ Winter take in the spectacle of the sun sinking straight into the Atlantic over Hyskeir Lighthouse.
Visit the Punishment Stone - where criminals would have their thumb wedged into a hole.
There’s a great list of local walks available here.
Join a guided walk or event with the Canna Ranger. Scheduled events are listed here and general information about the Ranger service here. Learn more about the history, ecology and sea life surrounding Canna with an expert guide.
Café Canna is an award-winning little restaurant and bar. The dishes are almost entirely sourced locally with even the beer made locally. Booking is advised.
It's possible to join a seaweed foraging trip with Gareth from Cafe Canna. Pop into the cafe to check out when the next one is running.
Organic vegetables from Canna House Garden are available in the community shop.
The local community shop, situated a short walk from the pier, stocks essentials (pasta, soups, sauces, ice-creams etc), local goods (including free range eggs & home-made bread) and crafts from local artists. The shop operates on an honesty basis and provides free wifi and a kettle for hot drinks.
Good to know
There is a phone box available next to the post office if you are unable to get mobile reception.
The post office is open 6 days a week through summer (10-4pm).
We recommend taking a bike to the island to give you greater range and flexibility when exploring. There is no bike hire on the island but you can hire from Mallaig Pool prior to coming over (please book all bikes onto the ferry - there is a maximum limit)
Refuse - Please dispose of all refuse at the large container located at the pier. There are also recycling facilities for plastics and bottles located here.
Canna hosts a 10k run every year. Check out the Isle of Canna website for more information.