You can walk and wonder around and across most of the island. Even though many tracks are fenced, access to remote beaches and wilderness areas is possible. Of course you must be sensible and, if in any doubt, just ask at the shop, hotel or nearest farm. Please don’t leave your car blocking fields’ gates. However, many areas are sensitive in the spring and summer with nesting birds, often rare species. Be careful not to walk on too many orchids, although this may sometimes be quite difficult!
Signposts were introduced in 2006 in fenced areas to encourage the use of footpaths to the many beautiful beaches.
Inland, there are lots of surprises in store. Crannogs can be found on many of the lochans and you will stumble over remains of ancient civilisations and communities in most parts of the island.
A climb to the top of Ben Hogh is always a favourite. It’s relatively easy and you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of all the surrounding islands. On a good day you can see as far as Jura in one direction and South Uist in the other.
The beaches of Coll are one of the hidden delights and best kept secrets of all the Hebridean islands. There are approximately 23 beaches to cater for most tastes. One thing you can be sure of, they will not be busy!
There are no beaches near Arinagour so day trippers may find it difficult to get the full flavour of Coll without a long walk or bike ride. The quickest beach to get to from the village is probably Cliad, on the other side of the island from Arinagour. The walk will be worth it, particularly when the outer isles are visible. You are likely to see inquisitive seals, and maybe an otter.
Most beaches will show the signs of otters as they scurry to and fro the dunes after rabbits or fresh water. The early morning is always a good time to spot one.
The local Post Office stocks a range of books that you may find useful when exploring Coll. You will find a selection of books in the Quiet Room at An Cridhe, our community centre, which you are welcome to browse through.