Gigha is visited mainly by those wanting to explore its famous gardens. Be prepared to spend your entire day walking. The Achamore House Gardens (tel. 01583/505-400), 1.6km (1 mile) from the ferry dock at Ardminish, overflow with roses, hydrangeas, camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas. On a 20-hectare (49-acre) site, they were the creation of the late Sir James Horlick, one of the world's great gardeners. The gardens are open year-round, daily 9am to dusk. Admission is £4.50.

The island has a rich Viking past (the Vikings stored their loot here after plundering the west coast of Scotland), and cairns and ruins still remain. Creag Bhan, the highest hill, rises more than 100m (330 ft.). From the top you can look out onto the islands of Islay and Jura as well as Kintyre; on a clear day, you can also see Ireland. The Ogham Stone is one of only two standing stones in the Hebrides that bears an Ogham inscription, a form of script used in the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. High on a ridge overlooking the village of Ardminish are the ruins of the Church of Kilchattan, dating back to the 13th century.

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