The Arrochar Alps

 If you’re driving to Argyll’s Secret Coast via the Rest & Be Thankful mountain pass, then you’ll have passed through Arrochar and witnessed the beauty of the mountains clustered around the head of Loch Long. These peaks are known as the ‘Arrochar Alps’ and offer some of the best walking and climbing in Argyll. They include the famous Cobbler, one of Scotland’s most iconic – and best loved – peaks. 

If you fancy a bit of hill walking, the Cobbler makes a great day trip from Argyll’s Secret Coast. Arrochar is just over an hour’s drive from us and you’ll need to give yourself a good four hours to climb the Cobbler. The trip is easily done in a day and is stunning whether during the winter snow or summer sunshine!

Eco-camping at Carry Farm - take lots of pictures and leave only footprints.

Given the huge increase in awareness of well-being and the benefits of the great outdoors we offer our visitors the opportunity to experience Carry Farm in a way that has minimal impact on our stunning environment. We live in one of the most beautiful countries on Earth - so ditch the car, pitch a tent, and soak up all the sublime surroundings our backyard has to offer.

So what is the reality of getting to Carry Farm using human power or public transport, can it really be done? Of course it can! Here are just some of the options to help you start planning your next big adventure in the great outdoors.

Get on your bike!

The past ten years has seen a huge increase in the number of cyclists on our roads which has helped enormously in raising awareness of the possibilities around this flexible mode of transport. Whether you are looking to combine train trips from Glasgow with ferries from Gourock to Dunoon followed by a 40 mile cycle across single track roads and some awesome scenery, or ride the whole way to us on tracks, winding out of Glasgow on numerous paths and joining up with the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way there is a route to suit you.

Alternatively, you could be on the Wild About Argyll Trail which passes our door and be looking to rest your head before the next day’s challenge, or taking your time completing the 5 Ferry Challenge with an over night stop.

Or perhaps you explored the Island Of Bute before heading across to us on the Rhubodach/Colitraive ferry, followed by a cycle either using the roads or parts of the Cowal Way.

Whichever option you choose you will be pitched by the shore with waves lapping at your tent and perhaps a small fire for brewing your Argyll Coffee Roasters coffee before dark.

The power of paddles!

We are so fortunate to have one of the best sea kayaking destinations in the UK on our doorstep. Our sheltered waters combined with stunning scenery and idyllic bays makes for a unique experience for those even with limited experience. For the intrepid kayaker there are endless choices of where to start your voyage. Perhaps you are nearing the end of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail that meanders past the Carry buoy, or have paddled into the Kyles of Bute for a little shelter. The less experienced do not have to have paddled far. Cars can be left a couple of miles away, and under the watchful eye of a more experienced kayaker, you could be paddling towards Carry Farm in less than an hour. Imagine landing your kayak on our beach and setting up camp for the night, sitting round a driftwood fire as night draws in listening to the call of distant seals and the excited chatter of oystercatchers. 

The wind in your sails.

The Kyles of Bute is synonymous with sailing and if you are keen on adventures on the water, then look no further! There are weeks of fun to be had in the area pottering about on your boat and setting up camp at night before your next adventure. Leave life in the fast lane behind and start your slow adventure on Argyll’s Secret Coast. Whether you start at Portavadie Marina - a stunning afternoon sail from us, or just a couple of miles away in the village of Tighnabruaich, there are plenty of slipways in the area to launch your boat and start your journey. And at the end of a salty day on the water you will find comfort in a hot shower and facilities to take the edge of the wildness!

These boots are made for walking…….

If water or pedal power is not your thing, and you would rather keep your feet firmly on the ground, Argyll’s Secret Coast has a plethora of beautiful walks and long distance routes. The loch Lomond and Cowal Way starts at Portavadie, 7 miles from us, and heads into the hills and glens after meandering along our shores. Walking to Carry Farm takes you a little off the beaten track, but you are rewarded with camping by the shore, with views up towards the hills behind Tighnabruaich. Perhaps all you would like to do is the 10 mile loop around the Ardlamont peninsula, stopping at Carry Farm with your tent and coffee, or simply stop overnight whilst you explore the lovely beaches in the area and walk part of the Cowal Way. Balliemeanoch Baggage can help with luggage transfer between your overnight stops.

Back to buses

Despite our rural location we are served very well by West Coast Motor, Western Ferries and Caledonian MacBrayne. It is possible to get within 2 miles of us by bus, and if you don’t fancy the walk to us along the shore on a lovely single track road, then Tam’s Taxis will happily deliver you to our door.

So go on………….start your journey through breath-taking landscapes at a slower, immersive pace and get to know the secret coast just that little bit better.

Why carrying on at Carry Farm is great for kids.

At Carry Farm,  we are surrounded by 66 acres of coastal wilderness,  a million miles away from the dirt and grime of urban life.  Yet in less than two hours you can unwind by the shores of Argyll's Secret Coast and enjoy a way of life that is a far cry from the norm.

Carrying on at Carry Farm will reap copious rewards for children, here are our favourites: 

  • There is a bit of an oddity that the more children are aware of the natural world thanks to smart phones, youtube and TV, the less are experiencing it directly. Our children's time is much more structured than it once was. Spare time must be spent constructively; after-school activities, coaching, organised sports, music lessons – leaving very little time for them to kick their heels up out of doors with free and unstructured play. And as a result, they can be missing out on essential life skills. Playing in the great outdoors boosts problem-solving skills, focus and self-discipline and socially it can improve cooperation, flexibility, and self-awareness.

  • Experiencing nature at first hand is the perfect way to learn respect and appreciation for our planet. Whether your child prefers guddling down on the beach catching minnows, admiring starfish or the challenge of catching a razor clam, there is so much to do without having to leave Carry Farm. Maybe they would prefer exploring the woods climbing trees, keeping their eyes peeled for the red squirrels, or taking precious cuttings of wildflowers for their flower press. Carry Farm has an abundance of wildlife waiting to be discovered whether on the land or out at sea. Otters are often spotted on our shores, deer graze in our fields, red squirrels love our hazel woods, gannets dive off our point and if you are very lucky, you may spot a passing dolphin, basking shark or minke whale. Start them young and instil an interest in the natural world, ensuring the next generation are motivated to take care of our planet.

  • Have you ever wanted to ditch the heaps of manufactured toys children accumulate over time? Give it a go and bring the kids to Carry Farm where they will find wading down on the beach, visiting the donkey, climbing trees, making dens or exploring the woods so much more fun. Outdoor adventure can provide hours of entertainment in simple things. Building stone sculptures on the beach, starting a shell collection, catching your tea……. it is a weird dichotomy of having nothing to do in the country, and yet there is so much to do! Without a plethora of social activities on your doorstep, both children and adults can be left with just their imagination and senses to take them on an adventure. A walk, a bike ride or building a den in the forest will all give you all a different perspective.

  • Kids are capable of more than you think, and in fact thrive on opportunities for independence. It is hard for children to become responsible and capable when they do not experience the great outdoors with an element of freedom. Climbing a tree is a great lesson in measuring risk for yourself and how to take responsibility. The possibilities for adventure are limitless when young children are left to their own devices in a safe outside environment.

  • Of course all that outdoor action burns so many more calories than inside play or screen time. Obesity is perhaps the most visible symptom of the lack of outdoor play and getting your child outside and active will help to keep body and mind fit.

  • And of course, the best is kept to last. Boy do they sleep well with all that fresh air!

Our lodges at Carry Farm overlook our safe beach with great balconies to help you keep an eye on the kids whilst they play on the shore.   We still have one or two weeks left during the school go on.......take the plunge, leave the plastic behind, and perhaps pack favourite teddy to experience the great outdoors with the children.  There has never been a better time to explore Argyll!

Find out what Barney, Louis, burro, ass and jackstock all have in common.

We are very lucky at Carry Farm on Argyll's Secret Coast to have our donkeys Barney and Louis. Barney has been a companion of our Hebridean sheep for a number of years. In July 2017 we introduced Louis, the baby of the family and Barney's little cousin.  They not only provide company for the sheep and control the rashes, but they also give us and our visitors a lot of pleasure, and can be very entertaining. Donkeys are amazing animals, here are our top ten facts about them.

  • Donkeys are also known as burros, ass and jackstock.  We prefer Barney and Louis the donkeys, unless they are just being an ass!
  • Did you know that donkeys have an excellent memory?  They are capable of remembering a place they have been to or other donkeys they met 25 years ago!  We hope Barney and Louis always remember the first day they met - it was love at first sight.
  •  A happy, healthy donkey can live for more than 40 years.............we must remember to add them both into our will!
  • Due to their large ears a donkey is capable of hearing another donkey brae from a distance of 60 miles in desert conditions. We think this distance is perhaps reduced in Argyll, but still pretty impressive. 
  • It is no surprise that China has the highest number of donkeys in the entire world.  In Britain, our donkeys need to have a passport.
  • A male donkey is often referred to as Jack while a female goes by the name Jenny. 
  • Jennies stay pregnant for 11 to 14 months and eventually give birth to a single baby donkey. 
  • A donkey will never get involved in an activity it considers unsafe. Compared to a horse, donkeys are capable of independent thinking and decision making, ensuring their safety. If they sense something is wrong, they will simply not move and dig their heels in.  This has led to them having the misleading characteristic of being stubborn. 
  • Donkeys can be well trained, although it does require some patience! Once you have earned their trust, they will be willing learners. 


  • Their large ears evolved to keep them cool in hot, arid conditions. Arguably not required for this purpose in Argyll. However, you cannot argue they definitely contribute to their delightful look.  Donkeys are rarely seen running, an instinct which evolved in the high temperatures to help keep them cool. 

If you would like to get to know Barney or Louis a little better, then why not book a stay in one of our lodges by the shore.  They would love the attention and you would go home enriched by the friendly contact from two very cute donkeys!


Do you know why we are lucky to have Hebridean sheep?

If you have ever wondered why we chose Hebrideans to graze at Carry Farm, then read on. 

Historically, Hebrideans were known as Scottish Dunface and were the mainstay of subsistence farmers in the north and west of Britain, originally kept for their milk and fine fleeces as well as the meat.  Many factors combined to contribute to the demise of the breed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Land clearances and the development of new breeds by government and commercial land owners resulted in the breed barely surviving. The new improved black face and cheviot were seen as superior to the small, thrifty, multi horned Hebridean, who were slowly pushed to the rocky edges and wild islands on the west coast. By the beginning of the 20th century, the breed had as good as disappeared, having survived for thousands of years before human intervention. 

Ironically, given the detrimental influence of land clearances on the breed, had it not been for the existence of large country houses and parklands in England, Hebrideans would no longer be with us.  The aristocracy and land owners north of the border favoured the more commercial breeds, whilst in the large parklands to the south, a flock of Hebrideans were an attractive addition that required little management.  So the upper classes who contributed to the decline of the breed, were also their saviour.  By now, they were commonly known as St Kilda sheep. 

By 1973, there were as few as 300 Hebrideans surviving across 40 parkland flocks.  And despite their name and homeland, there were no surviving animals on the west coast of Scotland.   Having been identified by the Rare Breed Survival Trust as being endangered, they were renamed Hebrideans, and since then, with the help of dedicated breeders, numbers are steadily rising to the point that they are no longer endangered. 

Hebridean Sheep have established a reputation as the breed for the management of delicate ecosystems. Their dietary preferences are different from those of other breeds and this, coupled with their ability to thrive on vegetation with poor energy values, makes them a unique management tool.  Hebrideans were the perfect choice of breed for Carry Farm and Tarbert Castle - a hop across on the ferry - who developed their flock alongside their cousins at Carry Farm. 

So next time you walk round our point, enjoy our tenacious Hebrideans and appreciate the struggles they have had to survive in their homeland. You can help to support their survival by buying their delicious meat, choosing an indigenous breed over a commercially manufactured one. 

Hebridean are now recognised as the sheep breed producing a range of exceptional high quality products from its meat, skins and wool. 

We have 1/2 lambs available for sale butchered and vacuum packed for £48. To fully appreciate the animals nothing should be wasted.  Their skins are organically tanned in Argyll at Torrisdale Tannery using an ancient tree bark technique, and their wool is made into textiles for the home available to buy at The Dairy Gallery at Carry Farm. Please contact Fiona if you are interested in  further information. 


Find out the gossip on our Aspen trees.

Aspen (Populus tremula) is one of the rarest and most enigmatic and beautiful of Scotland’s native trees and is our only native poplar.  Historically, the Aspen tree is a pioneer, being the first tree to colonise the British Isles following the last Ice Age, and is very tolerant of a wide range of conditions, including sites with thin or poor quality soils, making it the perfect addition to Carry Farm.

What do they look like?

When Aspen leaves first open in spring, they have a distinctive coppery colour, before turning green. In autumn, the leaves turn a brilliant yellow, or in some cases red, with each separate aspen clone having its own individual colouration.  The changing colours provide a stunning show and the distinctive canopy of round leaves with serrated edges and pale undersides, gives the tree the unique appearance of shimmering or quivering in the wind. Indeed, the scientific name 'tremula' means to 'tremble' and refers to the way the leaves flutter and move in the slightest breeze.

Mythology and symbolism

In Scotland, the Aspen leaves quivering in the wind were often described as gossiping, and were known as ‘old wives tongues’.  

As well as its gossiping tendencies, the Aspen has protective powers. ASPIS, the Aspen's Greek name, means shield, and light weight aspen wood was favoured by Celtic warriors. These shields were more than mere physical barriers - they were imbued with additional magical, protective qualities to shield the bearer from psychic as well as physical harm. The protective nature of the "shield tree" extended to the general population too and like the Rowan tree, was a popular choice of tree to plant close to a dwelling. 

And to top it all off, a crown made of aspen leaves was said to give its wearer the power to visit and return safely from the underworld and they have been found in ancient burial grounds to perhaps help the spirits of the deceased be re-born.  

We think the Aspen is a pretty special tree and have planted a small stand, protecting them from the nibbling habits of deer with a high ring of gorse branches.  The trees are planted close to the pond, where once established, we hope to install a comfy bench to encourage some gossiping under the trees.  

Aspen is generally scarce in Scotland's native woodlands. Largely overlooked until recently, it has been found to support a wide range of animal and plant species not associated with other trees.  With greater recognition, Aspen has the potential to deliver considerable benefits for biodiversity, landscape, freshwater systems and timber production.

Argyll’s Secret Coast has handful of small stands of Aspen trees.  We hope to contribute towards the population in the area with our efforts at planting and encouraging the rare indigenous and bewitching tree to flourish at Carry Farm.

Our Aspen trees are still tiny, but next time you walk around the point, look out for a circle of gorse branches protecting the 10 young trees.  Feel free to stop and chat………..they would like that!


Find out why it is easy to fall in love with Carry Farm

Ask anyone that knows Carry Farm what makes it so special and they will all say something different.  But there is a common thread tying everyone together, and that is it has a special place in their hearts. Less than 2 hours driving from the central belt, through spectacular scenery, Carry Farm is a million miles away from the pressures and stresses of the daily grind.  Argyll's Secret Coast is uniquely accessible with the 'wow' factor.  Here are 6 ways to ensure you fall head over heels for Carry Farm.

1. Our lodges sit a stones throw from the shore.  You do not need to go far to enjoy your stay.  Contrary to common opinion, our water is not as cold as you think and averages 15 - 20 degrees during the summer months.  The bay at Carry Farm is ideally placed for a swim.  The shallow, sandy bottom, protected by the natural curvature of the shoreline, provides the perfect pool.  And if you time it really well on a sunny day, with the tide slowly creeping in over the warm sands, it is idyllic........the ultimate infinity pool without the crowds!

2. If swimming is not for you, you can still take to the water with Tighnabruaich Sailing School.  During the summer months, they provide tuition for youths on a wide selection of dinghies in the bay in front of the lodges.  Private tuition is available at weekend if you fancy taking the helm, no previous experience is required.  Alternatively, if you are looking for a more sedate way to enjoy the water, join Donald on his converted fishing boat Morag for a tour of the Kyles of Bute.  If you have never taken to the sea before, Argyll's Secret Coast is the ideal place to start with wildlife and scenery that will take your breath away.

3. Perhaps you are more of a land based person, in which case, do not fear, there is plenty to do!  Walking in the ancient oak woods at Glenan Bay , one of the few remaining native oak woodlands in the area, is a real treat. Glenan Wood has a rare population of night jars. See if you can hear their distinctive call in the twilight. Listen out for woodwarblers and cuckoos too.  In May, enjoy the carpet of bluebells coating the forest floor.

4. Ostel Bay is a stunning, sandy beach which can only be reached by a 15 minute walk with spectacular views across to Arran and unique west coast machair.  The bay is very shallow and when the tide is out there is plenty of space for dog walking, sand castle building or exploring.  Hidden from the main road, only those that know about it can get there, and as a result, it is the jewel in the crown on Argyll's Secret Coast.

5. Our single track roads with spectacular views are ideal for the keen cyclist.  Whether you are looking for a 3 mile, flat cycle to the local shop or a challenging cycle over the Bealach - we have it all.  Carry Farm is perfect for younger children to play on their bikes.  The path down to the shore and track around the farm is perfectly safe and enclosed from the road.

6. Carry Farm is home to The Dairy Gallery which sells textiles made by Fiona from the Hebridean sheep on the farm, and stunning ceramics by Karen McPhail.  Take away a reminder of your stay with an organically tanned sheepskin reared at Carry Farm and tanned locally in Argyll, or  perhaps a cushion or some yarn for your own project.  In fact, if you are a maker, you will be inspired by your stay to take up your pencils or needles and get working!

And if all of the above has not made you fall in love with the area, perhaps when you meet Barney the donkey down by the shore, he will tug at your heart strings and ensure Carry Farm has a special place in your heart forever.  After all, a donkey is for life and not just for Christmas!

Aurora Borealis - How to see it in Scotland.

Last night, Carry Farm was treated to an incredible light show courtesy of the Aurora Borealis AND some shooting stars.  Did you know that  you do not have to leave the UK to see the phenomenon?  No need to look out your passport, book flights and queue in airports.  Head to Argyll's Secret Coast, less than 2 hours from Glasgow, book your stay here and look up!  

Why is it green?

The natural light show is caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere at the magnetic poles.  Like last night,  the most common colour display is green. It may be common, but does not disappoint!   The variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. Green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. The rarer red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. The auroras can appear in many forms, from small patches of light that appear out of nowhere to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an incredible glow.

Avoid light pollution.

You need to avoid light pollution, it will ruin any Aurora show.  Carry Farm is ideally placed.  From our dark skies, the Aurora Borealis, shooting stars, the Milky Way and the International Space Station can be starkly visible on a cloudless evening. Look at our photo gallery and find us on the map and you will see why we are dark!  Despite being less than 2 hours from Glasgow, we are beautifully remote.  

Head North to Argyll.

The further away from the north pole you are, generally the lower on the horizon the aurora will be. This explains why in the stunning photo above taken by Shane Wasik of Basking Shark Scotland from our beach, the glow is low on the horizon.  Of course if there are clouds, then forget all the above! But all it takes is a clearing and all can be revealed. 

Researchers have also discovered that auroral activity is cyclic, peaking roughly every 11 years. The next solar max is around 2024, but looks like we will not have to wait until then!  The Aurora Borealis has been seen regularly at Carry Farm, most frequently in November, so we are delighted with last nights show in September. Check our availability for November to have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis without the hassle of leaving the UK.

The Dawn of the North.

We love a light show!  However in medieval times, the auroral displays were seen as a messenger of an imminent war or famine. They were named in 1619 by Galileo after Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.  The translation "dawn of the north" is definitely a more apt description of the actual event than the impending doom of the medieval period.

Find the time to escape the lights of civilisation this winter, book a stay in one of our architect designed lodges by the shores of the Kyles of Bute,  and spend an evenings  studying the night sky above Carry Farm.  You might just be rewarded with an unforgettable show!


Cowal Open Studios starts this Friday and gives visitors the opportunity to visit artists and makers in their studios.  Karen McPhail spends her summers in Tighnabruaich and her work can be seen at The Dairy Gallery at Carry Farm this weekend. 

Karen makes her high fired earthenware from her studio in Renfrewshire.  Her designs are inspired by collages she collects in sketchbooks and transfers to leather hard clay using a technique of paper resist and slip, coloured with natural oxides. Each piece is hand made and fired twice in an electric kiln.  

Karen studied ceramics at Glasgow School of Art and now shows her work in galleries from Orkney and Shetland to Cornwall.  Every item is unique, however it is the processes involved in working in ceramics in the studio that Karen enjoys, with the final satisfaction of each finished piece finding a function in the home.

Carry Farm's Wildflowers

If you are a keen Botanist, professional or otherwise, Carry Farm needs your expertise! Carry Farm has an abundance of wildflowers and with your help, we would like to record as many of them as possible.  Below is the beginning of a list that we would like to add to as often as possible.  We believe there are around 100 species of wildflowers on the coastal small holding, and we need your help identifying them.  

Our circular walk along the shore and around the heath are ideally located for spotting wildflowers.  Bring your camera and binoculars, and perhaps a notebook, and enjoy a sunny afternoon exploring our shoreline and woods.  And if you are lucky, the otters may make an appearance as they frolic on the shore or visit our pond! Don't forget to let us know of any wildflowers you see not on the list below.



Common Spotted Orchid

Cotton Grass

Cow Parsnip






Ivy Leaved Toadflax

Lady's Smock

Marsh Marigold


Red Campion




Wood Sorrel

Yellow Iris


We love wool - find out why!

We are in the middle of The Campaign For Wool's 7th Wool Week 2016, and there is no better time to appreciate the amazing quality of this natural product.   It was officially inaugurated in October 2010, in recognition of the plight sheep farmers were facing around the world in the face of plummeting wool prices.  Wool is a precious natural, renewable and biodegradable resource that offers many technical and ecological benefits and The Campaign For Wool sought to convene experts from across the agricultural, wool textile and retail sectors to reverse the trend towards petro-chemical fibres.

Determined to make our Hebridean fleeces a viable product at Carry Farm, initially, we had to ensure we had the quantity for a commercial batch to be processed.  This involved storing fleeces shorn each year in the hay shed (perhaps of course it should be renamed the wool shed), until we had around 200 fleeces or approx 200Kg.

The first cog in the wheel of a finished yarn is scouring.  Our Hebridean fleeces were taken to Haworth to be professional cleaned on a large scale and prepared for spinning by combing the fleece ensuring that all the fibres run parallel to each other.  The ‘bats’ of fleece were then sent to New Lanark, a historic mill on the banks of the River Clyde.  Originally, a cotton mill, it survived from 1785 to 1968 and in its time had been among the largest factories in the world, employing nearly 2,500 people.  

Our Hebridean wool was produced using very traditional methods on a 19th century spinning mule, powered by renewable energy from New Lanarks hydro-electricity production.  And for keen enthusiasts, you can visit the main mill floor where the rattle and noise of a 392 spindle, 120ft long, 19th century spinning mule, making 4 passes every minute should not be missed!

At the end of the process, we came home with 100 cones of our distinctive Hebridean yarn.  

So why bother when we can produce synthetic yarn?  Since the Stone Age, wool has been appreciated as one of the most effective forms of all-weather protection known to man.  Technology has come on a fair bit since then, however science is yet to produce a fibre which matches wool’s unique properties.  

As long as there is grass to graze on, every sheep will produce a new fleece annually, making wool a renewable fibre source.  At the end of its useful life, wool can be returned to the soil, where it decomposes, releasing valuable nutrients into the ground.  In comparison, synthetics are slow to degrade.

Wool is a natural insulator and is extremely breathable.  It also has the ability to constantly react to changes in body temperature, maintaining comfort in both cold and warm weather.  A wool vest can make all the difference to your temperature control.

Garments made from wool have the ability to stretch with the wearer, but also to return to their natural shape, making them resistant to sagging. Wool therefore maintains its appearance in the long run, adding value to the product as well as lifespan.

Wool is far more efficient than other textiles at absorbing sweat and releasing it into the air, before bacteria has a chance to develop.  It is not known to cause allergies and has a naturally high level of UV protection - much higher than most synthetics and cotton.

So now you know!  Next time you are thinking of a new purchase - think wool!  Carry Farm has 50 gram balls of Hebridean wool for sale, or if you are thinking of a bigger project, the 1 Kg cones are a cheaper option.  Born and raised on our coastal smallholding, our happy sheep help to produce ethical products!

The Dairy Gallery at Carry Farm has functional textiles made at the Farm from our Hebridean fleece and is open every day for visitors to enjoy.  And of course, you are always welcome to visit the flock of Hebrideans down by the shore.

Hebridean Meat

In 2007 we introduced two Hebridean ewes, Cally and Molly, to Carry Farm, primarily to help cut the grass!  Hebridean are indigenous to the west coast of Scotland and were once a common sight, originally kept as much for their milk and fine fleeces as well as their meat. The Hebridean was our first choice, a small, hardy primitive breed that are ideal for the management of delicate ecosystems and thrive on vegetation with poor energy values. 

From a slow start, there are now around 50 ewes at Carry Farm, helping us maintain the coastal small holding. Every year, they grow a dark fleece that is shorn and sent to be spun into yarn, and a small number are chosen for meat.  The animals are not killed until they are at least 18 months old as they are a slower growing breed allowing the meat's flavour to fully mature in a way we now rarely see, producing a high quality, lean meat. 

The sheep are born, reared and grazed on our coastal small holding and lead a very happy and content life. Given a name at birth, some will even come when called for grooming, a sheep's life does not get much better!

If you have not yet tried Hebridean meat, then now is the time to try. The meat is totally unique and is undoubtedly the most succulent, tender lamb available, it is a world away from mass produced supermarket lamb with a rich dark hue, succulent tender texture, and a gamey – utterly delicious long forgotten flavour.  And if that is not enough to entice you to trying Hebridean meat, it is also very lean with significantly lower cholesterol than most lamb, yet another important health advantages over modern commercial breeds of sheep.

It is ideal as a roasted joint or made into casseroles and tagines.  Try this warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate, it is delicious and a current favourite at Carry Farm.  We will share more recipes that we have tried and loved, so keep en eye on our website.

There are a couple of half lambs available now to purchase for £48, all pieces are individually vac packed for freshness and flavour.  Please contact us if you would like to reserve your lamb.

Please remember - our lambs are reared ethically and purchasing your lamb from Carry Farm enables us to continue rearing Hebridean sheep for conservation grazing and helps to ensure the survival of traditional breeds. 

Spring Tide Beachcombing

The new moon last week was extra-close to earth and has accentuated the spring tides that we saw this weekend, giving rise to a perigean spring tide. High spring tides climb up especially high, and on the same day low tides plunge especially low.  This of course means that beachcombing along the low water mark becomes even more interesting, as animals and plants not normally visible from the shore, are exposed at low water. 

Large common starfishes were in abundance over the weekend on the sandy shallows, their bright orange legs standing out against the sand.  There are plenty of species of seaweed to be found on the shore at Carry Farm like the bladderwrack, eggwrack, kelp and red seaweeds, a coral like pink seaweed. Underwater, the red seaweed, along with the pink rock lichen, looks magical, and can only be seen on the Carry shore on a very low tide. 

If you look extra hard,  you will find well disguised and hiding underneath the seaweed at the rocky point,  Clabby Doos, an extra large horse mussel that can live for 25 years and colonise just below low water. Large queenie scallops were also spotted, along with the more common razor clam,  abundant on sandy shores. 

Next time there is a low tide, make sure you find time to put on your wellies and beachcomb along the low water mark where sea urchins, crabs, sea anemones and starfish are plentiful. Spring tides occur every two weeks so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the magical underwater world on our doorstep.  


The following poem was written to commemorate the flitting of the last person to leave Auchtachoan – a small settlement in the hills behind Carry Farm which can be reached from a woodland path at the end of Carry Woods running up the side of the burn.  Make sure you find time to explore the ruins in May when the bluebells are out and the walk up the hill at the side of the gorge is a stunning carpet of flowers. The ‘flitting’ from Auchtachoan took place around 100 years ago, relatively recently despite the state of the ruins, and is described brilliantly in this poem.


The Queen’s flitting from Auchtachoan

The little croft of Auchtachoan sits snugly in the hills

Quite beautiful in summer time but bleak in winter chills

The house is damp and draughty and the roof lets in the rain

Which hurts Queen Nelly sorely for she gets rheumatic pains.


She has a talk with second son, the mighty Kaiser King

Who says they’ll get another home, and move out in the spring.

So to Millhouse first Lairdy’s sent on his good old trusty bike

Where he finds an empty cottage, with toilet behind a dyke.


He cycles back to his mother Queen , and says the rent is low.

So there and then she makes up her mind to have a party before they go.

Prince Donald known as Bullover asked all their friends to come

At 2 o’clock the very next day as a send off for his Mum.


Gracie Whyte the Princess had prepared some rabbit stew

To feed the crowd when they arrived washed down with Barley Brew.

They came along from the Camp and Point and some too from the Ferry,

From Glenachoul and Kildavaig, just to make the party merry.


They brought the Queen so many gifts to celebrate the flitting

Some home made wine, some potted heads and lots of lovely knitting.

Nelly thanked them for the gifts and for their kindly wishes.

And when the guests had all gone home made Kaiser wash the dishes.


Next day the Queen told all her brood, we don’t want to tarry

See Jimmy Fletcher from the farm, get a horse and cart from Carry.

Then they travelled past Blair’s Ferry and up across the Moss

To reach the house that Lairdy found a few yards from the Cross.


The Millhouse folk, now Nelly’s here, know her as Mrs Whyte

But that is during daytime and never late at night

For when they are sitting round the fire and in the house alone

She’s know as she has always been



Auchtachoan is spelt Achadachoun on modern OS maps, Achaldachoun or Achadlakennon on older maps and variations on Achetychuin on old charters etc.

The donkeys

Barney the donkey has lived with us since 2010 and in 2017 was joined by his little cousin Louis. As well as enjoying eating the abundant rashes and tussock grass on the heathland, they do a good jog of helping us keep the Hebridean sheep under control. They are both very sociable and are always delighted with some attention, especially if it involves a carrot! Barney has a beautiful cart, and enjoys pulling it around the point along the shoreline with two happy customers on board. Louis still needs to work on his training a little more before he will be allowed to pull the cart!

Hebridean wool

The Hebrideans are sheared annually and their fleece is sent to be spun into yarn which Fiona then makes into textiles at her studio at Carry Farm. The yarn is a beautiful textural black, flecked with grey, and provides the ideal yarn to make functional textiles for the home, and is available at The Dairy Gallery at Carry Farm.