|Tiree, Inner Hebrides, Scotland|
We had never heard of Tiree before we began our project. It looked tantalising on the map – being the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides, it gives the impression of drifting away from the archipelago towards the Outer Hebrides.
The CalMac ferry took us from Oban, through the Sound of Mull to Coll, where we stayed for a week before continuing the short journey to neighbouring Tiree. From the ferry, the island appeared to float like a thin disc on the sea. Due to its incredible flatness most of the island barely rises above sea level. Standing on the enormous, never-ending beach at Gott Bay it's hard to believe the island even exists – there seems to be no room left between the sea and the sky for the land to fit. Adding to its magical feel, a ring of sandy beaches encompass the entire island. Inland, almost every inch is divided up into neat, green rectangles of crofting land, then scattered with sheep. The people speak Gaelic, their traditional culture is strong, and it goes without saying how friendly and welcoming everyone is.
We knew nothing of Tiree, but now that we've visited, the island seems just as imaginary – a fictional island from a children's book, too good to be true.
Tiree is in the Top 10... for its awe-inspiring collision of sand, sea and sky.