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The Three Islands Project

Gairloch and the Related Islands

The map below shows the location of the three islands that are discussed on these pages along with Gairloch Museum. These islands, running south to north, are: Isle Maree, Isle of Ewe, and Gruinard Island.

The Three Islands

Isle Maree – Regarded as a sacred and beautifully-wooded island, and named after the founder of the monastery at Applecross, St. Maolrubha, this island holds a great amount of folklores and historical documents (visit Gairloch museum for more). The entire island is legally protected as a scheduled ancient monument since 1975 and is now owned by the Conon and Gairloch Estate. Natural processes is erasing the key relics on the island, the dried-up holy well is a good example of the loss.

Isle of Ewe – Isle of Ewe has served many purposes over the years including being used for farming, as the location for a mill and as a naval anchorage during the Second World War. Remnants of much of this usage can still be seen on the island today.

Gruinard Island – Known locally as Anthrax Island, this low lying island was involved in Ministry of Defense experiments during the Second World War. For many years it lay off-limits until it was returned to the headlines in the early eighties as part of an eco-terrorism story that made headlines nationwide.


The three islands are connected by the A832, one of the most picturesque parts of the North Coast 500. The village of Gairloch sits midway between Isle Maree and Isle of Ewe and is the perfect place to stop while travelling between the islands. You can also stop in at Gairloch Museum to find further information on the three islands (including artifacts related to their history) or just find out more about the local area.

Not only that, the road itself has more than its own fair share of stories to tell…

The Road Between Them

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