Lunga, Treshnish Isles

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Scottish Gaelic nameLungaigh
Old Norse namelangr-øy
Meaning of name"(long)ship island", from Norse
Lunga is located in Argyll and Bute
Lunga shown within Argyll and Bute
OS grid referenceNM278419
Coordinates56°29′N 6°25′W / 56.49°N 6.42°W / 56.49; -6.42
Physical geography
Island groupTreshnish Isles
Area81 ha (38 sq mi)
Area rank161 [1]
Highest elevationCruachan, 103 m (338 ft)
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Council areaArgyll and Bute

The island of Lunga is the largest of the Treshnish Isles in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The Isles are part of the Loch Na Keal National Scenic Area.


Lunga, which is of volcanic origin, has been described as 'a green jewel in a peacock sea'.[3] It was inhabited until the 19th century, and still bears the remains of blackhouses. The remains of the ruined village, abandoned in 1857, lie in the northeastern part of the island.[7]


Puffins on Lunga.
Seabirds on Harp Rock, Lunga, Treshnish Isles

As one of the Treshnish Isles, Lunga is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation.[8] These designations reflect the importance of the island for its marine life, including the grey seals that inhabit the waters around it, and for its breeding colonies of seabirds, including storm-petrels, kittiwakes, Manx shearwaters, guillemot, puffin, European shag and razorbills. (The birds also breed on the Harp Rock, a sea stack separated from Lunga by a narrow gut.) In addition, barnacle geese winter on the island.[3]

Many rare and endangered plants are also native to Lunga, including primrose, birdsfoot trefoil, orchids, sea campion, sea thrift, sea pinks, yellow flags, tormentil and oyster plant.[3]

In summer, tourist boats visit Lunga from Ulva Ferry, Tiree, Tobermory, Iona and Ardnamurchan. The island's thousands of breeding puffins, who allow visitors to approach to within a few feet of them, are the island's main attraction.


  1. ^ Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ 2001 UK Census per List of islands of Scotland
  3. ^ a b c d Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey
  5. ^ Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
  6. ^ "Regions of Scotland and Gaelic Names" (PDF). Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Overview of Lunga". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
  8. ^ "Treshnish Isles". Wild About Lochaber. Retrieved 22 May 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°29′27″N 6°25′18″W / 56.49083°N 6.42167°W / 56.49083; -6.42167