A visit to the beautiful island of Iona on a bright day in September

One day in September last year, on a holiday to the Isle of Mull, we set off from Tobermory for the south-west corner of Mull to catch a ferry to Iona. The island is famous for its historic abbey and its connection with the foundation of Christianity in Scotland, which I won't delve into here. It has a small population and receives a lot of tourist visitors during the summer months, during which time there are a few shops and places to eat on the island.

It's a lovely island to visit for a day trip. Very green with wide, white sandy beaches, and big views over the surrounding sea. You can't take a car on the island, but you don't need to; it's small enough to walk around. Although there are very few cars and tractors on the island, most of the time you can wander down the road without worrying about traffic, which is a joy in itself.

After grabbing some lunch and looking in a few gift shops, we walked down the main road to one end of the island, where the road ends and the landscape opens out over green fields. We walked down to one of the beaches. I watched (and photographed) some sanderling running among the kelp, picking at things in the sand freshly brought in with the waves. I've rarely felt more calm and contented than I did in those moments.

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