Our advice would be to book far in advance if you want to rent a nice place. The houses on Tiree fall into two categories: big old farmhouses where the residents move out during the tourist season or live next door AND small, traditional black houses/cottages which have been done up very nicely usually by someone who lives on the mainland. The best places tend to be booked up year after year by the same people and being windsurfers, not everyone will take you on. This can be very frustrating when ringing though the Tiree accommodation list and it is mainly due to student windsurfers who have, in the past, packed 10 people into a 4 person house and ruined it for everybody! Wild Diamond will certainly help you out if you are struggling. Go to www.isleoftiree.comfor more help with accommodation. As the island is only 12 miles long and 3 miles wide, it really doesn’t matter where you stay.
Wild Diamond run a bunkhouse sleeping six costing £180 for the week or £150 if you’re booking a course through them.
The Millhouse Hostel sleeps 12 in bunk rooms and has two twin rooms. They also have a Farm House with 3 double bedrooms. Both places are very modern, very clean and run by the local vets. Go to www.tireemillhouse.co.uk
The Hynish Centre is a hostel sleeping 24 but this tends to take group bookings as they cook your breakfast & dinner for you – perfect! During the Tiree Wave Classic it is full of competitors and it also takes school groups in the summer. However, if you are a party of 10 or more, it will take you as well. Go to: www.hynishcentre.co.uk.
Be clear; there are no Hiltons or Travel Lodges on Tiree! There are two hotels & six guest houses all which are listed here: www.isleoftiree.com.
Glebe House is very nice as is Kirkapol House. The Scarinish Hotel is much better than it used to be and the food has improved immeasurable. The Lodge is not as good but the rooms are warm, the bath water is hot and the food is edible (just).
If you want to camp then do so on the flat bit of grass opposite The Lodge Hotel. This is called Camp City! You don’t have to pay but this has been allowed so you don’t camp anywhere else.
The two hotels do food; the Scarinish being favoured over The Lodge. The Glassary (01879 220684) was the only decent restaurant on the island until the Elephants End opened this year (01879 220694) although you will need to pre-book dinner there.
The Tiree Rural Centre (next to the airport) has a wonderful café serving light lunches and the best afternoon tea on the island. We can vouch for the cakes being home made as the owner, Anne, is seen late at night baking away in her kitchen!
There are two main food shops: the Co-op & Crossapol Stores. The Co-op is very well stocked but of course relies on the ferry which gets in most days around 11am so if you want fresh stuff don’t go in until after that. Crossapol Stores has the monopoly on newspapers & magazines and sells household goods as well as food. Fresh fish can also be bought here every Wednesday. There is a butcher next to the Co-op where you can buy local meat.