Holy Isle, Firth of Clyde

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View of Holy Isle from Arran

The Holy Isle, Firth of Clyde is one of a number of islands in the United Kingdom which go under the name "Holy Island". It is located in the Firth of Clyde off the west coast of central Scotland, inside Lamlash Bay on the larger island of Arran.

The island, which is located at Template:Gbmapping (Template:Coor dms), is around 3 km (2 miles) long, and is around 1 km (around half a mile) wide. Its highest point is the hill Mullach Mor (at 314 metres / 1030 feet).

The island has a long history as sacred site, with a spring said to have healing properties, the hermit cave of 6th Century monk Saint Molaise, and evidence of a 13th Century monastery. Indeed the earlier Gaelic name for the island was Eilean Molaise, Molaise's Island. This became corrupted to Elmolaise, Limolas, and finally Lamlash the name now associated with the adjacent bay and town.

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The Centre for World Peace, with Tibetan flags and stupas

It is now owned by the Samyť Ling Buddhist Community, who belong to the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The settlements on the island include the Centre for World Peace and Health, founded by Lama Yeshe Losal, on the north of the island. This is an environmentally designed residential centre for courses and retreats which extends the former farm house. It has solar water heating and a reed-bed sewage treatment system. The approach from the ferry jetty is decorated with tibetan flags and stupas.


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One of the wild Eriskay ponies

On the southern end of the island lives a community of nuns who are undertaking three year retreats. The remainder of the island is treated as a nature reserve with wild Eriskay ponies, Sanaan goats, Soay sheep and the replanting of native trees.

There is a regular ferry service from Lamlash, and the island is popular with holiday makers staying on Arran.

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