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Cara Island
Gaelic name Cara
Meaning of name may be "Kari's island" or "dearest"
OS grid reference NR639440
Coordinates 55°38′N 5°45′W / 55.63°N 5.75°W / 55.63; -5.75
Physical geography
Island group Islay
Area 66 ha (14 sq mi)
Area rank 178= 
Highest elevation 56 m (184 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Argyll and Bute
Population 0

Cara Island (Scottish Gaelic: Cara) is a small island which is located off the west coast of Kintyre in Scotland.

Geography and etymology

Cara from the air

Cara is 1 kilometre (58 mi) south of Gigha. It is accessible from Gigha.

Cara has a translation in Gaelic as "dearest" or "dear one". Cara is a popular girl's name in the local area and in Scotland in general.


Blaeu - Atlas of Scotland 1654 - CANTYRA - Kintyre
Joan Blaeu's 1654 Atlas of Scotland, with Gigha and Cara in the centre. The map is oriented with west at the top.

In 1881 a commercial vessel, the Henrietta from Brixham, foundered and sank off the Cara Island coast. Her captain drowned after falling overboard during the incident; his body ultimately washed ashore on the distant Pentland Skerries. The remainder of the crew reached Cara Island unharmed.

Cara is currently owned by MacDonald Lockhart of Kintyre and is reputed to be the only island still in the possession of a direct descendant of the Lords of the Isles. The only habitable building on the island is Cara House, but that is derelict

The liner Aska was sunk on 22 September 1940 on rocks northwest of the island after being struck by German bombers.


Cara is well known for a herd of feral goats, which still thrive on the wild landscape.


Mull of Cara - - 395623
Mull of Cara, near Broonie's Chair

Cara is famous as the home of the Uruisg/broonie, the familiar spirit of the Macdonald of Largie family. A rock formation known as the Broonie's Chair is found at the extreme southern tip of the island.

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