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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Castaway island welcomes visitors
Taransay Island
The island has been put on the tourism map
The remote Scottish island of Taransay, made famous by the television documentary series Castaway 2000, has been opened up to tourists.

The island, which is once again uninhabited after the 36 men, women and children who volunteered for the BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary completed their year-long challenge.

Now the island's owner, Angus MacKay, is hoping to cash in on Taransay's fame by allowing visitors to rent out one of the two cottages on the island, which is usually only home to sheep, red deer and other wildlife.

A house, which was home to castaway doctor Roger Stephenson, his wife Rosemary and their young children Felix and Oliver during the show, has running water, electricity and solid fuel and can take six guests.


I think they will like the peace and quiet and the chance to get away from it all

Angus MacKay
Island owner
A second cottage, used by the castaways as a school, will be available from next April for up to five guests.

Holidaymakers would need to make sure they took enough food and supplies as Taransay has no shops and the mainland can only be accessed by boat when the weather is calm enough.

Mr MacKay, whose father bought the island in 1967, believes visitors will be attracted by the tranquillity of the isle and the chance of solitude.

He said: "I think they will like the peace and quiet and the chance to get away from it all.

Working farm

"You can't do anything but relax and you have all the beaches to yourself."

Mr MacKay, who runs the island as a working farm, decided to diversify because of the interest generated by the television show and because of the difficulties faced by farmers in the wake of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

He added: "Farming is at a difficult stage at the moment ... But really it was more because people were interested in coming here and the facilities are here so we thought we may as well use them."

A website is being used as a contact point for anyone interested in holidaying on Taransay, which covers an area of 3,500 acres.

Mr MacKay is also running day trips to Taransay from Horgobost beach on the neighbouring island of Harris.

Eco-pods

Anyone wishing to take a day trip or spend longer at one of the cottages will have to remain flexible however, as he can only arrange transport by boat over to Taransay when the weather is calm.

He said: "Everything is weather permitting so people have got to be a bit flexible, it might be that they can't go one day and will have to wait until the next to go over to Taransay, that's the only drawback."

Unlike the castaways who lived in wooden hut-type structures known as eco-pods - all of which have now been sold and removed from the island - which had no toilets or showers, people visiting the self-catering cottages will have normal sanitation facilities.

The television show began in January, 2000 and the castaways left the island at the end of the same year.

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See also:

13 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Castaway to front wildlife show
28 Dec 00 | Scotland
Taransay fame sparks tourism hope
05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Castaways head back to isolation
18 Sep 00 | Entertainment
TV 'castaway' complains of bias
02 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Castaway heart-throb 'fed up'
29 Jul 00 | Scotland
Rare reunion for island Castaways
10 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Castaway in talks after island hop
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