A woman living on a Scottish island says there is no crime, only freedom

A woman living on a Scottish island says there is no crime, only freedom

An aerial view of flooded slate quarries on Easdale Island, Scotland.
Ian Masterton/Getty Images

  • Lisa McWeeny has lived on Easdale, a car-free island in Scotland, for more than a year.
  • The artist said that the island has no crime and has more freedom due to the lack of access to vehicles.
  • She said hackers would not have a chance because they would have to bypass the ferry to the mainland.

Easdale Island seems almost mythical.

The small island off the west coast of Scotland has no access to vehicles, no crime, and a lot of barrows, according to Lisa McWeeny, an artist who has lived there since May 2022.

McWhinnie is one of 60 people residing on Easdale, which is less than 10 hectares in size, making it the smallest permanently inhabited island in the Inner Hebrides, according to its website.

She currently runs an art gallery out of her home, selling a range of handmade items including sea glass jewelry, crystal necklaces, and driftwood houses.

Lisa McWhinnie’s art gallery at her home on Easdale Island.
Lisa McQueen.

Speaking to Insider, McWhinnie said she moved to Scotland from Blackpool, a busy seaside resort town in England, at the start of 2022 because she was craving a change of pace.

After spending four months in the nearby town of Oban on the Scottish mainland, McWhinnie said she and her partner decided to move to Easdale after discovering the island by chance while walking in a rainstorm.

The artist said she was walking on Seal Island, another island connected to the mainland via a bridge overlooking Easdale, and was struck by its beauty.

“It took my breath away. Do you know what it feels like when you see a rainbow? I said, ‘That’s amazing,'” McWhinnie said.

McWeeny says there is “unconditional love” between the islanders

Soon after, McWhinnie and her partner were able to find a home on the island.

Unlike some other islands in Scotland, there are no bridges connecting Easdale to the mainland. There is one small ferry with 10 seats, which can make transporting large bags and belongings to the island a bit difficult.

But McWhinney said she and her partner’s new neighbors didn’t think twice about helping them move their belongings from the ferry to their home.

“They were like little ants, moving around and bringing things into our house,” she said.

“This is what really takes your breath away…” McWhinney trailed off, appearing to hold back tears. “Unconditional love. People do something and don’t expect anything in return.”

That sentiment was echoed by Donald Melville, another Easdale resident who has lived on the island for 30 years. Speaking to Insider earlier this month, Melville said island residents “talk to everyone” and welcome all visitors and new residents.

Photograph of Easdale Island by Donald Melville.
Donald Melville.

Veterans on the island don’t see the lack of transportation as a barrier, McWhinney said, adding that almost everyone uses wheelbarrows to transport groceries and other heavy items from the ferry to their homes.

McWhinney said she still sometimes forgets there are no cars and often looks while crossing the street out of habit.

“There’s so much freedom,” she said, adding that they don’t have to worry about their children or pets possibly getting hit by a car.

She added that there is no crime or break-ins in the area as intruders have to bypass the ferry operator in order to return to the mainland.

“What are they going to do, steal a TV and try to put it on top of the ferry?” McWhinney joked.

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