The Isle of Tanera Mor
Tanera Mor has been the Wilder family home for the last 14 years. Bill and Jean Wilder, originally Wiltshire dairy farmers, were looking for a new challenge and a change in direction. The West Coast of Scotland had long held an important place in their hearts and the opportunity to live and work in such inspiring surrounds was one they couldn’t pass up.
In 2009 they were joined by their daughter Lizzie and her then fiancé, Richard Williams – the couple were married on the Island in June 2009. Lizzie came from the world of conservation, based in Cambridge working and travelling for the conservation charity Fauna & Flora International. Richard was working in London as a Chartered Surveyor, braving the long daily commute from Cambridge. The pair had developed a strong connection with Tanera over the years and decided the time had come to give the old life a break and come and try something new.
Bill and Jean also have two sons, Jack and Harry, who live in England but visit as often as they can to get their dose of fresh air and fun on the water. Now Jack and his wife Grace have a baby Hannah, who first visited at 6 weeks old to get a taste for the Tanera life. Harry features in some of the website's more extreme action shots, being a windsurfer of considerable skill.
Tanera has a long and varied history, dating back to the Viking invaders of the 8th Century. Not surprisingly the Island’s fortunes have been closely linked to the sea, and in particular the fishing industry. The herring industry of the 18th and 19th Centuries saw her population reach well over 100 persons, before falling to zero after the First World War. Since then fishing has continued to play a role, albeit one that supports a far smaller population. Today’s fish farm, owned and operated by Scottish Sea Farms, employs eight people, just two of whom live on the island year round.
Tourism is therefore now the island’s mainstay, with somewhere in the region of 5,000 visitors a year; but don’t worry, the island’s holiday cottages only support a combined population of 30 or so. You’ll be sure to find some room for yourself amongst our 800 acres! Various cruise and tour boats visit Tanera throughout the summer with the Summer Queen (from Ullapool) and Hectoria (from Achiltibuie) coming daily (weather depending). For day trippers there is the Island Café and of course the Summer Isles Post Office – Tanera is the only Scottish Island with its own year-round postal service!
For those wishing to stay a little longer we have a selection of holiday cottages available to let, with a range of activities to keep you amused (but not necessarily dry!) and more recently we have started hosting creative residential courses so that aspiring artists and writers can learn and develop their craft, inspired by the island’s magical setting and wonderful vistas.
Days spent on these gorgeous islands.... were some of the most relaxing I have had in years.”
Ben Buckland and Belinda Cleeland