Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Islay, Island of, Argyll and Bute. The most southern of the Inner Hebrides West of Kintyre. Formerly having close and regular contact with Ireland, this was the administrative centre of the Lordship of the Isles that made the Macdonalds almost independent princes after the end of Norwegian rule in the 13th century. Finlaggan was the heart of this principality, and many other places in Islay are connected with the story of the Lordship. The island is almost cut in two by shallow Lochindaal and Loch Gruineart; the green farmlands of the western half slope up to rugged cliffs North and South of Kilchoman (with an ancient carved cross), while the long strand and machair of Laggan Bay ends to the South in the rugged Oa peninsula, and is backed by moors that extend right across to the isolated but picturesque East coast, where there is another finely carved cross at Kildalton. Bowmore is the island capital, with Bridgend as the centre of the road system. Car ferries from the mainland call daily (more frequently in summer) at Port Ellen and Port Askaig, and there is a daily service from Glenegedale airport.
Islay is notable for songs and singers, and, although less Gaelic is heard nowadays, the islandersí keen sense of music remains. Most of the villages have hotels and boarding-houses. Together with farming, the principal industry is distilling, and brilliantly white distillery buildings are to be seen in several parts of the island. In a generally cheerful island, there is a reminder of wartime tragedy in the American monument on the Mull of Oa commemorating the loss of 650 lives from the Tuscania and Otranto in 1918, and among earlier victims of the rocky West coast was the emigrant ship Exmouth, wrecked at Sanaig in 1847. No road encircles Islay, but there are some good classified roads connecting the various villages. Islay is world famous for its malt whiskies. It also produces one of the most palatable of Scottish cheeses.
Nearby islands: Isle of Colonsay, Isle of Gigha, Jura, Isle of Tiree
Nearby towns: Campeltown, Inveraray, Lochgilphead
Nearby villages: Ardfin, Ardnave, Ardtalla, Ballygrant, Barr, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Carradale, Craighouse, Feolin Ferry, Gruinart, Killinallan, Kintour, Kintra, Lagavulin, Port Askaig, Port Charlotte, Port Ellen, Sanaigmore, Tarbert
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation