Main Street, Port Charlotte, Isle of Islay, PA48 7TU.
A holiday on one of the Scottish islands is a chance to get away from it all - but on Islay you have the added bonus of being able to escape the hustle and bustle but also have so many things to see and do - not just the nine whisky distilleries!
As they say here, people may come for the whisky but they stay (and return) for so much more.
It is a great place for the outdoors whether you love walking, cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, swimming or running. Coastal paths especially for walkers and cyclings make it super safe too.
There is so much history to learn about, and see, like Kildalton Cross, Finlaggan - seat of the Lords of the Isles, the American monument on the Oa. Learn more about it all at the Museum of Islay Life in Port Charlotte.
The island is renowned for its wildlife. There are two RSPB reserves - at Gruinart and on the Oa - and the Islay Natural History Trust in Port Charlotte where you can learn more. Barnacle geese come in their thousands in the winter, we're home to the shy corncrake and rare Chough and of course you'll spot birds of prey including buzzards, white-tailed eagles and golden eagles. And in the sea expect to see seals, otters, dolphins and even whales if you're lucky. On four legs there are deer and wild goats to be seen among the many sheep and cattle and watch out for the huge hares.
The island has rich agricultural land and clean clear waters - which means an abundance of fantastic food including the shellfish and local meat - lobsters, crab, langoustine, venison and beef.
There are now nine whisky distilleries on Islay, two gin distilleries and a Rum distillery - and more in the pipeline. Most have shops and visitor centres, tasting experiences, tours and some have cafes and restaurants.
Here are a few contacts to help you make the most of your stay, but please just ask our reception staff if there is anything more you'd like to know and we'll do our best to help.
Getting to Islay
Getting to Islay has never been easier with the new Oban to Islay route on Wednesdays and Saturdays and up to five ferries a day from Kennacraig
Two flights most days from Glasgow
Please visit http://www.islayjura.com/ for more detailed information
There are a number of different tours available:
Rhinns Taxi Tours
Stuart Doyle offers bespoke island tours for all tastes.
Telephone: 01496 850 170
Lady of the Isles
Christine Logan, born and bred on Islay. Christine provides tours specifically tailored to your interests and timeframes, everything from distilleries, to craft shops, and wildlife to shooting.
For more information
Telephone: 01496 810485
Mobile 07732 283554
Whisky Island Tours & Taxis
Sightseeing/Nature tours (full day or ½ day). For more information:
Telephone/Fax: 01496 810449
Mobile: 07899 756159
See Islay from the sea! Tour the island, watch the wildlife or the coastline! Visits organised to Corryvrekan whirlpool, or wherever you want to go.
Nicol MacKinnon 07768 450 000
There are 9 distilleries on Islay and 1 on Jura, each with their own unique style and flavour.
Most of the distilleries offer tours throughout the year, but remember to call in advance to book to avoid disappointment.
Please note not all distilleries allow children under 8 years of age access to the production areas, please check with distillery directly to ensure your preferred tour is booked and that all required members of your party are able to take part.
Telephone: 01496 820385
Wildlife RSPB the Oa
With both rugged coastline and open moor land. Open at all times.
Telephone: 01496 300118
RSPB Loch Gruinart
In the autumn, thousands of white-fronted and barnacle geese arrive from Greenland. When they leave in spring, the wading birds take centre stage, with the courtship displays of snipe, redshanks and curlews. Watch it all from the viewing centre and hide, or from your own car along the roadside.
The reserve is open at all times. The visitor centre is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Telephone: 01496 850505
Estates, Stalking, Shooting, and Fishing Islay Stalking
Islay Stalking offer daily tours with Mark Piper, to get up-close and photograph illusive wildlife living in the Gearach Forest.
Telephone: 01496 850120
The Laggan Estate
The Estate offers a wide range of fishing, shooting or stalking opportunities.
Contact the estate directly for further details.
Estate Office: 01496 810 235
Head Keeper: 0774 876 3288
This estate offers river-fishing opportunities on the upper reaches of the Laggan River.
Telephone: 01496 840 232
Telephone: 01496 810 221
Sport and Relaxation
Islay Pony Trekking, Sanigmore: 07557 423299
Puregray at The Machrie Hotel, Spa, Sauna & Gym: 01496 302310
There is a Championship links 18-hole golf course at the Machrie.
Telephone: 01496 302 310 Fax: 01496 302 404
Located on one of the most remote locations on the Islay the gallery stocks and sells, jewellery, prints, cards, ceramics, sculptures and original paintings by local artists.
Telephone: 01496 850259
Tormisdale Croft Crafts
Hand spinning, stick making, lace making, painting and articles made from stag horn.
Telephone/Fax: 01496 860239
Islay Woollen Mill
Produces an excellent range of top quality woven fabrics, The Mill Shop is open from Monday to Saturday and features a wide selection of both Woollen Mill products and quality souvenirs.
Telephone: 01496 810563 Fax 01496 810677
McTaggart Leisure Centre
Situated on School Street in Bowmore, with a 25m x 4 lane swimming pool, sauna, activity room, fitness studio, tan cab, sports shop, and launderette. Details of the opening times, and prices can be obtained at reception.
Telephone: 01496 850 086 Mobile: 07795465951
Therapeutic Massage & Reflexology
Jane Taylor Dip T.M. provides a therapeutic massage and reflexology treatments, for an appointment call 01496 810 900
Islay House Square
Is the location of several shops including Islay Ales Brewery. One of the shops is the Islay quilters where fabulous quilts are made. The square is also home to Mark Unsworth Photography Studio and the Nerabus Gin shop. Visit Mrs Mackinnons Marmalade shop for Islay and Scottish food, gifts and hampers made to order.
Heritage and History
Museum of Islay Life - Port Charlotte
From flint tools from the Mesolithic period to illicit whisky stills, and collections of old Islay photographs. 10,000 years of Islay history on display.
Open Monday-Saturday, 10.30 am – 4.30 pm from April until 31st October.
Islay Natural History Trust - Port Charlotte
Something for everyone, informative displays and hands on activities.
Open March –October, Monday-Friday 10 am – 4 pm,
Saturday (June to August only) 10 am – 4 pm.
Telephone: 01496 850 288
Finlaggan Islay – The Centre of the Lordship of the Isles
A few miles to the south-west of Port Askaig lies Loch Finlaggan a place of great importance in Scottish History
Telephone: 01496 840 644
Islay has lots of historically significant architecture.
There is the Kildalton Cross, Cultoon Stone Circle, Dunyvaig Castle and the Mull of Oa.