Welcome to Islay Weblog

Islay Weblog Brings News and Events from Islay

Welcome to Islay Weblog

Islay Weblog Brings News and Events from Islay

Welcome to Islay Weblog

Islay Weblog Brings News and Events from Islay

Loch Gruinart

Loch Gruinart

Kildalton Cross

Kildalton Cross

Islay Cloud Formations

Islay Cloud Formations

Atlantic Sunset

Beautiful Sunsets on Islay Westcoast

Port Charlotte

On the Rhinns of Islay

Loch Indaal

Loch Indaal

Atlantic West Coast

Sanaigmore Bay Saligo Bay


Isle of Jura

Islay Whisky Distilleries

Islay is famous for it's malt whisky

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Islay Festival 2015 Bruichladdich Open day

With Jim McEwan's retirement coming up it seems that his magic powers for sunshine are somewhat fading but fortunately there was plenty left for some nice sunny spells. Today was another amazing Bruichladdich Open day with plenty of music, happy crowds, good food and fine drams. Well done to all the distillery folk as it's not easy to accommodate such large numbers of people in a relatively small area. The highlights of the day were the Islay Pipe Band, the Highland Dancers and of course Skerryvore, the Scottish band from Isle of Tiree.

This years festival had a serious touch as well. Jim McEwan held a speech to celebrate the life of Fraser Shaw from Port Charlotte, a very talented band member of the Maverick Angels. Fraser sadly passed away last week after a terrible illness. All folk present clapped for two minutes..... Impressive....

Below is a wee video with some impressions of Bruichladdich Open Day 2015, taken by Mrs Islay Info, for those who couldn't make it today.

Direct link to video on Youtube

Tag: feis ile islay festival bruichladdich

Islay Festival 2015 Kicks off at Islay House

The Islay Festival has officially kicked off today and many folk found their way to the garden party at Islay House. What started off as a wet and misty morning turned out to be a rather pleasant afternoon, much to the enjoyment of the organisers and visitors. There were whisky tastings by the Scottish Malt Whisky Society, ice cream and whisky pairings, snacks and a part of Islay House was open to the public. Tonight there will be a jazz concert which starts at eight. Tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd, it's Lagavulin Open day and Skipinish in Ramsay Hall at 9pm. Sunday will be very busy at Bruichladdich Distillery. Their open day starts at 1pm. Parking is possible at the head of Loch Indaal and shuttles will take visitors to the distillery as there is little parking space available in Bruichladdich. Let's hope Jim McEwan can use his magic for one more time and arrange a sunny afternoon. Fingers crossed! More images of today on our Facebook page

On the lawn at Islay House

Party tents with sales and tastings

Inside Islay House

Tag: islay festival feis ile

Islay Time on a Whisky Bottle

There is an endless variety in whisky related products for sale such as whisky soaps, whisky chocolate, whisky cheese, whisky tablet and much more. Lately a new whisky themed business started up called Islay Glass Crafts, they are based in Port Ellen. This time it's not about the whisky itself but about the bottle. Someone with a sharp mind had a brilliant idea to turn empty whisky bottles into something useful. But what to do with them? As an experiment, one bottle, with its label removed, was put into a kiln where it was heated to a very high temperature and out came a flat bottle. Then they glued the label back onto the bottle, drilled a hole through the bottle and attached a clock to it, and the Islay whisky bottle clock was born. Fantastic idea right? And the good thing is that you can use almost any whisky bottle and turn it into a clock. It will go great for on your wall, or as a gift, and it will tell you exactly when it's "Dram o'Clock" just in case you need reminding. And if you have that special empty whisky bottle and want to re-use it in some way you can ship it to Islay and have it turned into a clock. Continue reading...

Gannets on Islay

The Gannet is one of my favourite birds on Islay. I just love the way they soar over the sea with their bright white wings reflecting in the sunshine. It's quite a spectacle to see them fishing. They catch the fish by flying quite high over the sea before plunging into the water and dive for their prey. This afternoon there were four of them fishing off the Rhinns coast at Loch Indaal and below is my first attempt of shooting some decent Gannet pics. I must admit that it was quite difficult trying to focus properly and to keep the camera steady during strong wind gusts. I hope you like the result.

Gannet flying over the sea

More pictures of Gannets...

Foreland House Gardens Islay Open to Public

Foreland House Garden on Islay is one of the four big gardens in the Southern Hebrides. The other three gardens can be found on the Isle of Gigha at Achamore House, which is open to public all year and has beautiful views to Islay and Jura too. Colonsay House has beautiful gardens, some open most of the year, except the private inner garden which is only open on Wednesday's and Fridays. This garden can be included in a day-trip to Colonsay from Islay. Jura House Garden on the Isle of Jura is unfortunately no longer open to the public.

The gardens of Foreland House on Islay have limited opening times and are usually only opened to the public in spring during a couple of days on Sunday afternoons. Today, Sunday 17th of May, was the first of the 6 open days. Foreland House has two gardens, the House garden and the Walled Garden. There is also a large pond, built some years ago, which is accessible from the back of the House garden. Attached to the walled garden is a plant sale area with a very good selection for those with green fingers. Continue reading....

Spring at Islay House Community Garden

The weather this afternoon was gorgeous with plenty of sunshine and a light breeze, perfect weather for a stroll around the woods at Bridgend. The Bluebells are flowering, the trees are becoming rapidly greener and Islay House community garden looks very smart at the moment. So many plants and shrubs are flowering and the vegetables and herbs in the poly-tunnels look, and taste, delicious. Tom Skinner and his group of volunteers are working hard to plant, water and feed everything in time, they are doing an amazing job. I remember how the garden looked many years ago and is has undergone a huge transformation. It's a pleasure to stroll through the gardens, sit on one of the many benches and enjoy the many flowers and plants. Much to our surprise there were quite some vegetables and herbs for sale already, despite the rather cold spring we had. There will also be a plant sale next week, on Friday during the Islay House garden party, and on Saturday in the community garden itself. For more info and updates please visit their Facebook page

Flowering Rhododendrons

Overview of the Community Garden

Bluebells Galore

Beautiful Acers behind the poly-tunnels

Tag: community garden

Building the Access Road to Islay House

Most work on Islay House is taking place indoors but some of it is taking place on the outside. In the last days there are works going on to build the main access road to Islay House. You can find the new access roughly between the cattle market and the entrance to Re-Jig. As you can see in the pictures below the wall has been opened up and a path has been made which will eventually give access to the front of Islay House. Doing so, the visitors will be presented with a grand view of the hotel on their arrival. A clever idea if you ask me, as the other access is next to a bend in the road near Islay Car Hire which can lead to dangerous situations. If you want to see it all for yourself, and more, then don't forget to visit the garden party next week, on Friday the 22nd of May. It will start at noon.

The gap in the wall

The view towards the cattle market

Close up of the opening in the wall

Tag: islay house

Of Ferry Manoeuvres and Additional Islay Sailings

I was very pleasantly surprised this morning when I received an email from Calmac with an explanation about what looked to me, and a few others, as an "almost grounding" in Port Ellen last Tuesday. So what did happen that day around noon, when the Hebridean Isles wasn't able to berth in Port Ellen and had to divert to Port Askaig?

Calmac explains: "As you observed while trying to berth at Port Ellen the vessel was caught in a strong (approx 35kts +) westerly squall. In these circumstances one contingency is to allow the bow to lightly touch a sand bar adjacent to the berth on the southern side of the bay in order to prevent the vessel from being blown to leeward and into the shallower water in Loch Leodamais, this is what the Master opted to do. He then backed clear of the berth to allow adequate sea-room to swing the vessel and proceeded back to sea, diverting to Port Askaig. This was a deliberate seamanship not an accidental grounding, the vessel was inspected after the manoeuvre before progressing to its next destination." Continue reading...


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