Next Years Islay Holiday and Sketch Islay

We've been very busy lately and had a few large projects so there hasn't been any time for blogging I'm afraid. But as Christmas is coming closer and the days are getting shorter, wetter and darker too, it's slowly quietening down. Many folk use this time of year to start thinking about next year's holiday plans and hopefully many of you will make the trip to Islay to enjoy all the island delights.

If you are someone who likes to plan early, now is a good time to find accommodation on Islay. Many Self Catering properties, Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts still have plenty of spaces available in the spring and summer season so booking early avoids disappointment. As you probably know we have very comprehensive accommodation listings: Continue reading...

Utterly Impressed by Islay House Hotel

The history of Islay House dates back to the 1600s. It was built by Sir Hugh Campbell of Cawdor. Work was started in 1644 and completed in 1677, but the part we mostly recognise from the Bowmore side of Loch Indaal was added in the 1760s, with matching octagonal spiral staircases on both the north and south wings.

The Campbells lost possession of Islay House through bankruptcy and the building was purchased by James Morrison, MP in 1843. The Morrison’s subsequently sold the building in 1985 to former American airline and navy pilot, Tom Friedrich. Prior to his death earlier this year, Tom had sold Islay House in 2014 to the current owners who turned this historic house into a beautiful hotel. In September this year, the newly refurbished hotel opened with a "soft launch" so it was time for me to meet up with Bertie Nyman for a closer inspection.

I first met Bertie a couple of years ago when he had just started his work at Islay House to help transforming the place into a luxurious country house hotel. Not an easy task as they had to overcome many difficulties as Islay House is a Grade A listed building. At present Bertie's job title is "Assistant General Manager" but with the absence of a General Manager Bertie is basically the man in charge so to speak. And on an island like Islay you have to be flexible as was visible during my visit when Bertie and myself were chasing a herd of sheep from the lovely lawn in front of Islay House, moments later followed by lighting a fire for the afternoon coffee guests. Continue reading...

Alex Walked 5000 miles for RNLI and is now on Islay

Alex has been walking nonstop round the coastline of Britain and Ireland since August 2014, and all that for charity as he is raising money for the RNLI. He started off in Kent in England and by now he has walked over 5000 miles and raised over £25,000 for lifeboats around the country.

If you see him walking round Islay this week- dig deep! He has a collection bucket with him. He's walking from Bowmore along the coast towards Port Charlotte today so please keep an eye out for him, I know I do :-)

You can follow his progress on his Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/alexellisroswell. And if you miss him and can't make a cash donation directly with Alex you can also donate online via www.bt.com/DonateToLifeboats


Fair play to Ardbeg for donating a bottle of whisky to this RNLI Lifeboat fundraiser! It's raised £300 for the local lifeboat.

Tag: rnli charity

Port Ellen Ferry Terminal to Close Three Weeks

Essential repair work at Port Ellen will require ferry operator CalMac's to divert all Islay services to Port Askaig for a period of around three weeks. The port's linkspan is being replaced and fenders upgraded by owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) requiring closure from October 24 to November 13. There will be no reduction in overall service but an amended timetable will operate. Foot passengers requiring to disembark at Port Ellen will be transported by road free of charge. These sailings are marked with a 'D' on the timetable, which can be viewed below.

Calmac writes: “This is essential upgrade work being carried out by the port owners which, unfortunately will cause some inconvenience to the travelling public for a short period of time,” said CalMac's director of operations, Drew Collier. “To help us limit disruption as much as possible we ask that foot passengers looking to go to Port Ellen should book with our contact centre 24 hours before they travel during this period. This will allow us to plan alternative road transport effectively.” Passengers can book by calling 0800 066 5000.


Temp timetable from October 24 to November 13

Tag: travel calmac ferry

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