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

Islay Craft Markets

Comhla is a new group of artisan art and craftspeople who hold a craft fair in the Columba Hall in Port Ellen every Thursday (11 am 4pm). They started at Easter time and will continue until the end of October, with some additional fairs planned for around the Christmas period.

Comhla is Gaelic for 'together' and this title reflects the co-operative nature of the venture and the members' desire to promote highstandard art and crafts and to support the local community. All the craftspeople live on Islay and they offer a wide range of high quality goods. This currently includes paintings, photographs and prints; linocuts and hand-made cards; hand-knitted goods, pyro-craft, hand-made jewellery, candles, wood-turned items and shell-craft.

Jim Lutomski, the resident artist of the group said, “Art is my life now: it's what brings me joy and a living of sorts. Our new co-op gives me the professional support I need. We help each other thrive in a world awash with artificiality.” Continue reading.....

A Tour at Bowmore Distillery

When you're on Islay and the weather is grey and wet, you might want to spend some time indoors. Needless to say that a visit to one of the eight, soon to be nine, malt whisky distilleries is an excellent alternative for the beaches and other outdoor activities. For me it just feels great to do a distillery tour when the weather outside is really bad. After all, it's usually nice and warm inside, especially in the still room, and the dram at the end of your tour will probably taste even better when it's cold and wet outside! Below is a nice video of a tour at Bowmore Distillery on, what looks like, a very wet and grey day on Islay. Enjoy!

Direct link to video on youtube

Tag: bowmore distillery video

A Stunning Kintra Sunset

Kintra, pronounced as Kin-traw, means "end of strand" and when you visit Kintra you understand why. Kintra is situated on the south-end of a 10km long stretch of beautiful beach, locally known as The Big Strand, which runs from Laggan Point in the north to the Oa Peninsula in the south. You reach Kintra if you head to the Oa from Port Ellen and go straight ahead at the t-junction before Kilnaughton cemetery.

This area is ideal for a fabulous beach walk but if you prefer something more challenging you can start here for a Walk on the Wildside to Soldiers Rock, a beautiful Sea Stack which rises up majestically from the sea.

The stunning view towards Kintra and The Big Strand from the Oa

Nearby Kintra Farm offers accommodation such as a campsite, self catering cottages and Bed and Breakfast. The campsite is situated in between the dunes where you have stunning views over the Big Strand, Laggan Bay and the Rhinns of Islay where you can find the villages of Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte, Port Wemyss and Portnahaven. Needless to say that this is one area on Islay which you really should include in your itinerary and it's a place where you can take beautiful sunset pictures and videos.

The video below shows a bit more about the area but most of all it shows an amazing sunset over the Rhinns of Islay. Bliss!!

direct link to video on youtube

Tag: kintra beach sunset video

A Mega StormPod on the Oa

A few years back Gus Newman, owner of StormCats boat building company in Lagavulin, started with an entirely new concept for accommodation. Gus constructed a fibreglass unit with a lovely interior, built it into a wee hill, covered the top with turf and a brand new type of accommodation was born, the StormPod. Since then business is going rather well, he even received an Edge Award. Gus now rents out two pods at Lagavulin Bay. He also sold a bigger one to someone on the Isle of Skye and there is now a beautiful large version, a real "Mega Pod" in use as self catering accommodation on the Oa. The owner of this large StormPod is Susan Middleton who runs the successful Swallows Roost B&B. A few weeks back I asked Susan about her new venture:

Susan said: "When I first heard about StormPods, a new type of "glamping" accommodation which was being constructed on Islay by local boat builder Gus Newman, I really didn't know what to expect. However, after a visit to the Stormpod at Lagavulin I was impressed by the eco design which included solar shower, turfed roof and pine clad interior." Continue reading...

Opening of Islay’s new lifeboat station

Islay’s new lifeboat station was officially opened and dedicated at a special open air ceremony held in warm sunshine at Port Askaig on Sunday, 29th June. Cutting the ribbon and declaring the facility open was local resident Lily MacDougall. Lily and her family have had a long association with the local RNLI branch and have been active members since the first lifeboat, the ‘Frederick H Pilley’, took up position at Port Askaig in 1934.

The new development, situated adjacent to the CalMac booking office at the island port, cost in excess of £500,000. It was largely financed by donations from the R S MacDonald Charitable Trust and the Hugh Fraser Foundation. Further finance was received from an anonymous donor.

Bruno Schroder, merchant banker, local landowner and provider of the current Islay lifeboat, accepted the new station as the donors’ representative and it was received on behalf of the lifesaving charity by Johnny Bergius, an RNLI Council member. He, in turn, passed responsibility for the shore facility to the local branch and it was accepted by the island lifeboat ’s operations manager Islay MacEachern. Continue reading....

Lily Celebrates her 100th Birthday

A special party is coming up on Islay when Lily MacDougall, locally known as "Lily Fish", will celebrate her 100th birthday. Recently she had her picture, taken by Lord George Robertson, displayed in an exhibition in Holyrood, so many people outside Islay got to know her a little bit better. Now the national media, Herald Scotland, are running an article on their website so by now even more people in Scotland and elsewhere will be aware of this very special woman. Special, because she is still so active and full of life. She paints, drives around the island by herself and does a lot of other things on her own, and that for someone who is 99. And she is so very friendly, a joy to speak to! Of course living alone, at Yellow Rock Cottage in Caol Ila, is not always easy but she has her daughter Christine Logan taking care of her so she is in good hands. Continue reading......

Ardbeg Day 2014 in Germany

See how Ardbeg day was celebrated this year in Bonn, Germany. They had a beautiful day, lots of sunshine, games and of course the tasting. Was it here where the German team did their secret training for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil? Enjoy!

Tag: ardbeg video

Inuksuk on Islay

An Inuksuk is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland and as you can see, also on Islay at Bruichladdich. The word Inuksuk means "something which acts for or performs the function of a person" and historically they may have been used for navigation or as a point of reference (see wikipedia for more info). Martine Nouet sent me this beautiful picture :-)

The Inuksuk at the shore of Loch Indaal near Bruichladdich

Tag: inuksuk bruichladdich

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The Maggie

Buy The Maggie from Amazon The Maggie is one of Ealing studios lesser known comedies. It is however a 'gem' in the true sense of the word. The film has everything, humour, tragedy, pathos, romance. A wily old skipper of a Western Isles 'Puffer' and his motley crew lead all who come into contact with them a fine old time!


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