Get Islay Presents for Christmas

The dark days before Christmas are here so now is a good time to start thinking about Christmas presents! Before you rush off to Amazon and the likes you might want to consider doing some of your Online Christmas shopping on Islay and support the local businesses as there is plenty of choice, as you can see on our online shops on Islay page.

But there is more. The Islay Celtic Craft shop in Portnahaven also sell their items online through Ebay and you can find a wide selection of Islay and Celtic related items. For an overview visit their Ebay page. Jane Taylor's beautiful whisky prints can also be purchased online and if children's books are your thing you must visit the website of Ailsa Press, they have some lovely children's books.

You can find a wide range of whisky soaps, special gift packs, creams, scenting candles, balms and other bathing and personal care products on the www.spiritedsoaps.com website and for those of you with a sweet tooth I can recommend the Islay tablet shop. The attractive online Islay Shop is another great place where you can find a nice collection of gifts such as Jewellery, calendars, t-shirts and whisky gifts. Continue reading...

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

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