of Scotland, Inner Hebrides
This Hebridean group includes
Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Oronsay and assorted rocky outcrops. The
turbulent seas are popular with experienced sailors, while walkers,
swimmers and cyclists are drawn to the hills, beaches and countryside.
Golden eagles, grey seals and goats are among the abundant wildlife,
and subtropical plants grow in the mild climate.
Mary McCrain, said to
have lived to 128, buried here. Male ancestor reputed to have
Island's highest point
at 1612ft. From Ardtalla at its foot, path leads to McArthur's
Head light-house on Sound of Islay.
Old road at rear of hotel
leads to summit of hill and scattered remains of fort. Views of
Staffa, Lunge, Mull and peaks of Ben Nevis, Ben Mor and Ben Lomond.
Council offices, hospital,
and fire station located in this harbour village of stone-built
houses and modern dwellings. Distillery, established 1779, has
excellent reception area. Kilarrow Church built in 1767 is circular
Roads to north, south
and west of island meet here at head of sandy sea loch. Viaduct
nearby carries private road to Islay House. Hill-top memorial
to John F. Campbell, collector of West Highland folk-lore. Trout
fishing in five lochs, sea angling from launches, wild-fowling
and hind stalking.
Subtropical plants and
150 species of birds flourish in naturalist's paradise. Man first
visited island in 7000 BC, and has occupied it since the Middle
Stone Age. Walking, fishing, cycling and golf.
Silver and while sands
stretch for 3 1/2 miles beside Jura's only road, which runs for
24 miles from Feolin Ferry to Ardlussa.
Ten-knot tide race in
channel between north lure and Scarba becomes roaring maelstrom
of white water. Has claimed many vessels and lives. Best to view
an hour or so after low tide.
Secret cave hiding place
of MacFie clan and remains of fort protected by cliffs on two
Ruined fortress dating
back to 14th century once belonged to MacDonalds, Lords of the
Thirty species of ducks,
swans and geese in scenic environment near Port Charlotte.
Ancient seat and parliament
of the Lord of the Isles, now ruins on island in Loch Finlaggan.
Visitor centre at Finlaggan farm.
Rock above Machir Bay
sands has profile like old woman gazing out to sea. Ruins of Dun
Chroisprig, Iron Age broch, nearby.
Community of 4000 yields
£7000 a head annually to Exchequer, largely thanks to whisky industry.
Malt dried over local peat, giving unique flavour. Wilder west
coast gives way to farms and boggy lowlands.
Red deer outnumber 250
inhabitants by 20 to one. Standing stones, Iron Age forts and
cave-strewn cliffs. Inland, woods give way to moorland heath and
scree. One main road.
Subtropical shrubs and
flowers grow abundantly. Views from cliff top and woodland walks.
Remains of medieval church,
thought to be dedicated to St Calan, within walled burial ground.
Baptist chapel built 1879 near remains of chapel to St Mary.
Ruins of St Ciaran's
Chapel lie by track leading to bay. Oyster-catchers and curlews
to be seen.
Ruined church with 8th-century
carved Celtic cross, reached by unclassified road through woods.
Unspoiled golden sands
1 mile west of Port Ellen.
Beach backed by sand
dunes in which rabbits thrive. Safe surfing in Atlantic rollers.
Natural rock pool deep enough for diving.
mimosa, embothriums and eucalyptus flourish beside native trees,
bluebells and meconopsis.
The Big Strand, 5 miles
of shell sand, stretches to Laggan at northern end where river
with salmon and trout flows into sea.
Established in 1815.
One of several distilleries on island which produce distinctively
flavoured malts. Traditional melting floor.
A main wintering ground
for Arctic barnacle geese. In 1598 MacLeans of Duart lost clan
battle against MacDonalds of Islay, who pursued survivors to their
refuge in Kilnave Chapel and burned it. Only one MacLean escaped.
Clan chief murdered herein
1623; many clan members visit site. Two carved stones may indicate
early Christian burial ground.
Mill, 19th century --
built by Lord Colonsay -- now converted to dwelling, but water
wheel still in place. Building behind mill said to have been carpenter's
Peninsula of lochs and
caves, once used by illicit whisky distillers end smugglers. Topped
by Beinn Mhor, 658ft. Monument at Mull of Oa to 650 U.S. servicemen
who died when two troopships, Tuscania and Otranto, sank off the
headland nearby in 1918.
St Columba said to have
landed here on way to Iona in 6th century. Long-horned, black-fleeced
wild goats may be descendants of animals from Armada ships wrecked
in 1588. Grey seals on rocky islets.
Ruins of priory dating
from 13th century contain 16th-century Celtic cross and high altar.
Stone slabs in graveyard have carved portraits of warriors and
Three conical mountains,
highest 2571ft, give views over 100 miles to Isle of Man and Outer
Hebrides. Climbers should take care, especially from August to
february when deer stalkers abound.
Ferry port from mainland
and connecting point for five-minute ferry run to Jura. Post office,
hotel, store and a lifeboat station. Safe bathing.
Principal village of
Rinns of Islay and prosperous farming area. Village creamery takes
island's entire milk output, producing cheese sold on mainland
and abroad. Museum of Islay Life has displays of local history
from prehistoric times. Street names are written in Gaelic.
Chief township built
in mid-19th century and car ferry port. Flanked by peat moor used
in malt whisky industry. Pier, post office, double-tower lighthouse.
Sailing, swimming and Machrie golf course nearby.
Tiny village and neighbouring
Port Wemyss stand in treeless area with dramatic cliff scenery
and views to Ireland. Village includes post office., store, school
and two churches. Offshore is Isle of Orsay lighthouse.
Remains of 19th-century
homes, earlier chapel and burial ground. Village abandoned in
1918. Inhabitants rebooted at Glassard, near Scalasaig.
Atlantic rollers wash
great sandy bay dominated by 400ft cliffs. Behind is Loch Gorm,
largest freshwater loch on island.
Saithe and mackerel can
be caught from the pier -- arrival point for Oban ferry. Seafarers
use the 19th-century monument to Lord Colonsay as a landmark when
anchoring off pier or at Queen's Bay.