Islay boasts some very fine hand craft shops which are worth a visit, such as the Persabus Pottery in Port Askaig and the Islay Woollen Mill near Bridgend. Islay House Square in Bridgend, located in the centre of Islay, is home to Islay Ales, the Islay Quilters and several other interesting shops.
There is the famous golf links at Machrie, where visitors are welcome. Islay is renowned for its huge variety of birds and wildlife and is home to the RSPB at Loch Gruinart which includes a worthy visitors centre. There are many rare winged visitors to Islay including barnacle geese in the winter time, chough and corncrake.
In Bowmore is Morrisons Bowmore Distillery, one of nine working distilleries on Islay, and welcoming visitors for a tour and dram. Bowmore’s famous Round Church stands at the top of Main Street, overlooking the village. Close to Port Ellen, connected to the wonderful new distilleries pathway, are Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig Distillery.
The historical significance of Islay cannot be over emphasised. It is from Finlaggan, the cradle of the Clan Donald, that much of Argyll was ruled by the Lords of the Isles. Here, in the ancient burial ground is the grave of Robert the Bruce’s grand-daughter, and there is a seasonal visitors’ cottage on-site.
More info and pictures can be found on the Ultimate Islay Guide which offers a wealth of information, history, accommodation, maps and pictures.
For useful info and practical tips please also read the Islay Holiday FAQ.