Back in May 2011 we made a trip to Islay (pronounced Eye-la) which is the southern most island of the Inner Southern Hebrides in Scotland. Geographically it isn’t that far from Northern Ireland and it just involved two flights – one from Belfast to Glasgow and one from Glasgow to Islay the following morning. The main reason for our visit – whisky – well for my other half at least !!
We stayed in a picturesque whitewashed village called Port Charlotte (pictured above) in an apartment converted from an old school house. Despite the rainy weather, we had a lovely, relaxing week enjoying good local food, the beautiful countryside and of course, a few trips to some of the many whisky distilleries dotted around the island.
Here are just a few of the highlights from our week on the island of Islay::-
- Laphroaig Distillery – my husband’s favourite whisky. An acquired taste in my opinion as it has a distinct peaty flavour but still it does warm you up on a cold day.
2. My personal favourite – travelling in the post office van to visit Portnahaven and watch the grey seals swimming and basking on the rocks. I could have spent all day there !
3. Enjoying the beautiful countryside- beaches, sheep, bluebells, history and more.
4. Buying some local crafts (apart from whisky) – Spirited Soaps in Bowmore is worth a visit (the clue is in the name) as is Islay Woollen Mill.
A few tips – don’t count on good weather. We visited in May and it was rainy most days. Coming from Northern Ireland that didn’t bother us because we are well used to it. Also, hire a car if you can as that will make access around the island much easier. We went for a few evening meals at Port Charlotte Hotel – cosy, welcoming and good food. Finally, even if you aren’t fond of whisky, you have to try it !