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Islay, Jura and Colonsay

Big skies, soaring eagles, red deer and peaty malts: the Atlantic islands of Islay, Jura and Colonsay are offer a little glimpse of paradise. From achingly beautiful beaches to toe-tapping nights in the pub, this is Scotland at its finest.

Islay is famed for its smoky, single malt whiskies, overwintering geese and miles of sandy beaches. All eight whisky distilleries happily offer guided tours, ending with a generous dram (of course!). It’s a relatively flat island with quiet roads, and perfect for a two-wheeled adventure. There are plenty of good watering holes dotting the island, including the tiny pub in pretty Portnahaven.

Neighbouring Jura couldn’t be more different. Mountainous, wild and sparsely populated, the island has a rugged and remote appeal. George Orwell moved here in 1946 to give himself ‘six months’ quiet’ to write a novel (Nineteen Eighty-Four), and you can see why: this is splendid isolation at its best. The island’s distinctive peaks, the Paps of Jura, offer fantastic hillwalking, and intrepid hikers can explore the uninhabited – and otherwise inaccessible – west coast. The Isle of Jura distillery is well worth a visit too.

Tiny Colonsay is a gem of an island and home to an array of plant and birdlife and a healthy population of goats and rabbits. The golden Kiloran Bay has to be one of the most perfect sandy beaches in the whole of Argyll. You’ll sigh at the peace and beauty of it. As well as walking and nature watching, there’s an eighteen-hole golf course with fantastic views over the north Atlantic. It’s worth visiting the Isle of Oronsay too. Just half a mile to the south, you can walk here from Colonsay at low tide and visit the fascinating ruined Augustinian priory.
Explore Islay & Jura Explore Islay & Jura
Visit the official website for Islay & Jura
Visit Colonsay Explore Colonsay
Visit the official website for Colonsay
Explore like a local
Clive & Donna Rumbold Clive
Angela Paterson Angela
Duncan Pepper Duncan
Iona Barr Iona
Wild swimming
Bonnie Wood Bonnie
Shane Wasik Shane
Diving & snorkelling
Sue Thornley Sue
Glorious gardens
Virginia Sumsion Virginia
Ken Coley Ken
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