Islay

Islands

    The great Clan Donald chose well when they made the Isle of Islay the centrepiece of their Lordship of the Isles.

    Islay has always been blessed with nature's bounty - rich farmlands which each autumn witness clouds of geese arriving. Loch Gruinart in the north is the island's main reserve, with barnacle and white-fronted geese flying in from Greenland.

    Peat is still cut from the mosslands which cover much of the interior, giving the unique flavour to the 'Islay malts' - world-famous whiskies such as Bowmore, Laphroaig and Ardbeg. Most are still in production and welcome visitors to watch the production process and, even better, sample their delights.

    Islay has a number of villages with terraces of small, single-storey houses lining the foreshore, such as Port Ellen, Port Charlotte and Port Askaig. Bowmore, Islay's main town, has a unique, round church, said to have been designed to ensure that evil spirits had no corner in which to hide.

    Relics of a bygone age abound, with stone circles, carved stones and crosses, fine forts and castles and evidence of Bronze Age settlements.
     

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