About Islay

Islay is known as the Queen of the Hebrides and is famous for its whisky distilleries, deer stalking and bird life. The island offers something for everyone and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Read more about our activities below on this page.


Islay is famous for its whisky and there are 8 distilleries on the Island (plus one on Jura) that each have their own character and charm.

Things To Do On Islay

Bird Watching

Islay boasts a wide variety of wonderful scenery and habitats offering amazing birding, with over 100 species being present on the island all year round. Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve is well worth a visit.


There are some beautiful walking routes on Islay, whether you fancy a nice woodland stroll, a beach walk or a more challenging climb. Do some online research or have a word with your host to organise a guided walk with him.


Machrie Golf Links is one of the finest golf courses in Scotland — an eighteen hole links course right along the shores of Loch Indaal. The course is open to visitors and members. Prospective golfers should contact the hotel directly. Machrie website.

Pony Trekking

There are trekking centres on Islay at Islay Pony Trekking, near Sanaigmore and Ballivicar Farm, Port Ellen.Visit the Islay Info website for more information.


Islay has a diverse coastline and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the UK. With rarely more than a couple of people on the beaches at any one time they are perfect to relax and get away from it all.


Islay is perfect for cycling and there are several cycle hire places on the island. There are routes for beginners and season cyclists’ to explore the island. Find out more on Islay Info.


There is a bowling green at Bridgend just opposite the Bridgend Hotel which is open throughout the summer season and welcomes visitors. Another bowling green is situated at Port Ellen Playing Fields.


There is plenty of loch and river fishing for salmon and brown trout. Contact the estates directly for more information. Your host, Donald, can also organise fishing trips and fishing instruction. Have a word with him.


Islay has a rich history and there are many interesting historical and archaeological sites on Islay to visit including Finlaggan; the centre of the Lordship of the Isles and the Kildalton Church and Cross dating back to around 800 A.D.