Islay Opening Up for Tourists Today

Following the First Minister’s statement on Tuesday 13 April, mainland Scotland will drop to Level 3 as of Monday 26 April, allowing for unrestricted travel between the mainland and the Scottish isles, including Islay and Jura.

There had been some expectation that the islands might have been placed at Level 2, offering islanders more personal freedom, and allowing island pubs and restaurants to sell alcohol indoors. However the news has been broadly welcomed by accommodation providers.

Test prior to travel

In order to minimise the risk of Covid transmission to the Scottish isles, including Islay and Jura, and announced by Nicola Sturgeon at her briefing on Tuesday 20 April, the Scottish Government is encouraging anyone planning to visit the isles, to test for coronavirus prior to travel. continue reading..

Plans for New Distillery near Port Ellen Approved

The rumours of a new distillery near Port Ellen, the 11th Islay Distillery, go back quite a few years. It was referred to as "Farkin Distillery", named after the local farm. I first wrote about Farkin Distillery in November 2015. We're now 6 years on and recently Argyll and Bute council have approved a new distillery on this location, to be built by the co-founders of Elixir Distillers, the brothers Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh. The official name is not yet known, the owners will name it soon. Continue reading...

Merry Xmas Everyone!

What a year it has been.... I don't need to go into the details as all of us suffered in one way or another from the pandemic. Perhaps you've lost a loved one, been in quarantine or perhaps you haven't seen your loved ones for a long time. And for many, I know, you've missed your Islay Fix this year. We all have our stories to tell about this crazy year!

As the year ends and Christmas is upon us we don't have a clue what 2021 will bring us. All we can do is hope that we'll beat this nasty virus and get some normality back in our lives. To be able to travel, meet our friends and loved ones and visit Islay again!

I had planned to post a new 20 minute video of Islay today and I'd started uploading it last night. As it was a 2 GB file I thought it would be uploaded by now, but apparently the laptop went to sleep and it's nowhere near finished, so I'll post that one after Xmas. It's worth waiting for though! So instead I've embedded a Xmas video which I posted a few years back with some wintry scenes of Islay and the switch-on in Bowmore.

For now I wish you all a wonderful, intimate Merry Xmas and a healthy, prosper, hopefull and bright 2021.

Tag: christmas xmas video

Islay Travel Update and Government Advice Covid-19

The entire world has changed in the course of a couple of weeks. Everything what was normal is no longer so due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I can spend a lengthy article on the ins and outs of the virus outbreak but the long and the short of it is that most businesses, hotels, and tourist attractions on Islay are closed for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, all events are cancelled for the months ahead. Also Calmac announced that there are travel restrictions in place. The Scottish Government announced today that:

ferry companies will no longer take non-essential travellers. Ferries will be for those who live on our islands, who have an essential need to travel to or from the mainland and for essential supplies or business. Nothing else.

VisitScotland posted the following advice:

In light of the current situation, we encourage you all to stay safe. We know your travel plans have been affected, but Scotland will welcome you with open arms when it's safe again in the future. For now, please stay at home.

For the latest information from the Scottish Government please visit

Everyone on Islay is looking forward to welcoming you all as soon as the situation has returned to normal. Let's all use our common sense, stay at home, follow government guidelines, care about the folk in your community and hopefully we can leave this behind us as soon as possible.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!