The Armin Grewe Homepage

If you need more information on Islay try the links listed below. I've tried to group them so that you can get to the information you need quicker. Please note that I take no responsibility for the content of those sites. You can use the quick navigation to move to the sections:

Islay in General - Accommodation on Islay - Islay Guides - Islay Activities - Islay Attractions - Islay Whisky and Beer - Islay Churches - Islay Shopping - Islay Schools - Islay Businesses - Other Islay pages (incl genealogy)

Islay in General

I'll start the list with a shameless plug, as I run this blog:, a blog about the Isle of Islay, Scotland. As the name says, a blog about Islay with regular updates about Islay, Jura or Colonsay.

Not content with one blog I recently started a second blog, a photoblog about Islay: Islay Pictures - Pictures from the Isle of Islay, Scotland. As the name says, pictures from Islay. In large.

The Islay & Jura Marketing group: Visit Islay and Jura - Islands with spirit!

Joanne Mackenzie-Winters' Internet guide to Scotland has an excellent section under Isle of Islay accommodation, transport and sightseeing. Probably one of the oldest (and still maintained) sites existing, I remember using it for my first visit back in 1998

the islay directory ( and are general sites about Islay and own the most desirable addresses for Islay.

The Ileach, the local newspaper. Recommended for up-to-date news from Islay.

Ron Steenvoorden runs, an online guide for Islay. He's also having a stab at blogging about Islay.

Uli Sauer's Islay page is in German, may be of interest for my German visitors?

Accommodation on Islay

My favourite hotel is the The Port Charlotte Hotel in, what a surprise, Port Charlotte. Graham and Isobel Allison run this excellent hotel for a few years now, after taking over from the Reavies who ran it for eight years. All rooms are furnished with antique furniture and have sea view. The restaurant serves very good meals and is also open to non-residents (although I think a reservation is pretty much essential). Cheaper meals are available in the bar (reservation advisable during busy periods).

Especially for families with children I would recommend Ian and Margaret Brooke's Kilchoman House Cottages. They are only a short walk from Machir Bay, my favourite beach on Islay. It is also a perfect base for birdwatching, you can see a lot of birds on the crags just above the houses. Ian and Margaret are birdwatchers themselves and can tell you a lot about where to see the birds.

Persabus cottage used to offer two things: A pottery as well as accommodation, now it only offers accommodation. The water jug you can see on the whisky page was made here.

Kintra Farm offers a variety of accommodation ranging from B&B and cottages to camping.

For self-catering accommodation you can also try some of these:

A few suggestions for B&Bs and Guesthouses on Islay:

You'll find hotels in most of the villages:

If you're on a budget you might want to try the Port Charlotte Islay Youth Hostel. Camping is possible at Kintra Farm or at the Port Mór Centre in Port Charlotte.

Islay Guides

Islay is a bigger place than many people think with a lot of places and attractions to see. To help you to make the best out of your visit to Islay you might want to consider using a guide:

Islay Activities

Islay Sea Safari also offer various cruises, including trips to Northern Ireland with a rigid inflatable boat. I haven't been on the boat yet, but I'm told the speed is very impressive.

Birdwatchers might want to try Islay Birding by Jeremy Hastings, who provides birdwatching tours on Islay. He also runs Islay Bushcraft

Walkers might be interested in the annual WalkIslay walking week in April. You'll find travelogues from previous weeks in my Islay travelogues.

Anglers might want to contact the Port Ellen Angling Club for advice and further information about angling and fishing on Islay.

The Islay Jazz Festival for music lovers, the Feis Ile, Islay Festival of Malt and Music for whisky and music lovers.

Gaelic courses and a variety of concerts as well as other activities take place at Ionad Chaluim Chille Íle (The Columba Centre Islay).

Riders have two options: Ballivicar Farm provides self catering accommodation and pony trekking, the other option is Rockside Farm near Kilchoman (unfortunately no website).

You can swim in a variety of places: If it's warm enough in the sea, alternatively in the MacTaggart Leisure Centre. Ask the Islay Masters Swimming Club for advice.

There's a challenging golf course on Islay at The Machrie Hotel and Golf Links, also home to the Islay Golf Club.

Most sailors will stop in Port Ellen at the Port Ellen Marina.

For stalking, shooting and falconry you can try The Gearach between Port Charlotte and Kilchiaran.

Islay Attractions

History buffs might want to visit the Finlaggan Centre near Loch Finlaggan. You can visit the information centre to learn more about the Lordship of the Isles and also walk down to Eilean Mor to see the remains of buildings from medieval times.

The Museum of Islay life in Port Charlotte has an excellent exhibition about life on Islay through the centuries.

The Islay Natural History Trust also in Port Charlotte (in the same building as the Youth Hostel is a must for anyone interested in wildlife and in particular birdlife on Islay. From there head over to the RSPB Loch Gruinart Reserve.

If you're lucky you might get to listen to the Islay Pipe Band.

Islay whisky and beer

Some official pages from the Islay Single Malt brands:
  • Laphroaig, interesting site with several stories from Islay. Also the "Friends of Laphroaig" club
  • Ardbeg, well designed website with information about the re-opened Ardbeg distillery
  • Bowmore with lot's of information and downloads
  • Bruichladdich has lots of information about this recently reopened distillery
  • Bunnahabhain has a fairly new website with some nice stories and pictures
  • It has only fairly recently started distilling, but Kilchoman Distillery has started to release its first whiskies
  • Not on Islay but on the neighbouring Isle of Jura is the Isle of Jura distillery.

Those were the official pages, here are a few enthusiast pages:

Islay's first (and only) brewery can be found at Islay Ales, Islay House Square.

Islay Churches

Islay has a variety of churches and parishes, some of them have websites where you can find more information about their history and the time of Sunday service:

Islay Shopping

You'll find some of my recommendations on my Shopping on the Isle of Islay page. Here are some direct links:

A few more options for shopping, e.g. for food or soap:

Islay Schools

The schools on Islay and several of the teachers are very active on the internet and using IT. Here are the websites I'm aware of, first the school websites:

Several of the schools also have blogs, filled by the pupils and the teachers:

And finally the teachers who have a blog:

Islay businesses

Links to a variety of businesses will go here

Islay Studios provides various photographic services. You can buy prints after viewing them in the online gallery and they also provide a picture framing service.

A few food businesses:

A variety of businesses on Islay with a web presence:

Other Islay pages

(incl genealogy)
This page is not an Islay page, however, it has information about the wave power generator which is piloted on Islay since late 2000: from Inverness. I hope to add some pictures after my next visit. (Thanks to Chiara for the link!)

After several mails asking about this topic I thought I quickly add a list about genealogy links for those of you trying to research their ancestors from Islay:

IDEAs (Islay Disabled Endeavours and Action) needs a mention for its community activities.

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