In the passing...

Something about Islay

Liz Sykes is an Islay artist and picture framer who lives in Port Charlotte and works in Islay House Square, Bridgend, on the Isle of Islay in Argyll. For those who are not familiar with the island, Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides, off the West Coast of Scotland.

You will find the work of several Islay artists and collections of Islay art in the Square: please see Artist and Studio.

Islay is famed for its malt whisky. Most of the Islay malt whiskies are strongly flavoured by the smoke of the peat fires over which the malt is kilned. There are eight working distilleries: Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig, together with a maltings at Port Ellen. Liz has created an extensive series of batiks of the Islay distilleries (please see the Distilleries Gallery, which also shows a set of all eight Islay distilleries and Jura Distillery in one frame).

Fèis Ile (pronounced faysh eela, the Islay Festival), a combination of a music festival and a malt whisky festival, takes place at the end of May, beginning of June each year. Like the Lagavulin Jazz Festival in the middle of September, it brings a lot of fans to Islay.

Islay is world-famous for bird-watching. During the winter, we host the majority of the world populations of Greenland white-fronted and barnacle geese. All year round Islay offers an amazing variety of bird life, including waders and other sea birds, raptors and the rare chough.

There are many historic and prehistoric sites on the Island, including Finlaggan, the seat of the Lords of the Isles, Kildalton Chapel with its famous celtic cross and Kilchiaran Chapel, claimed to be St. Columba's first landfall when he came from Ireland and before he moved on to Iona.

A great amount of information about Islay and lots of contact details are to be found on the website for our holiday cottage, Lochview Cottage, in Port Charlotte. These may be helpful to you even if you are not seeking self-catering accommodation.

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