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.