Islay Day 2 Part 1 – ruins, rocks and distillery visit.

After a hearty breakfast we headed up to Finlaggan.

A few miles to the south-west of Port Askaig on the island of Islay lies Loch Finlaggan, a place of great importance in Scottish history, In the loch are three islands, two of which lie close to the north shore. These are Eilean Mor (large island) and Eilean na Comhairle (council isle) which contain fragmentary remains of buildings. Here the installation of the Lords of the Isles took place. The Macdonald Lords of the Isles were descended from Somerled, a 12th century prince, and these lords, the chiefs of Clan Donald, chose Finlaggan as their home and the centre of their lordship, so that Islay is often referred to as the Cradle of Clan Donald. Source – Finlaggan Trust

Finlaggan is an amazing place and I hope my photos do it justice. It was amazing to see such structures stilling existing hundreds of years after they had been build. There is a wooden walkway to the first island, but no way over to the second island. Once on the first island there are information boards to help guide you around the island. Before heading down to the island there is a small information museum. It wasn’t open when we arrived at the site but was before we left. It is worth a look around to find out more about the site. As the museum is not secure a lot of the artefacts found on the site are now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Finlaggan is worth a visit on a trip to Islay.

Our next stop was Bruichladdich – the distillery. We couldn’t get on a tour until 2pm – book distillery tours in advance is advisable – so we had coffee and cake before exploring and relaxing on the rocks near the distillery.

It  was very relaxing lying on the rocks watching the clouds go by. I closed my eyes and thought I was in the Caribbean. The time allowed me time to try out my new camera.

We could have spent the afternoon on the rocks but the time had come for our tour round the distillery.

Bruichladdich is Gaelic (Bruchláddich or Bruikladdie) and means corner of the beach or gentle slope of the sea. The distillery was built in the year 1881 by the Brothers Robert, William and John Gourlay Harvey. The distillery is located on the Isle of Islay near the lake Indaal. The Harvey family ran the distillery until William died in 1936. Afterwards the distillery was sold and mothballed many times until Murray McDavid purchased the distillery in the year 2000. They refurbished the distillery in the old Victorian style and started production. In July 2012 the distillery was bought by Rémy Cointreau, who still own the company today. Source –

We have been several distillery tours each one is slightly different. This tour was made different by the old Victorian equipment which is still in good working order. The tour was also made enjoyable by our tour guide Heather. Bruichladdich is one of the only distilleries on Islay which does it’s bottling and marketing from Islay. Plus they are the only distillery on Islay to make gin – The Botanist – when they had money issues they diversified into making gin with great success. I would recommend a trip to Bruichladdich distillery.

Check out my next blog post will be what we did the rest of day 2 on Islay!



About AMWeston

After too many years as an IT developer with various financial organisations I went back to University to study to be a teacher. I graduated in 2008. I am a mother of two - one girl and one boy. I am interested in new technologies especially how they can be used in education. I am Apple Teacher. I am a keen football supporter but gave up my season ticket due to being disheartened and lack of money/time.
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