Islay isn't called 'whisky island' for nothing. There are nine
working distilleries here, and you'll find their peaty single malts
sold around the world. There's also 130 miles of coastline here,
with plenty of quiet, sandy coves to explore, plus superb cliff-top
The island is a wildlife paradise too, with over 200 species of
birds including oystercatchers, gannets, terns, and cormorants, as
well as buzzards, Hen Harriers and even White-tailed Eagles. From
the beaches, dolphins and basking sharks are sometimes spotted, and
you might even see otters if you're patient.
For cosy pubs and restaurants, visit the charming little town of
Bowmore - it's probably the only place in the world you can grab a
Hebridean pizza - or 'peat-za' - topped with crab and lobster. It's
also got a strong crafting heritage, and you'll see potters,
quilters and artists in their workshops. Islay Woollen Mill, near
Bridgend, made tartan clothes for Mel Gibson in Braveheart, as well
as Liam Neeson's kilt in Rob Roy.