The Isle of Islay spans 240 square miles, with an impressive 130 miles of coastline. The island is famous for its malt whiskies, and there are eight distilleries on the island. To be sure, many people visit the Isle to tour distilleries and "appreciate" whisky, but the wildlife and scenery are also a big draw. Bird-watching is particularly popular through the year. Just don't try to squeeze it in after a distillery tour or two. Looking through binoculars has been known to make some people woozy, especially after whisky.
Things to do in Islay
4 based on 513 reviews
We had lunch here on two occasions recently,the food was very acceptable and the beer was well kept..The club sandwiches are very good,one of them should see even the hungriest person through till teatime.thoroughly recommended for a lunch in Bowmore.
4 based on 244 reviews
Title reflects locals view of what they call Luccis. Technically it is part of the Bowmore Hotel but run by Mr. Lucci!!
Incredible extensive menu. We had haggis deep fried balls and a salmon dish that was great. The service is impeccable How the chef can prepare the variety of dishes is amazing.
4 based on 412 reviews
Tastefully restored Victorian hotel located on the seashore in the centre of attractive conservation village. En-suite rooms enjoy seaviews out across Loch Indaal. Conservatory and Gardens open directly onto sandy beach. Local seafood, beef and lamb. The hotel is recommended in the Michelin and Good Food Guide and highly rated in The Best of Scotland Guide. The hotel is also a must for lovers of Scottish art & traditional music.
We had pre-booked as we were on a planned tour of the Island.
This was our last night and it did not disappoint. From your initial view the hotel looks well looked after and respectable, inside it really ups its game. The lounge prior to be seated in the restaurant was light and comfortable, the dining room is nicely laid out and perfect for supper.
Food was well presented, fresh and definitely worth the little extra.
Certainly worth a visit if in the area, excellent friendly service.
4.5 based on 179 reviews
Squeeze through the narrow split storm doors of what looks like a terraced house and you are into the compact lounge bar on the right, with small bar servery and friendly staff. Fresh food is prepared to order which is first class and not too expensive, limited range of drinks and slightly dissapointed that the local ale tap was not working.
4.5 based on 162 reviews
The Lochindaal Hotel in Port Charlotte is one of Islay's most traditional hotels. It is a family run establishment, having been in the MacLellan family for well over 100 years. Iain and Katie and their 5 children are the latest generation of MacLellans to have the privilege of running this lovely old pub. Over the years the pub has played host to many characters; friendly locals, holidaying visitors and many a famous face. They all leave with a tale to tell about an evening at 'The Lochindaal'. The hotel also boasts an impressive collection of rare and unusual Islay and other malt whiskies which can be viewed from both bars. In the hotel during the colder months there are roaring peat and log fires and local musicians regularly entertain the guests with traditional Scottish music, attracting a merry audience. The hotel has developed a great reputation for it's Seafood dinners and there are numerous excellent Trip Advisor reviews praising the freshness and the exceptional quality of the local seafood supplied by our great island fisherman who battle all weathers to get the seafood straight to the table that day. 24 Hours notice is required for the Seafood Platters. Iain, the owner (also head chef) works very hard to ensure that all of his guests are well cared for and happy. The Lochindaal is noted for it's friendliness and humour, our staff are welcoming and accommodating. The hotel consists of two bars; the public bar has a pool table, dart board and juke box, the lounge bar has a pleasant dining area with tables and Seating for up to 24 guests, it is comfortable and cosy with an open fire - this is where most meals are served. Fresh bean to cup coffee is served all day in both bars. There is a restaurant situated at the rear of the hotel, this can accommodate larger parties for evening dining, birthdays etc. There is also a bar in this room. Pre-booking is required for the use of this room and arrangements can be made to staff the bar. There is free WiFi available to all guests whether they be in for a quick drink, indulging in a Seafood Platter or staying overnight, please ask the bar staff for the WiFi Key code.
Scruffy little place but loved by the locals ...will arrange a fabulous fresh seafood platter for you with 24 hrs notice ...at a price ! Well worth it though
4.5 based on 349 reviews
Bridgend Hotel is an 11 bedroomed country hotel with a dining room, public lounge (known as 'The Strath') and Katie's Bar which sells food in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The hotel is run by Lorna McKechnie and is owned by Islay Estates. Where possible we use locally sourced food, particularly shellfish and game from the estate. Children are always welcome, as are dogs; there are drying facilities at the rear of the hotel for those caught out in the rain.
The seafood here was so local and so fresh. It definitely tasted like it had just been fished out of the sea only hours before. The oysters were just so good, and the crab claws were perfectly delicious. The winning dish of the night, and certainly the weekend, maybe even the entire trip, was the kedgeree - curried rice, smoked haddock, and peas topped with a perfectly poached egg and some crisp fried seaweed. Oh such transcendence from a perfectly balanced dish.
4.5 based on 334 reviews
Enjoyed a pleasant lunch in their cafe/restaurant. My wife had a very tasty crab Sandwich and I had a scone with jam and cream. It was a pity the cream was of the synthetic type but the scone was fresh /and I enjoyed it. The staff seemed a little harassed but it was very popular and busy.
No hesitation in recommending this cafe
4 based on 140 reviews
Been here on several visits now and can't praise the young girl who is their chef highly enough ! Everything is home made and her cakes, Cullen Skink and soups are to die for. Best distillery café ....no, even best Cafe on the island !!
4.5 based on 37 reviews
A little home-spun place with almost no food when we visited for a late lunch. Many better places on the island for very good food!So sorry you had such a bad experience. The Bistro is between ownership right now and the new owners will be in place next week.........:-(
4 based on 443 reviews
A group of 5 of us enjoyed an evening meal. Since we were sea side we all enjoyed a fresh fish dish. We did book in advance, and had a nice table overlooking the harbor. In Bowmore we had excellent service staff experiences, and the Lochside also had friendly Waitstaff. We were not rushed and enjoyed our tasty Scottish meals!
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