About Islay

Rowan Cottage is set in the inner hebridean island of Islay. A wild & remote place, famed for its awesome natural beauty, balmy year round climate from the Gulf Stream effect.

It has much to offer to nature lovers, whisky drinkers, golfers and has wonderful walking opportunities, unspoilt beaches, horse riding and wild trout fishing.


whiskybarrelsThe Islay festival of music and malt is the highlight of the whisky connoisseurs calendar as it showcases world famous whisky from the eight Islay distilleries. But of course these whiskies can be enjoyed all year round. Why not book a tour of your favourite distillery, whilst enjoying the comforts of Rowan cottage.


Bird watching

corcnrake1For birdwatchers the Island offers many delights from the arrival of the Greenland white fronted geese in the autumn to the ragged flight of the choughs and the “craicking” of the elusive corncrake. Many raptors can be seen including Hen Harrier, Merlin and Golden Eagles on the Oa. Take your best binoculars for great opportunities all over the island or, go to the RSPB reserve at Loch Gruinart.


fishingIslay has some of the best Wild Trout fishing in Scotland. Its numerous lochs offer an unspoilt natural haven for the true angler. All at very reasonable prices. There is also salmon fishing available in the spate rivers.



Couple walking across Machir Bay.Getting outdoors & close to nature is part of the essential Islay experience & there are many ways to do this. Walkers are spoilt for choice. Rugged moorland, heather coated uplands , long white beaches, ancient historical sites, gentle woodland walks all beckon you outside.

The island’s uncluttered roads & tracks provide the perfect environment for safe cycling. Bikes can be hired in Bowmore.

Staying fit on your holiday is so easy with empty roads & beaches just perfect for jogging & running. And if the weather turns inclement there is a Leisure & Sports centre in Bowmore.


Golfball on IslayRowan Cottage overlooks the beautiful Machrie Hotel and Golf links. This is an 18 hole course near Port Ellen.

Islay Golf Club is home of the Kildalton Challenge Trophy and hosts fixtures throughout the year

Horse Riding

Horse ridingPony trekking on Islay is a sheer joy. There are two main stables on Islay.



Food and Drink

Delicious Islay oystersThere is great local produce – oysters, venison and lamb. We love the walled community vegetable garden at Islay House, where you can also pick up one of the Islay Ales – a micro brewery. There are a range of hotels, bars and restaurants and we can recommend The Harbour Restaurant.


Getting around on Islay

Car hire is available from the following providers on the island:

Islay car hire

D&N MacKenzie

Going ‘off island’

Once a week in Summer (Wednesdays) you can pop over to Colonsay and there is a regular shuttle ferry through the day to Jura.


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