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.
The 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.
For 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.
Islay 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.
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.
Islay Golf Club is home of the Kildalton Challenge Trophy and hosts fixtures throughout the year
Food and Drink
There 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:
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.
A Japanese author visited Islay in 2000 to sample seven single malt whiskies. He later wrote a travel book called "If our language was whiskey":
If our words were whiskey, I wouldn't have had to work so hard, of course. I'd hand you the glass, and you'd take it and quietly send it down your throat – that would be the end of it. Very simple, very intimate, very accurate. However, our words are words, and they can only live in the world as words. When we tell stories, we replace all things with some other more sober things and then can only live within those limits. But sometimes for a brief, fortunate moment there is an exception, and our words really do become whisky. And we – or and least I – live dreaming of those moments. Dreaming of what would happen if our words were whiskey.Haruki Murakami
If our Language was Whiskey