Local Attractions and Amenities

Isle of Islay Attractions - Bruichladdich Distillery

Shopping For Groceries

Port Charlotte has a well-stocked Village Shop and Post Office, which sells a wide range of goods. You can also rent DVDs there and a recent addition is a free ATM cash machine (the nearest bank is in Bowmore, approximately 12 miles away). There is also a petrol pump.

For more extensive shopping, a trip to the Mini-Market at Bruichladdich is recommended or you can visit the Spar Shop at Bridgend (the coffee served at the Bruichladdich Mini-Market is worth trying too). Bowmore, the main town on Islay, has a wide range of shops including a Co-op Supermarket.

Port Charlotte Hotel, Isle of Islay

Eating Out in Port Charlotte

There are four places for dining within Port Charlotte:

  • The Port Charlotte Hotel - a wide selection of locally sourced produce. You can choose from a range of restaurant or bar meals
  • Yan's Kitchen - Seafood, Grill and Tapas: a recently opened restaurant that serves lunch and dinner, with teas and coffees available during the day
  • Port Mor - cafe / restaurant serving a good choice of meals and snacks, with superb views
  • The Lochindaal Hotel - a lively pub, which also serves bar meals
Isle of Islay Attractions - The Museum Of Islay Life

The Museum of Islay Life

The museum (www.islaymuseum.org) has a large collection of information and exhibits in relation to all aspects of the island's history. Access to resources can be made available to those who wish to trace family history.

The Wildlife Centre

Providing comprehensive information about Islay's natural heritage, The Wildlife Centre (www.islaynaturalhistory.org) on the island is where you'll find several displays and 'hands on' activities for all ages. In summer, there are short expeditions for young explorers close to the village. Tickets are valid for a whole week.

Isle of Islay Historical Ruins - Kilnave Chapel

Historical Sites

More detailed information about the following historical locations can be obtained from the Museum of Islay Life:

  • Finlaggan - the ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles. For more information visit
    The Finlaggan Website
  • Kilnave Chapel
  • Kildalton Chapel and Cross
  • The Military Graveyard at Kilchoman
  • Kilchoman Church and Cross
Port Charlotte Cycle Routes Isle of Islay

Bicycle Hire

You can hire bicycles in Port Charlotte and this is one of the best ways to explore the island. There are very few steep hills so cycling on Islay is not too difficult. To hire a bike or for more information please telephone Port Charlotte Bike Hire on +44 (0) 1496 850488.

Port Mor Community Centre

A purpose-built community centre for the village of Port Charlotte, often the venue for popular ceilidh dancing and Visitors Welcome Evenings. The centre has a cafe/restaurant, function rooms and is next door to the play park and playing fields overlooking Loch Indaal.

Play Park and Playing Fields Overlooking Loch Indaal, Port Charlotte

Beaches

Islay has some of the finest unspoiled beaches in the UK and most are reasonably accessible. Be sure to visit Ardnave, Saligo or Machir Bay at Kilchoman. There is a fine coffee shop and visitor centre at Kilchoman Distillery close to Machir Bay. On the other side of the island is Big Strand - a sandy beach approximately 7 miles long. Rockside Farm arranges horse-riding for all levels of ability, these rides include a beach trek which is highly recommended.

Ardnave, Islay A Short Drive To The North West Of Port Charlotte, Machir Bay Islay Traditional Whisky Distilleries - Lagavulin

Distilleries

Islay is perhaps best known for internationally for its fine Malt Whiskies. There are eight distilleries on Islay, all of which have visitor centres well worth visiting. Ardberg Distillery has the reputation of providing good food. Below are the names of the distilleries and relevant websites:

Islay Traditional Whisky Barrels Thistle on Islay

Natural Heritage

Islay's unique natural heritage is all around, but visits to the RSPB Centres at Loch Gruinart (www.rspb.org.uk) and The Oa (www.rspb.org.uk) are recommended.

Isle of Islay Sealife - Limpets Isle of Islay Bird Watching - Seabirds Isle of Islay Sunsets - Porthaven

Sports Facilities

The MacTaggart Leisure Centre offers a swimming pool, gym and associated activities for all ages. There are a number of places that offer pony trekking. Fishing and Shooting can be easily arranged during your visit. Islay Golf Club is situated at Machrie.

Isle of Islay - The Round Church at Bowmore

Annual Events

Islay has a wide variety of events at any time of the year. A diary of events is to be found at the Ileach (local community newspaper) website:
Ileach Newspaper

The main events on the Isle of Islay include:

A Little Burn on the Isle of Islay