A picturesque conservation village in the Rhinns of Islay, with a sandy beach and far-reaching sea views, Port Charlotte is the ideal base for a holiday exploring the island.
Port Charlotte village
A picturesque conservation village and an ideal base for exploring Islay, Queen of the Hebrides
The village is made up of traditional white-washed cottages and houses decorated with pretty flower pots. With plenty of things to see and do and a couple of pubs and restaurants, all within easy walking distance from our holiday accommodation, Port Charlotte is perfect for families and groups of friends.
Wherever you go in Port Charlotte, the views across Loch Indaal towards the Mull of Oa and the Paps of Jura are stunning - you'll instantly feel yourself relax.
...the nicest village on Islay. Enjoyed the walks and the drams"
Things to do in & around Port Charlotte
Places of interest - indoor and outdoors - in Port Charlotte
Wander down from your holiday home to Port Charlotte's safe, sandy beach, fish off the pier or walk along the rocky shore to the iconic Rubh'an Dùin Lighthouse, exploring the rock pools as you go. The well-equipped playpark beside Port Mor Centre, with far-reaching views out to sea, is also a family favourite.
The Museum of Islay Life and the Natural History Visitor Centre are both in the village and well worth a visit to learn more about the island's history and its wealth of birdlife, geology, wildlife and marine animals.
Being close to the beach was great for the kids! Islay, you didn’t disappoint!"
Port Charlotte food & drink
The village's restaurants and pubs are only a short walk away
The Port Charlotte Hotel, an award winning restaurant and bar offers local produce, an impressive malt whisky menu and live music. Also within walking distance is Yan's Kitchen - for seafood, grill and tapas as well as tea/coffee during the day.
Best of all were the locals who are so friendly...had some great meals in the Port Charlotte Hotel."
The Port Mor Community Centre has a popular cafe/bistro and The Lochindaal Hotel is a lively, friendly pub which also serves bar meals. The village has a Post Office and shop for basic supplies (there's a Co-op supermarket in Bowmore).
Nearest whisky distilleries
Bruichladdich and Kilchoman Farm distilleries are both within easy reach
Port Charlotte's own whisky distillery is no more (it now houses a youth hostel). However, Bruichladdich Distillery is 1.5 miles along the shore road from Port Charlotte with a range of tours including one for the increasingly popular The Botanist gin. Top tip: hop on the bus to the distillery and back so you can fully enjoy the whisky tasting experience!
...enjoyed distillery visits and whisky tasting (yes, we visited them ALL!)"
A scenic 7 mile drive takes you to Kilchoman Farm Distillery which in addition to the whisky tours and shop, has a great restaurant - try their Cullen Skink! Complete your visit with a walk along nearby Machir Bay beach - it's sure to blow away the cobwebs! Read more about Islay's Distilleries on our Explore Islay page here>
The history of Port Charlotte Hall
From Victorian village school to stylish holiday accommodation
The village of Port Charlotte was built in 1828 to provide housing for the Lochindaal Distillery workforce. Our holiday apartments are in the restored Port Charlotte Hall which was originally the village school - Port Charlotte School - and subsequently became the local Village Hall. It was built as a church in 1830 by the people of the village under the guidance of Reverend Malcolm MacLaurin, a Congregational Church Missionary.
Our favourite home from home."
The church was never completed - the balcony was never added and there seems to be no record of the building having been used as a church. It became the village school with extensions being added to the north and south. The extensions to the north were two classrooms, while that to the south was a two storey block with an outside stair. This housed the woodwork and cookery departments.
The building remained much the same until the new school was built in 1976 and it was handed back to the community. It became the Village Hall and was the venue for a variety of local activities. The restoration of the building commenced in 2006 and the final phase - the holiday cottages - were completed early in 2009.
Original image by Graham McFarlane