4 Day Inner Hebrides – Islay and Jura

For an ideal short Autumn, Summer or Spring break, why not travel to the beautiful Inner Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura in your campervan.  As well as being famous for it’s delicious single malt whisky,  Islay (pronounced Eye-la, also has an array of beautiful beaches  and is rich in wildlife.  With 8 distilleries on the island, you are never far away from finding a dram of whisky  to refresh you.  Alternatively, head for Port Askaig, Port Ellen or Port Charlotte for places to eat.  If you feel more active then there are some great golf courses or cycle around the island and enjoy the peaceful roads as you enjoy the scenery.  Fishing, horse riding and hill walking are also available. 

Located a few miles north of Islay the Isle of Jura is known as one of Scotland’s last wildernesses.  With only 200 residents and one hotel, it is a great place to get away from it all.  The name Jura is thought to have come from the Norse, Island of the deer, and you are sure to see the heards of deer and you travel along Jura’s main road that runs along the east coast of the island.  With lots of historical sites including Iron Age Forts, standing stones and burial grounds, there is plenty to see for history lovers.  The more active can climb the famous and distinct Paps of Jura.  

Day/Night 1

Take the A82 from Four Seasons Campers  north to Tarbet on Loch Lomond then A83 west along Loch Fyne and over to Lochgilphead then head to Cairnbaan and park up for cycle along Crinan Canal to Crinan and back. After cycle head south down the B8025 to Tayvallich to camp for night.

Campsite – Located just south of Tarbert on the coast and recommended by Cool Camping website http://www.muasdaleholidays.com/

Day/Night 2/3 –  Islay

Travel Take Ferry over to Islay from Kennacraig to Port Ascaig

Things to do on Islay:

  • Several good places to eat in Port Charlottte including Port Charlotte Hotel. Also book in advance for seafood from Lochindaal Hotel restaurant
  • A good place to walk is at the RSPB reserve at Loch Gruinart
  • Bowmore Distillery is between Port Charlotte and Port Ellen and is recommended but there are also lots of other distilleries so if you know your whisky then you can choose your favourite to visit!
  • Cycle between 3 distilleries from Port Ellen to Laphroiag, Lagavulin to Ardbeg, Bike hire in Port Charlotte opposite Port Charlotte Hotel 01496 850 488 and in Port Ellen from Jim Lutomski 07760 196592
  • Eat at Ardbeg Distillery

Camping:

Wildcamp  Head towards Bridgend and there is a good place to camp at the head of Loch Indaal between Bridgend and Bruichladdich.

Campsite  Port Charlotte .  Good facilities toilets, showers, laundry and bistro.  Free wireless network.  Ten electrical hook ups. 

01496 850441     http://islandofislay.co.uk/

Campsite  Kintra Farm – 3 miles from Port Ellen.  Basic camping and caravanning site beside the sea.  Converted farm steading houses toilets, wash hand basins and showers and unisex disabled toilet.  No electrical hook up points

http://www.kintrafarm.co.uk/camping/               01496 302051

Port Ellen Filling Station –  Mobile Service Point and Hook up /campsite  

Port Ellen Filling Station- community owned facility for campervans to empty chemical waste, electric hook up and fill up with fuel plus water supply, wi-fi access, jet wash and air compressor. 2, 4 and 1 night stops – Public toilets opposite.  In town for access to restaurants and bars with view out to sea.  Call 01496 302443

Option Day/Night 3- Jura

No campsites on Jura so it is all wild camping.  There is only one hotel and they actually let tents camp in their garden so no problem camping most places on the island unless there is a sign saying not to.   There is only one road that runs along the east side of the island.   About two miles north of Jura’s only village, Craighouse, there’s a big beach called Corran Sands, and it’s a great spot for campervans to spend a night or two.

Option Day 3/Night 3

Get the ferry back to main land and drive north on A816 through Kilmartin Glen and through Oban and across Connel Bridge to Port Appin .  Then head back south onto A85 and drive east past Loch Awe and back to Crianlarich and east Lochearnhead then south down the A84 to Strathyre

Things to do:

  • Visit standing stones at Kilmartin
  • Stop at Sutherland Grove and either cycle or walk through forest http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/sutherlands-grove (great for wild mushrooms here!)
  • Get a small ferry to the island of Lismore and cycle here. There is a little Visitor centre and café on the island. 
  • Lunch at The Pier House , Port Appin
  • Visit Cruachan Power Station http://www.visitcruachan.co.uk/ one of Scotlands most amazing engineering achievements – known as The Hollow Mountain.
  • Cycle around Loch Lubnaig from Strathyre
  • Dinner Mhor 84 at Strathyre

Camping             

 Campsite: Immervoulin Caravan and Camping Park

Day 4

Drive to Four Seasons Campers by Loch Lomond