Autumn on Islay – a Magical Time of Year

We have just returned home from an absolutely brilliant trip to Islay. This week in Autumn was a treat and the island looked amazing with all the variations of brown, green and yellow, specially with the sun out. I would never have guessed that autumn time would be that beautiful, that was apparently a well kept secret. The weather was absolutely perfect with only one morning of rain (Wednesday) and some summer like days with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. We arrived in Port Ellen on Saturday 29 September with clouded weather and no wind. The first thing you see, or rather not see anymore, is the Islay Hotel. Strange to see such a gap between the buildings, like it was never there. Our trip lasted till Saturday 6 October and we left from Islay on the afternoon ferry from Port Askaig. Besides the visits to some beautiful places we spent time as well with good friends and got to know some new people on Islay. We had a great evening and dinner with the Fletcher family (Rosemary, Donald and Arra) and we were invited for dinner by Jeremy Hastings and his wife Tink, brian palmer was there as well and we had a wonderful evening. It was so good to see them all again.


Sunrise seen from the road to Caol Ila

Because of the beautiful weather we spent most days outside making trips all over the island to some special places like Sanaigmore Bay, the Singing Sands and Port Ellen lighthouse, the Oa, Lagavulin Bay, Machir Bay and lots of other beautiful spots on the island. Very special was the roaring of the stags near Port Askaig which echoed between the hills one early morning at dawn. This time of year is great to watch wildlife and already some geese (Barnacle and White Fronted) arrived on Islay, although not in great numbers yet. We had some spectacular sightings of Golden Eagles flying only metres above us near Ballivicar Farm (one of the few times the camera was not within reach). Later we spotted them high in the sky together. I heard from Jeremy Hastings that there are two pairs of Golden Eagles on Islay at the moment. One pair is frequently seen on the Oa and the others close to Ardbeg.

Sunset near Machir Bay

Due to the shorter days we witnessed some extraordinary sunrises and sunsets, if you try that in June you almost end up without sleep. The light is stunning all over the island, with or without sunshine. Sometimes the low hanging clouds make the scenery even more dramatic than it is already. Autumn was already my favourite time of year and now it’s certainly my favourite time of year on Islay as well, although the weather has to help out a bit as well. We heard though from quite a number of people that October usually is a good month, we can only say aye to that! A detailed travel report will come available soon so stay tuned!

Port Ellen lighthouse on a warm and beautiful morning

Autumn views from the Glen Road

  • More Islay Autumn images in the Islay Gallery
  • More detailed information in the Autumn on Islay Travel Report

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    Tuesday, 09 October 2007
    Lovely account of your trip to Islay. Just wish I had been there. The appetite has certainly been Whetted for an October visit. Could hear the stags!!!!! The photos are excellent. Mags


    Tuesday, 09 October 2007

    Hi Mags, thanks for your comments. I have already created a detailed travel report of last week including some very nice pictures.

    Autumn on Islay Travel Report



    Wednesday, 10 October 2007
    It looks like you two had a great time and you certainly got some wonderful shots... no prizes for guessing that my favourite was "A lonely tree overlooking the Sound of Islay and the Paps of Jura in Autumn"!


    Thursday, 11 October 2007
    Dear Ron
    Have seen the diary report and loved the photos to go with it. Have been to most of places you have mentioned so was really with you both all the way. Thanks