The Natural History Visitor Centre in Port Charlotte is a â€œmust visitâ€ place whether for children, families or naturalists. Come and discover more about Islayâ€™s fantastic wildlife. The friendly staff from the visitor centre can answer all your questions. They can show you what occurs on the island, whether birds, bugs, animals or wild flowers. There are marine and freshwater aquaria, a childrenâ€™s discovery room and activities, displays, video presentations, an excellent library and an online database of records. You can ask them where to find a particular species and you can share with them what youâ€™ve found on Islay.
The Visitor Centre is open from May to the end of September on the following hours/days:
Monday: 10:30 am to 1.00 pm, with a natural history ramble at 2.00 pm at different locations round the island (see below). Tuesday: 10:30 am to 4.30 pm. Wednesday: 10:30 am to 4.30 pm. Thursday: 10:30 am to 4.30 pm. Friday: as for Monday
Adult Â£3.00, Concession Â£2.00, Child Â£1.50, Family Â£7.50. All tickets valid for a whole week! You can find the visitor centre in Port Charlotte, past the Croft Kitchen, over the bridge in the first building on the left.
Each Monday and Friday afternoon, from 1st June to 28th September, the Islay Natural History Trust invites you to come on a ramble to look at the birds, flowers, animals, butterflies and other fauna and flora of this wildlife-rich island. The rambles must be booked in advance, by phoning either of these numbers (01496-850288 or 07967-205229) at any time up to 1.00 pm on the day. If no-one books, the ramble is cancelled. Each ramble will start at 2.00 pm and last for about two hours. Nothing strenuous involved, but come prepared with waterproof footwear as well as clothing to suit the weather. Sorry, no dogs. Continue reading....
Below is a list of dates and meeting places:
Fri 22nd June - Kilchiaran, Mon 25th June - Sanaigmore, Fri 29th June - Killinallan, Mon 2nd July - Ardnave, Fri 6th July - Kilchiaran, Mon 9th July - Sanaigmore, Fri 13th July - Killinallan, Mon 16th July - Ardnave, Fri 20th July - Kintra, Mon 23rd July - Bunnahabhain, Fri 27th July - Kilchiaran, Mon 30th July - Sanaigmore, Fri 3rd August â€“ Killinallan, Mon 6th August - Ardnave, Fri 10th August - Kilchiaran, Mon 13th August - Sanaigmore, Fri 17th August - Killinallan, Mon 20th August - Ardnave, Fri 24th August - Kilchiaran, Mon 27th August - Sanaigmore, Fri 31st August - Killinallan, Mon 3rd September - Ardnave, Fri 7th September - Kintra, Mon 10th Sep - Bunnahabhain, Fri 14th September - Kilchiaran, Mon 17th September - Sanaigmore, Fri 21st September - Killinallan, Mon 24th September - Ardnave and Fri 28th September - Kintra.
Meeting places for the Nature Rambles:
Ardnave: beside the loch where the track turns left towards the farm.
Bunnahabhain: beside the road before it turns down to the distillery.
Killinallan: where the road ends in a (usually) locked gate.
Kintra: in the signposted carpark through the gate out of the farmyard.
Sanaigmore: thereâ€™s plenty of parking at the end of the road.
Kilchiaran: park responsibly near old chapel.
Adult Â£3.00, Concession Â£2.00, Child Â£1.50, Family Â£7.50