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New Islay Ferry on the Way

It's been relatively quiet on our Islay Blog about Calmac Ferries. That doesn't mean that everything is plain sailing on the Kennacraig to Islay route. Every now and then one of the older ferries, the Hebridean Isles or Isle of Arran, experience problems and in busier times there is often a lack of capacity. And with the construction of more whisky distilleries on Islay the capacity will be stretched even further as a lot of additional freight will have to use the Calmac Ferries. And we shouldn't forget to mention the ever increasing number of tourists with their cars and motorhomes who visit Islay during the tourist season. It's therefore fantastic news that there is hope for more capacity in the near future, as you can read from the following article which was published in the Ileach last week:.

The next major ferry to be built for CalMac has been allocated to the Islay-Kennacraig route. In addition, adapting both the new vessel and the Finlaggan by ten metres will be considered, should Port Askaig, Port Ellen and Kennacraig be developed to enable larger ferries. These are among the recommendations contained in the recently released Transport Scotland Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan, which contained evidence that the Islay service was forecast to become the most “capacity constrained” of all the CalMac routes. Continue reading...

New Discover Islay Map

When a picture says more than a thousand words, a map with links will say more than a large menu on the Islay Info website. That was my intention when I built the new Discover Islay Map. No matter how well laid out one makes a website's menu, there is always too little space to mention everything in one go, especially with such a huge amount of pages. Hence the new map with many colourful markers and photos. The new Discover Islay Map is created using Google Maps and it's a public map, which means you can access it also outside our Islay Info website or embed it on your own site.

Each marker on the map has its own photo and will link to an article or page on the Islay Info website or Islay Blog. For first time Islay visitors, and hopefully for others too, this will hopefully be a very pleasant way to discover the island and get some further inspiration for lovely walks, places to see and things to do. It's a work in progress so it will be updated quite frequently. Below is a preview of the map, fully functional, a larger one is available on this page. Enjoy!

Tag: discover islay map

Ballygrant to Keills Circular Walk

There are some lovely walks to be made from Ballygrant. One of my favourites is the circular walk from Ballygrant to Caol Ila/Port Askaig using the footpath next to the mainroad on the way back. This walk is around 7 miles and can be a bit too long when you're walking with kids. There is also a shorter version which is 4 miles, that's the one we walked today. The weather was fabulous, blue skies, sunshine and a bit chilly but it's still winter after all! If you want to do this walk yourself you can follow the directions below.

You can park at Ballygrant Hall or take the bus. From the hall take the single track road leading into Dunlossit Estate (Mulindry). Keep left at the fork in the road and take the first forest track on your left. Follow this track for a few hundred metres and go left when you reach Loch Ballygrant. This is a beautiful mixed woodland area with lots of wildlife and it's quite sheltered too. You can follow this track for a mile until you reach a track and gate on your left. This gives access to a farm track leading over farmland and ends up at Keills Farm. Continue reading...

Islay Bothy Video

The Youtube channel wilderness walker has a nice video titled "Grand tour of Islay" with some nice views of the An Cladach Bothy, north from the bothy at Proaig. A bothy is a shelter in a remote area where walkers can find a place to sleep or shelter. Bothies can't be booked, you just show up and use it, if available of course. Islay has only just these two bothies, one can be found at Proaig and one further north on Dunlossit Estate. You can actually see An Cladach when you're on the ferry to or from Port Askaig, not far from MacArthurs Head Lighthouse. The video shows a stay and comfy night, well at least I assume, in the bothy and some other views of Islay. Well worth watching so enjoy!

Tag: bothy an cladach video

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