Merry Xmas Everyone!

What a year it has been.... I don't need to go into the details as all of us suffered in one way or another from the pandemic. Perhaps you've lost a loved one, been in quarantine or perhaps you haven't seen your loved ones for a long time. And for many, I know, you've missed your Islay Fix this year. We all have our stories to tell about this crazy year!

As the year ends and Christmas is upon us we don't have a clue what 2021 will bring us. All we can do is hope that we'll beat this nasty virus and get some normality back in our lives. To be able to travel, meet our friends and loved ones and visit Islay again!

I had planned to post a new 20 minute video of Islay today and I'd started uploading it last night. As it was a 2 GB file I thought it would be uploaded by now, but apparently the laptop went to sleep and it's nowhere near finished, so I'll post that one after Xmas. It's worth waiting for though! So instead I've embedded a Xmas video which I posted a few years back with some wintry scenes of Islay and the switch-on in Bowmore.

For now I wish you all a wonderful, intimate Merry Xmas and a healthy, prosper, hopefull and bright 2021.

Tag: christmas xmas video

Islay Travel Update and Government Advice Covid-19

The entire world has changed in the course of a couple of weeks. Everything what was normal is no longer so due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I can spend a lengthy article on the ins and outs of the virus outbreak but the long and the short of it is that most businesses, hotels, and tourist attractions on Islay are closed for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, all events are cancelled for the months ahead. Also Calmac announced that there are travel restrictions in place. The Scottish Government announced today that:

ferry companies will no longer take non-essential travellers. Ferries will be for those who live on our islands, who have an essential need to travel to or from the mainland and for essential supplies or business. Nothing else.

VisitScotland posted the following advice:

In light of the current situation, we encourage you all to stay safe. We know your travel plans have been affected, but Scotland will welcome you with open arms when it's safe again in the future. For now, please stay at home.

For the latest information from the Scottish Government please visit www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

Everyone on Islay is looking forward to welcoming you all as soon as the situation has returned to normal. Let's all use our common sense, stay at home, follow government guidelines, care about the folk in your community and hopefully we can leave this behind us as soon as possible.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Change of Plans for New Islay Distillery

It has been quiet now for some time re the new planned distillery near Farkin, between Port Ellen and Laphroaig. The first plans for the new Distillery were officially presented in April 2018. Since then it has been quiet. The new owners had submitted their plans to Argyll and Bute Council for approval and there has been some local consultation as well. Not everyone was pleased with the new distillery. Some folk didn't like the exterior design of the buildings and others were opposed to a new distillery altogether, especially in that particular location.

A couple of weeks ago however new plans were submitted to the council showing a rather different design of the buildings with a more traditional exterior, more or less in line with the other distilleries. It's another step forward for Elixir Distillers who are keen on starting their venture on Islay. Continue reading...

Bruichladdich to Port Charlotte Footpath

A few weeks ago work has commenced on the long-awaited foot and cycle path between the villages of Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte. This will be a great asset for locals and others visiting the Rhinns. At present you'll need to walk and cycle on the road which can be a dangerous undertaking, especially for the younger ones. If the new path will be anywhere near as good as the distillery path, and the signs point in that direction, it will be wonderful.

Gordon Currie from Port Ellen is doing all the work and at this stage they are preparing the ground for the path and laying the foundations for the bridges. The planning is that the path will be finished at the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

More photos here