The Whisky Tasting Club

Getting to Islay

getting to islay is not easy. You can fly from Glasgow with flybe or loganair or drive. If you drive, you need to get a ferry from Kennacraig to either Port Ellen or Port Askaig, book via calmac

I thought there used to be a ferry to Oban, but cant find mention of it now. Calmac are actually very efficient, they responded to my email to within 10 minutes and changed my booking via email. There are three alternatives for getting to Kennacraig. This website summarises them well

1. Drive past Glasgow via Invarary. This is the most commonly taken route and is a lovely scenic drive. However, it takes 2.5 hours from Glasgow, so if you are coming from England it is not necessarily the fastest. We have done this journey twice, and if you live in the south I would not recommend doing it in a day, took us about 14 hours!

2.  Gourock – Cowal Peninsula – Tarbert. get a ferry from Gourock to Dunoon (or Hunter’s Quay north of Dunoon), which is a 30 minute crossing and then drive across the Cowal peninsula to Portavadie and catch the ferry to Tarbert, a 20 minute crossing. Not done this route, from our perspective it doesnt make sense, but it might for some.

3. Arran – Claonaig – Tarbert. We came via this route on our last visit, spending two nights on Arran. Arran is an extremely attractive island with some lovely walks, so if you havent been its well worth a visit. The distillery is nice, we did the tour and bought a bottle.

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