Go for the whisky, stay for the gin: it's distillery heaven on this remote Hebridean island

There's much foraging, feasting and drinking to be done on Islay
There's much foraging, feasting and drinking to be done on Islay Credit: Alan Copson © - All Rights Reserved - No Unauthorised Reproduction/Alan Copson

Islay may be a mere 45-minute hop in an alarmingly small twin propeller plane from Glasgow, but it feels like arriving at the edge of the world. In a way I have; head due west from the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides and the next time you’ll hit land will be 2,000-odd miles away in Newfoundland.

With just 3,000 or so inhabitants scattered across 230 sq miles, there’s a lot of open space. Every direction you look offers a photo opportunity of rugged landscape dotted with free-roaming cattle and sheep (on more than one occasion the car was held up on the otherwise mostly deserted roads to allow a ewe to cross in front) or dramatic coastal views.

I’d been invited to stay at Bruichladdich...

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