Lurabus, on Islay

The Oa
Isle of Islay

Sleeping 6

On the south-westerly peninsula, the Oa (pronounced O!), of the island of Islay there stands an amazing house in this most spectacular of settings. Lurabus sits high above the shore in the midst of 150 acres of unspoilt landscape with a sandy beach only a stroll away (wellies are available for the walk down to it). This is indeed the perfect retreat for those seeking a hideaway and a totally different experience.

Lurabus, on Islay The cottage in its setting The sun meets the horizon

Some care is required on the track which leads you to this modern and well-appointed house, but it is more than rewarded by what you find on arrival. There is plenty of parking right at the door. Inside, the open plan living area is large and bright with an open fire and French doors leading out to a safe decking area (furniture). Every room in the house has French doors to allow you to enjoy to the full the wonderful sea views all around. There are views to the lighthouse and over the bay to Port Ellen (pubs, shops). The three bedrooms can all be adapted to be either double or twin rooms and all have en suite power showers. The accommodation is therefore suitable for a variety of groups. Lurabus is definitely 'something else'.

The cottage is in an excellent situation for enjoying the two things for which Islay is most famous: birds and whisky (not always in that order!). There is an RSPB reserve on the Oa and there you can observe choughs, hen harriers, peregrines, buzzards, snow buntings, and a special treat, the island's own golden eagles. Further north on the island, autumn visitors include flocks of Brent and barnacle geese that cover the landscape as they feed and delight the many birdwatchers attracted here by these birds.

Although Islay is only 25 miles long it is home to 7 distilleries, all of which produce the famous smoky, peaty malts. The closest are just on the other side of Port Ellen, Laphroaig and Lagavulin. At Lagavulin you will find an excellent café offering first-class meals. Unlike some of the other Scottish islands Islay is relatively undeveloped and there are not many cafes or fast food outlets to be found outwith the main communities.

There is, however, a fine 18-hole golf course at the Machrie Hotel a little further up the coast; riding is available on a farm near the cottage and you can try fishing off the rocks. In Bowmore, the 'capital' of Islay you will find a heated swimming pool (and yet another famous distillery!) There are two bicycles at the cottage itself and you can hire more locally.

The ferry from Kennacraig (which you will probably arrive on) docks at Port Ellen (5m) where the nearest shops and hotels are to be found.

The western side of the island is the part where most of the people live and Port Charlotte is particularly attractive. A worthwhile day trip would take you down the Rhinns of Islay to this pretty little town and its inevitable distillery and from there on to Port Wemyss. Another interesting trip is to take the short ferry crossing at Port Askaig over to the neighbouring island of Jura, also known as 'The island of Deer' - you will soon see why as there are deer everywhere. A single track road runs almost all the length of the island taking you past Jura House with its beautiful gardens before reaching Craighouse (hotel) the only real village on the island and, yes, it has a distillery. The dramatic Paps of Jura, the highest mountains in the two islands, will pose a challenge to dedicated hillwalkers.

Heating is by oil CH (included!included) and open fire. Electricity, bed linen and towels are included!included. Sorry, no pets of smoking in the cottage. A refundable householder's deposit is required.

Accommodation (sleeps 6):

Living area Dining area

Single Storey:

Bedroom Kitchen

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