Location

laddie-without-stillOld Gortan Schoolhouse is very close to two of Islay’s newest and most progressive whisky distilleries. We are just one mile outside the village of Bruichladdich, and only five miles from Kilchoman.

Bruichladdich can be reached by a 2-minute drive, a 5-minute cycle or a 20-minute walk. The village Minimarket has a café, with great coffee and cheese toasties, and sells most of the basic provisions you might need, including milk, bread and daily newspapers. It is also the gathering point for the Islay Cycle Club.

Less than 5 minutes’ drive beyond Bruichladdich is Port Charlotte, with its excellent seafood restaurant, Yan’s Kitchen, as well as the Museum of Islay Life (open April to October) and the Islay Natural History Trust.

kilchoman-beachOne mile from the Schoolhouse on the way to Kilchoman is Forelands House with its famous gardens, open to the public once a year in mid-May (the date is announced in the local newspaper, the Ileach ). One mile beyond Kilchoman Distillery is Machair Bay with its amazing sandy beach and beautiful walks, and the ruins of Kilchoman Church and military cemetery, with one of Islay’s medieval standing crosses, Kilchoman Cross.

Another turning from this road will take you to the RSPB reserve at Loch Gruinart, where you can join regular RSPB tours. In the autumn you can watch the amazing spectacle of tens of thousands of wintering geese arriving on the island.

A 10-minute drive along the Uiskentuie Strand brings you to Bridgend. Here there is a general store stocking a wide selection of food and other useful supplies. Bridgend Stores also has a Post Office and a petrol station. At Bridgend are the famous woods, full of bluebells and other wildflowers in the spring, and Islay House Square, home to a range of independent art and craft shops. Here you can buy MA MacKinnon’s famous marmalades and chutneys, call into Islay Ales to sample locally-brewed beers, and visit the Community Garden to buy freshly-grown vegetables and home-made jams, and pick your own berries.

road-askaigA short drive along the road towards Port Askaig is the famous Islay Woollen Mill, established in 1883 and housing some of the oldest functioning looms in Scotland. Call in to see a demonstration of the weaving process and to buy some of their lovely blankets and tweed products.

The main town of Bowmore is about a 15-minute drive from the Schoolhouse. Here you can find the Co-operative Supermarket, a butcher’s selling local meats and produce, as well as a range of shops, cafés and restaurants to meet all your needs.

How to get here:

The Schoolhouse is about a 30-minute drive from both Islay Airport and Port Askaig, one of the island’s main ferry ports; it is about 40 minutes from the other main port at Port Ellen.

For information on getting to Islay, see the travel pages on the Islay Info website or the Islay Estates website

We will email detailed directions for how to reach the Schoolhouse when we receive the balance of your payment and confirm your booking.

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