The Isle of Islay is a popular holiday spot off the mainland of Scotland. Islay is one of several islands forming the Inner Hebrides, including the Isle of Skye. Many people looking for catering accommodation on Islay in the Inner Hebrides choose Islay as their base.
There are many reasons to do this, too. Islay is a great spot to choose for self-catering Islay accommodation. The Isle of Islay only measures around 25 miles by 15.5 miles, so you can cover plenty of ground during a week’s holiday. It’s a quick hop over to the island of Jura too, via the ferry from Port Askaig.
Whisky tours are popular on Islay. Bird watchers love the island too, with a visit to the RSPB Loch Gruinart nature reserve a must-do activity for many. And there are endless walks that let you explore Islay on foot.
Before you can explore, though, you’ll need to arrange your Islay accommodation. There is lots of potential accommodation on Islay to offer, from self-catering accommodation on Islay to bed and breakfast. We’re going to cover the best of them here, so you know where to stay and where to spot the best Islay accommodation. Self-catering, camping, and all kinds of accommodation for Islay are included.
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Islay Accommodation – Cottages
Self-catering accommodation Islay options are plentiful. Holiday cottage accommodation on Islay would be ideal for many people looking for a home from home. You can relax in your own private space for the week (or longer).
We’ve found a cottage or two for you to explore. Cottages on Islay range in price and location, so it’s worth it to search a map of Islay to see where you’d like to visit. Would you choose a self-catering cottage near a whisky distillery on Islay? Perhaps a cottage near the Islay coast would be better if views are important to you.
Try some of these self-catering cottages for size. Perhaps your perfect and idyllic cottage accommodation on the isle of Islay is here. Self-catering in Islay is perfect for those who desire privacy and the freedom to arrange their day as they wish. The whole of Islay is at your feet.
Fairy Hill Cottage Islay
One of the Islay cottages with a charming name, this Islay cottage accommodation is situated in Kildalton. Islay whisky fans should consider this one as it sits at the end of the trail. Three famous whisky distilleries are nearby, including Ardbeg. Perhaps within staggering distance, if you want to try a tasting tour…
The cottage boasts two double bedrooms, lovely relaxed decor, and all the mod-cons you’d expect. It’s perfect for a family holiday on the isle of Islay if you’re passionate about wildlife, as there’s plenty nearby. This is the only accommodations on the Isle of Islay I’ve found that includes a Celtic harp if you fancy learning it!
Private parking is provided outside the cottage, along with plenty of peace and quiet. Just how cottages on the isle of Islay should be. The garden boasts its own stone walls, along with superb views over the surrounding Islay countryside. Views of the Fairy Hill on Islay itself can also be enjoyed. Take a seat in the garden for a while with a coffee to start your day.
Islay Old School Cottages
If you’d like to take advantage of a luxurious self-catering cottage on the isle of Islay, choose one of three well-appointed Old School Cottages offering accommodation on the same site. Beinn Mhor offers four double bedrooms, while Beinn Bhan has two double bedrooms. Finally, the Beinn Bheigeir accommodation offers five bedrooms in a beautiful house made from stone, sleeping nine people. Each Islay option has its own character and appeal, offering all the mod-cons for self-catering accommodation.
All the Old School Cottages are in Port Ellen. This beautiful fishing village is on the southern end of the isle of Islay. Three of the best whisky distilleries on the island, including Lagavulin, are within easy reach to the east of the self-catering cottage accommodation on Islay.
Lagavulin Hall Islay Accommodation
Just up the road from Port Ellen, you’ll find Lagavulin, its whisky distillery, and the glorious Lagavulin Hall. Its appearance gives away its former use as a parish church. Today, it is catering to many guests looking for a different kind of self-catering cottage accommodation on Islay.
Boasting bags of character, the Hall has retained many original features. The cottage offers two double bedrooms, a twin room, and a sofa bed in the dining room if required.
Lagavulin Hall is near the coast, offering plenty of potential for days out walking, visiting the distilleries, and perhaps bringing back a nip of whisky to keep you warm.
If you’re hunting for a holiday cottage on the isle of Islay that lies close to a loch, this one fits the bill. The cottage is right by the harbour in Bowmore. This also puts it close to Bowmore Distillery. Not only do you get amazing views of Loch Indaal you also get views over to Jura.
This well-appointed holiday cottage Islay offers all the luxuries you could hope for – and more. Two bedrooms, parking right outside, and a quick stroll to the nearby pier. You’ll find yourself right in the heart of the village, too.
Rowan Cottage offers ample room for up to six people to enjoy a break on Islay. Modern furnishings, a rustic garden, and all the facilities you would expect to see in this type of accommodation are there.
The cottage is set back from the coast on the isle of Islay, yet offers spectacular views over Loch Indaal. It is also almost halfway between Bowmore and Port Ellen, making it an easy trip to get to either along the high road between the two.
The master bedroom includes an en suite, while two further bedrooms each have twin beds. There is also a master bathroom including a bath and shower for convenience.
The property is set in one acre and boasts its own bog garden! You can look across the land from your relaxing spot on the patio. This is one of the newer entries on our Islay accommodation list, and a worthy one too.
A bed and breakfast Islay option is better suited to some people. Bed and breakfast will set you up for the day ahead, exploring the Isle of Islay (and perhaps to go in search of whisky). Bed and breakfast can also leave you free to dine out or eat indoors when you return (perhaps opting for a takeaway). The isle of Islay has some marvellous options to choose from.
It’s a good idea to note the position of the B&B you are thinking of booking. It means you can work out whether that Islay accommodation option gives you easy access to shops and restaurants for eating out during the day and evening. Many do, but don’t take this for granted. A little planning goes a long way when you choose the bed and breakfast option for your isle of Islay accommodation.
Tarbert House B&B
This accommodation on Islay takes full advantage of its position in Bowmore. The town overlooks Loch Indaal and is also home to the Bowmore whisky distillery. Its position on a map reveals you can follow the road around to the north side of the loch for a different view, too.
Now, down to the accommodation. Tarbert House on Islay has a double bedroom and two twin rooms, perfect for a family holiday on the island. The accommodation includes tea and coffee making facilities along with well-appointed rooms. Comfortable beds are a must when you return to rest at night, and they’re guaranteed at this accommodation option.
You’ve also got the advantage of being a short walk from Bowmore, the main village on Islay. This gives you easy access to everything you might need during your stay in this charming accommodation option.Check Online Availability
Dha Urlar B&B
This bed and breakfast option is less than a mile outside Bowmore. Offering just four bedrooms, it is quieter and more relaxed than many other B&B accommodation properties you could choose. Yet you’re still just a few minutes’ drive from Bowmore village if you need anything. It’s practical, appealing, and relaxing.
All rooms include an en suite shower room and facilities for making tea and coffee. A full traditional Scottish breakfast is included, or you can go continental if you prefer. I’d need to alternate between the two to get my fill, I think.
The position of this accommodation on the quiet Cruach road puts you within easy reach of Bowmore, the pier, and Loch Indaal. Alternatively, you can head to Port Askaig to hop on the ferry to Jura for the day. Jura has many of its own whisky distilleries to offer, aside from the superb scenery. And of course, you’ll return to relax in your B&B accommodation at the end of the day.Check Online Availability
Cala Sith Guesthouse
Are you intending to fly to Islay? If so, this guesthouse accommodation is ideal thanks to its position just three miles from the airport in Port Ellen. The four-star accommodation offers free breakfast and stylish and relaxing rooms to stay in.
Bedrooms have double beds, twins, or a single-double combination. The cosy dining room is the perfect place to start the day with a hearty breakfast. The accommodation provides plenty of parking too. You are also within easy reach of the beach to the east of the guesthouse, the Port Ellen community garden, and The Green.Check Online Availability
Self-catering on Islay could be as simple as finding somewhere to pitch your tent. There are also plenty of campsites that welcome caravans and campervans if you are travelling in style. Make sure the campsite you choose welcomes whichever option you are considering if you decide on this type of accommodation.
For some, this is the ideal Islay self-catering experience. If you are searching for a cheaper alternative to Islay holiday cottages, these camping accommodation options are worth looking at.
Be aware that a price per night is charged for the accommodation, with additional charges for other services in many cases. For instance, an electric hook-up is typically extra. You can find out about availability in advance or turn up on the day; each campsite has its own recommendations and rules.
Port Mor Campsite
This self-catering option is available from early March until the end of November each year. You can book a spot for a tent or arrive with your caravan or camper – just be sure to book in advance.
The campsite is located on the western side of Loch Indaal in Port Charlotte. You can visit the on-site cafe or head into the village to eat out at one of the nearby Islay hotels. Self-catering is made easier thanks to the SPAR grocery shop just outside the campsite for all those essentials.
This farm offers a little bit of everything. Self-catering, set in the wilds of Islay, the working farm is close to a beach that stretches for seven miles along the coast of Islay. If you want a rustic stay on a campsite that gives you a wild camping feel, this is the one for you.
You won’t be camping in a field here though. Instead, you can pitch your tent on the sand dunes behind the beach. What better place to see the sun setting over Islay? Surely the Isle of Islay has never looked better.
Kintra Farm offers basic amenities including toilets, hot and cold water, and somewhere to shower. While it doesn’t have all the facilities you’d expect from an organised campsite, that is the appeal. Think of it as wild camping with a safety net!
You’ll find the farm on the western side of the island, four miles outside Port Ellen.
Islay Glamping Pods
This delight is more than a step up from a tent! If you are looking for something between camping and holiday cottages Islay, these pods are the ones for you. This is the spot if you’re eager to indulge in some wildlife spotting during your stay. An unusual type of accommodation, but one that is catching on fast. Of all the accommodation options I’ve given you so far, I’d love to try this one most of all.
Also known as storm pods, there are five options spread around Islay. Lagavulin is one example; Ardbeg is another. You won’t find accommodation on Islay that is as good as this. The pods each contain everything you’ll need to enjoy a luxury camping-style experience. Consider where you would like to base yourself for the week and find the nearest storm pod accommodation to book.
Each one has an outdoor seating area too, so if the weather is good, you can relax outside and watch the sun go down of an evening. Perhaps a whisky in hand from a local distillery would work, hmm?
Hotels in Islay Scotland
If self-catering accommodation isn’t for you, there are hotels on Islay, Scotland that might suit you better. Hotels offer the luxury of well-appointed rooms, beautifully decorated with a nod to local styles. Rather than choosing self-catering accommodation that leaves you to do everything in privacy, many hotels provide services to assist you in enjoying a more relaxed stay.
There are plenty of hotels catering to those wanting a relaxed and luxurious stay in this part of Scotland. Hotels, Islay, Scotland… it’s a heady mix and one you can certainly take advantage of when hunting for the right accommodation. Check out some of my top picks for hotels offering sparkling accommodation on Islay.
Islay House demands to be noticed. A four-star hotel on the isle of Islay, the whitewashed building dates from 1677. It benefits from sitting at the innermost reaches of Loch Indaal.
Today, the accommodation offers a host of beautiful rooms, each with a different name. You can stay in Margadale, Saligo, or even Thatcher, named after a certain famous former guest in the house. All the names are associated either with the surroundings, or Islay, or the history of the building.
There are many reasons to stay in this Islay accommodation, but one of the finest must be the nearby Bridgend Woods. Wrapping around the accommodation, the woods offer rushing streams and everything from snowdrops to bluebells, depending on the season. You can also visit the original kitchen garden, now known as the community garden.Check Online Availability
The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links
The sprawling buildings of the Machrie Hotel are home to one of the most spectacular golf courses on Islay. The hotel offers a fine selection of rooms, along with some suites and even lodges for a luxurious stay on the isle of Islay. Some of the room options include their own private terrace.
The lodges provide another self-catering accommodation option, while the rooms and suites enjoy all the finest hotel services. The 18 Restaurant enjoys a view across the final green of the golf course and out across the coast. Classic Scottish cuisine is offered alongside traditional dishes throughout the day.
The hotel benefits from its position on the dunes of Islay. It is situated south of Glenegedale and north of Port Ellen, thus making it easy to explore the isle of Islay in more depth. Of course, if you love golf, you’ll already have this marked as one of the best golf courses Scotland – and the isle of Islay – can offer. It’s a great find.Check Online Availability
The Islay Hotel
This charming hotel is in Charlotte Street in Port Ellen, overlooking the bay – a pleasantly sheltered portion of the coast in this part of the isle of Islay. You can choose from Silver, Gold, and Platinum rooms. Alternatively, if you are travelling as a family, you can choose one of the practical family rooms with a sea view.
The hotel also offers a whisky bar and an a la carte dining room. The hotel is famous for its seafood dishes, with fresh daily deliveries from local fishermen to sample. Don’t worry if you are not a fish fan though – the hotel has a wide-ranging menu with plenty of locally sourced ingredients.
The hotel is perfect for anyone intending to visit the local whisky distilleries. There are also plenty of local walks to tackle, including the trail that takes you to some nearby Standing Stones. This is Islay accommodation at its best.Check Online Availability