Winter Escapes on Islay

Honestly, if I could just scoop you all up and transport you to enjoy the magic of an Islay winter escape, I would.

Hills, the sea and a full moon

Are you considering a winter escape or break on the magical Isle of Islay?

I have the perfect guide to entice you along in your decision. Venture with me, and enjoy all a winter escape on Islay could offer. Enjoy the luxury of a staying in a cosy farmhouse cottage. Our farm at Persabus offers a beautiful secluded setting where you can truly unwind, relax and just chill out.

Snowy fields and hills

Islay offers the perfect winter break. Winter is a time when you can truly enjoy the breath taking scenery of deserted beaches. The fantastic crisp, clear colours of landscape and seascapes. The vibrant patterns of the sun rising and setting in huge open skies.

A fabulous chance to indulge and immerse yourself in some peace, and quiet, enjoying the beauty of this little corner of the Hebrides.

Distillery Tours, Tastings and Visits

White building beside the sea

Islay industries continue to evolve and flow throughout the year. Heading over in the quieter months and you will often be the only ones on a distillery tour. The winter months allow you a little more time to really appreciate and enjoy the character of the whisky and the fabulous distillery teams. Everyone has a little bit more time to chat, to guide you gently through the magical processes of the production of this golden liquid. Even if you are not a huge whisky fan, you can still enjoy the hearty welcome of the island distilleries’ visitor centres, which offer so much more than whisky. You can check out their winter opening hours, book tours, or read a little more about them here.

Winter Walks and Tips

Man and two tups in a trailer

Machir Bay and Kilchoman Distillery

There’s nothing quite like a bracing walk across sandy shores of Machir Bay on a crisp winter’s day. The chilly wind blowing in from the Atlantic. The roar of the breakers on the shore. It is a great tonic for the soul. Handily huge majestic rocks and cliffs at the far end of the bay provide sheltered nooks and crannies, perfect for settling into. Whiling away the time, watching as seabirds dance among the waves. At this point make sure you have packed a thermos flask. The rocks provide the best ‘tea’ spot in the world in my opinion.

Lady walking on sandy beach at sunset

After the chilly shores of Machir, step into Kilchoman Distillery. You will pass it on your way back across the island. It is just a short drive from the beach. Enjoy toasting those cold hands beside the wood burning stove. Stop for some indulgent home baking, or a warming bowl of soup and crusty bread. Their lunches are so delicious.

Woodland Walks

On wild and windy days, head to the woods. Bridgend woods, and Dunlossit woods are definitely worth visiting, with a labyrinth of paths to explore. Aside from also providing an excellent ‘wind break’ if you’re needing a little shelter on those ‘woolly days’.

From Persabus venture down through Dunlossit woods to the ‘wee beach’, just a little further around the coast from Port Askaig. Watch out for Roe Deer on the track. If you’ve packed a sandwich, there’s a picnic bench beside the shores of Lily Loch. A great place to stop and enjoy ‘elevensies’, before heading on along the track down to the Sound of Islay. Here, you will be greeted by seals and swans. There may be a heron or two, hunting for fish, as the burn flows across the rocky shoreline to the sea.

Lady beside loch

Sunrises, Sunsets, and the End of the Day

Enjoy, as on those cold, crisp winter mornings, daylight arrives with little wisps of pink and red, just above the sea and hills, spreading out across the skies. Peppering the clouds with swathes of colour, as the huge ball of the sun rises in the sky. The clarity of those colours as daylight dawns is quite simply magical.

Pink skies at sunrise

Likewise at the end of the day, as the sun gradually fades away, just a faint whisper of pinks, and purples smear the skyline, before dusk descends.

In the winter months, the days are short. A time for hibernating early. Enjoying the toasty warmth of the fire. A quiet dram, or glass of fizz, as you reflect on the wonder of a magical Islay’s winter day.

We look forward to welcoming you to Persabus soon.

A glass of fizz and a candle