What's on

There's lots to do on the island, so please revisit these listings as new events are added.

ongoing to october

Persabus Pottery: Pottery Painting Experiences at Persabus Pottery. Come and explore your creativity with one of our 'pottery painting takeaways' or why not book a painting session in our new Creative Studio. The pottery is open Tuesday to Friday 12 noon to 4pm and Saturday 12 noon to 3pm. https://www.persabus.co.uk/pottery/pottery-painting-experiences Tel: 01496 840243.

Swimming - Mactaggart Leisure Centre, Bowmore: Please check their website for the full swimming programme MacTaggart Leisure Centre | Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool Bowmore Islay or call 01496 810767 to find out the times of public swims.

RSPB Weekly Guided walks: Every Tuesday at 10am at the Oa Reserve. Join us on a guided walk looking for golden eagles and choughs and enjoy spectacular views from the American Monument.  Meet at Upper Killeyan Car Park (email the.oa@rspb.org.uk or phone 01496 300118 for more details). Every Thursday at 10am meet at Loch Gruinart Reserve. Come with us as we try to catch a glimpse of the elusive hen harrier and listen for the call of the corncrake. Meet at the RSPB visitor centre, Gruinart. (email loch.gruinart@rspb.org.uk or phone 01496 850505 for more details).

Live Music every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: Hear local musicians live at the Port Charlotte Hotel every Wednesday and Sunday night (8pm start) and at the Islay Hotel, Port Ellen every Thursday and Saturday night.

An Gleann Cottage Produce: An Gleann Tablet shop reopened for the season on Thursday April 7. This on-site shop sells tablet (a little like fudge if you’ve not tasted) as well as gift bags, tablet mice, range of preserves and comb honey. 

Open daily, including Sundays, from 10am to 5pm. We operate a self-service system with cash payment to our 'honesty box'. If you prefer to pay remotely or you'd like to pre-order for collection have a wee look at our website where you can see our full range of stock. Email, message or give us a call to order and arrange collection. See the An Gleann website.

Weekday afternoons: Islay Natural History Trust, Port Charlotte: Until September 30, the Islay Nature Centre, next to the Youth Hostel in Port Charlotte, is open weekdays 10am-4pm. Admission FREE but donations encouraged. Come and see sea creatures in the tanks and learn more about Islay’s flora and fauna.

Family activity sessions July to August (Thursday afternoons) Nature Walks (June to September, Sunday and Thursday afternoons). The centre is fully wheelchair-accessible.

Weekdays – The Museum of Islay Life: The museum in Port Charlotte is open from Monday to Friday 11am to 5pm. Come on in and see thousands of years of Islay history.

Made In Islay and Jura Arts and Crafts Market, Bruichladdich Village Hall: Every Tuesday and Thursday 10am-4.30pm. Meet local arts and craft people. Original paintings, high-quality prints, photos, books, jewellery, hand-spun wool, quilting and more.

Visitor Centre – Finlaggan, Seat of the Lord of the Isles, Ballygrant: Learn more about this historic site at the visitor centre, which should be open every Tuesday and Wednesday 10.30am-4.15pm. The centre is currently getting an upgraded virtual reality installation to tell the story of this incredible piece of Islay history. Access to the island is via a walkway which is currently under repair and not open to visitors. Admission to the visitor centre is currently free but donations are welcome. For more information, visit the Finlaggan Trust website.

august

Tuesday August 9 – Pond-dipping (family activity), Shorefield, Bruichladdich, 2pm: Meet at Bruichladdich Pier. Go pond-dipping and bug hunting to find water dragons, scorpions and minibeasts. These hands-on activities organised by Islay Natural History Trust last approximately 1.5 hours. No unaccompanied children, please. Activities are free but a donation would be much appreciated to help us to continue running these sessions in the future. 

Thursday August 11Islay Agricultural show, Bridgend Show-field: The Islay, Jura and Colonsay Agricultural Show held its very first meeting on the last day of July in 1838. The object of the Association was to curate the advancement of agriculture generally and in particular within the islands of Islay, Jura and Colonsay. This was to be achieved by means of shows, demonstrations, lectures, subscriptions for research work, with the awarding of prizes and premiums or otherwise as the Association may decide from time to time.

Thursday August 18 – Seashore Safari, Kilnaughton, 2pm: Go rockpooling for crabs, prawns and little fishes along the seashore. Meet at the west end of the beach. These hands-on activities organised by Islay Natural History Trust last approximately 1.5 hours. No unaccompanied children, please. Activities are free but a donation would be much appreciated to help us to continue running these sessions in the future.

Thursday August 25 – Beachcombing for treasures, Uiskentuie Strand, 2pm: Discover the wonders of sea shells, mermaids purses and piddocks. Meet on the west end of the beach near the turn for Kilchoman. These hands-on activities organised by Islay Natural History Trust last approximately 1.5 hours. No unaccompanied children, please. Activities are free but a donation would be much appreciated to help us to continue running these sessions in the future. 

Thursday August 25 – Loch Gruinart Foraging Walk, 4pm-6pm: Join the RSPB and The Botanist’s professional foragers for a walk around Loch Gruinart nature reserve, learning the ins and outs of wild foraging. On the walk you will learn how to identify different plants as we discuss their uses and flavours – in The Botanist Gin and more – as well as talking about the importance of sustainable foraging. The walk will be followed by gin and oatcakes in our Visitor Centre. £10 per person. Booking essential. Limited spaces available. To book and for further information, please contact RSPB Loch Gruinart: 01496 850505 or email loch.gruinart@rspb.org.uk

SEPTEMBER ONWARDS

September 16-18 Lagavulin Jazz Festival: Details still to be confirmed. Please check the festival website for more information and programme when available.

Badminton club: Islay Badminton Association meets in Islay High School every Thursday 7.30pm-9.30pm during term-time (September-May). Open to anyone 16+. Equipment available.

Main photo: Ben Shakespeare