What's on

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

Distilleries

To book a visit, tasting or tour, check the details at our Islay distilleries page .

The Isle of Islay Gin shop is also open at Islay House Square, Bridgend, Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-4pm, for tastings and purchases, and to meet the makers. Call 01496 810111.

July 2024

RSPB guided walks: join us at 10am every Tuesday at The Oa or every Thursday at Loch Gruinart for a tour round our awe-inspiring nature reserves. Led by our passionate guides, come and search for Eagles, chough, Hen Harrier and more, and learn about the conservation work we are carrying out to protect our amazing wildlife. Go here for more information.

Sunday, July 21

Seashore foraging - black rock: discover the culinary wonders of islay seashore. Meet at 2pm by the burn on beach near parking areas at Black Rock (on the road from Bridgend to Bruichladdich just before Uskentuie strand, near the turnoff to Gruinart.) This expert-led event by organised by Islay Natural History Trust. Please dress for the weather (sorry, no dogs). No charge and no booking necessary, but donations very welcome. (Suggested donations: £5 per adult, £12 per family and £2 for INHT members.)

Sunday, July 28

Gaelic tour of Portnahaven and Port Wemyss, A’charaidean còire: a short, easy walk round the villages. Learn some basic Gaelic vocabulary while enjoying the local wildlife and great views. Meet at 2pm at Rhinns Hall, Portnahaven. This expert-led event is organised by Islay Natural History Trust. Please dress for the weather (sorry, no dogs). No charge and no booking necessary, but donations very welcome. (Suggested donations: £5 per adult, £12 per family and £2 for INHT members)

August 2024

RSPB guided walks: join us at 10am every Tuesday at The Oa or every Thursday at Loch Gruinart for a tour round our awe-inspiring nature reserves. Led by our passionate guides, come and search for Eagles, chough, Hen Harrier and more, and learn about the conservation work we are carrying out to protect our amazing wildlife. Go here for more information.

Thursday, August 8

Islay Annual Agricultural show: the 176th annual show takes place at the showground at Bridgend. Livestock competitions, races, horseriding competitions, veg, flow and craft shows, stalls, food and lots more for all the family. 

Monday, August 26

Artworks by Dietmar Finger, of Islay Sketch: see the exhibition at the ICCI Gaelic Centre, Bowmore. Runs to Friday, October 4. More details soon here.

Thursday, August 29-Sunday, September 1

Islay Book Festival: there’s lots planned including a celebration of the 75th anniversary of George Orwell’s 1984 with a special event moderated by the novelist’s son and Chair of the Orwell Society, Richard Blair. Les Wilson, author of Orwell’s Island: George, Jura and 1984 and Gary Younge, winner of the Orwell’s Prize for Journalism 2023, will both feature.

Thursday, August 29: Andrew O’Hagan, author of Mayflies, opens the festival.

Friday, August 30: peat scientist Mike Billet holds a distillery event in the afternoon. A lively conversation between crime fiction superstars Chris Bookmyre and Denise Mina takes place in the evening.

Sunday, August 31: a sea swimming session hosted by adventurer and author of Blue Scotland, Mollie Hughes. Sue Lawrence presents her new historical novel set on Mull and Islay and a panel on the theme of Welcoming Nature will feature Mollie Hughes, Victoria Bennett and Alycia Pirmohamed. For full details, see the Islay Book Festival website.

September 2024

RSPB guided walks: join us at 10am every Tuesday at The Oa or every Thursday at Loch Gruinart for a tour round our awe-inspiring nature reserves. Led by our passionate guides, come and search for Eagles, chough, Hen Harrier and more, and learn about the conservation work we are carrying out to protect our amazing wildlife. Go here for more information.

Friday, September 20-Sunday, September 22

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival: this is put together by Islay Arts Association in partnership with Jazz Scotland. For more details, see the festival website.

Ongoing

Islay Archers: we shoot Mondays 7pm-9pm at the Islay High School sports hall, Bowmore, in winter and every Sunday afternoon 2pm-4pm Port Mor, Port Charlotte, in summer (not during Fèis Ìle week). Visitors are always welcome, beginners and experienced archers alike. For more information, just email us.

Ceramic painting at Persabus Pottery: come have a go at painting your very own ceramic piece. The pottery is open for pottery painting workshops, Tuesday to Friday 12 noon to 4pm and Saturday 12 noon to 3pm. We are also running some exciting Art Experiences. Discover, explore and connect with nature's colours and patterns, through mindfulness and art, and find your inner creative flow. Keep an eye on our social media for more details of upcoming courses, or head to the Persabus website to book an Art Experience Workshop.

Handmade Scottish Tablet: An Gleann is open for the new season. Come and visit for some home-grown preserves, a range of our own honey and beeswax gifts and, of course, lots of new season tablet!  See the An Gleann website.

Swimming, gym and sauna, MacTaggart Leisure Centre: features a 25m x 8.5m four-lane pool and gym overlooking Loch Indaal, fully equipped with range of cardio and resistance machines. Five-seater Eco sauna. See here for opening times and further details.

Islay Sea Adventures boat trips: regular tours run until October 31. Wildlife Tours:  Monday to Friday, 10am and 2pm, and Saturdays at 10am. Seafood Tours: Fridays at 2pm: Fishing Tours: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am and 2pm. Corryvreckan Tours: set days each month to correlate with the spring tides. These tours will run until September. Private charters are available anytime. Discover more here.

Bus tours of Jura: Jura Island Tours runs tours seven days a week. They can pick you up and return you to the ferry from Islay, and you’ll be treated to a wonderful day of stories, history and culture plus seeing everything Jura has to offer. Check out reviews on Tripadvisor (search for Jura Island Tours) and see here to whet your appetite.

Port Wemyss Cake Cupboard: situated at Burnside Lodge B&B, Port Wemyss, normal hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm. Call in for teas, coffees and incredible home-made cakes, or take some home to enjoy later or as you enjoy the path and admire the view!

Islay studios, Islay House Square: photographic and art gallery and café. Open until Christmas, Monday-Saturday 10-5pm.

Live traditional music at the Port Charlotte Hotel, Port Charlotte, every Wednesday and Sunday night.

Museum of Islay Life, Port Charlotte: learn more about the history of the island and its inhabitants. Explore our extensive collection of artifacts. The museum, in a former church, has recently been refurbished. Open Monday to Friday, 10.30am-4.30pm.

Islay Nature Centre, Port Charlotte: open every day 1pm-4pm. Come and find out more about Islay’s flora and fauna and meet some of the sea creatures that inhabit our seas. 

Treasure hunts: charity Sidekick has put together some treasure hunts for Islay for children and families to take part in this summer. Several hunts are available; one starts from the information centre in Bowmore, one from the visitor centre at Finlaggan and one from the phone box in Port Wemyss. You can pick up copies of the treasure map at all three  locations. Find out more about Sidekick on Facebook.

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.

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

Church services: you'll find details at our Islay churches & services page. The Islay and Jura Church of Scotland also has a Facebook page that you can check out here.

Port Askaig Hotel: open for sit-in lunches, evening meals and takeaway food. Locally landed seafood a speciality. Booking not required except during Fèis Ìle and for larger parties. Email the hotel, call 01496 840245 or see its website.