Loch Gorm Feature Page

Where to find Loch Gorm

Loch GormLoch Gorm is situated less than a mile from the Atlantic coast, roughly between Machir Bay in the south and Saligo Bay in the west. The easiest road to get to Loch Gorm is the B8018 a mile before Bruichladdich on the right (if you come from Bridgend) signposted Sanaigmore. After half a mile on this road you reach a hill just after Foreland House. There are stunning views towards Loch Gruinart, Loch Indaal and even the mountains on the Isle of Mull are visible when the weather is clear. Just before Machir and Kilchoman the road goes right towards Ballinaby and ends finally at the same B8018 close to Carnduncan. This is a very nice and quiet circular road around the loch with plenty of opportunities for wildlife.

Loch Gorm

The area around Loch Gorm is mostly flat and differs a lot from other parts of Islay. Loch Gorm is the largest fresh water loch on Islay and is a great place for fishing, the brown trouts are one of the best on Islay. The area is home to a lot of wildlife. Driving or walking the circular road at dawn or dusk is a wildlife fest, it's amazing how much wildlife there is to be seen from the roadside. Frequent sightings are Buzzards, Hen Harriers, Curlews, Geese, Roe Deer, Lapwings, Pheasants, Hares and many others.

Graves for the victims of the HMS Ontranto and TuscaniaIn the south-east corner of Loch Gorm, on a small island, are the overgrown ruins of Loch Gorm castle, a former fort from the MacDonalds clan and destroyed in the 1700s. In the evening hares and deer can be spotted easily when driving around on the little single track roads. The views, from the elevated parts of the road east from the loch, towards the Atlantic Ocean are magnificent, especially at sunset. With Kilchoman and Machir Bay to the south, and Saligo bay to the west the Loch Gorm area is an extremely interesting place to be. Kilchoman has a newly opened whisky distillery, Kilchoman Distillery, on the Rockside farm which started in 2004/2005. It is the most westerly whisky distillery in Scotland. In the graveyard next to the Kilchoman church you can find the Kilchoman cross. The church itself is a ruin nowadays but the Kilchoman cross is in a very good condition making it worth a visit. South of the churchyard a short walk takes you to the World War I graves where victims from the HMS Ontranto are buried. Halfway this walk, when you cross the field, you can find the last remaining sanctuary stone. This stone, together with another one which is now in the Islay Museum, and the church itself, provided a sanctuary in earlier days.

Driving back towards Machir, there is a track to the left that takes you to one of the finest beaches and bays on Islay, which is Machir Bay. If you like your sunsets, Machir Bay and Saligo Bay are the places to be. Machir Bay offers almost one and a half miles of sandy beach on the Atlantic Coast. After a storm the waves can be huge and the walk to the end of the beach is very rewarding. At the south end of the beach there is a track leading uphill towards Kilchiaran and it is here, between the rocky outcrops, where you can find the Iron Age fort of Dun Chroisprig as well as Granny's Rock, a rock which looks similair to an old woman.

Loch Gorm on Google Streetview

Bowmore | Bridgend | Bruichladdich | Ballygrant | Port Ellen | Port Charlotte | Portnahaven | Port Wemyss | Port Askaig | Community Garden | The OA Peninsula | Loch Gorm | Loch Indaal | Atlantic Coast | Kildalton Cross | Kilnave Chapel and Cross | Kilchoman Cross | Claggain Bay


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