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What does Jura have to offer, a whisky destination that is usually an add-on to an Islay trip?
Jura has had many landlords, from the Vikings to the MacDonalds and more recently the Campbell's, once home to over 2,000 people this large southern Hebridean island is truly steeped in history, and last week one of our angels made the trip across to find out what else this now sparsely populated Scottish Island has to offer.
Scotland has been exceptionally fortunate with the summer weather this year so it was no surprise that the three days spend on Jura were drenched in sunshine which more than complemented the surroundings and scenery.
Craighouse is the main populated area of the island and home to the islands only shop, pub, hotel, coffee shop and distillery, it really is the hub for the 200 islanders who reside there.
The distillery was the first stop on the trip and although already in silent season it was evident that the Duirachs took real pride in this asset. Gleaming in the sunshine with all the staff bustling about tending to the daily maintenance and landscaping all the while politely acknowledging the visitors who had taken the time to make the trip across.
(Harris Tweed Whisky Water Dropper, as pictured above)
The Jura Hotel faces the distillery and is styled to complement the Scottish landscape, including; stag antlers, soft furnishings and a well-stocked bar. With the unspoilt picturesque view over the bay, the outdoor patio was well used throughout the day, by day trippers, locals and residents of the hotel. The hotel also provides a camping area to the front of the hotel close to the water's edge.
Last weeks visit to Jura was jam-packed with highlights, this is no sleepy village, a trip to Jura could be as busy or relaxing as you wish.
A few recommendations to occupy your time on Jura: bus tour of the island provided by Alex, boat trip to the Stevenson lighthouse provided by Nicol, distillery tour provided by Rachel, bike hire provided by Gerry and Jura whisky tasting provided by Graham (distillery manager).
Our final recommendation is to GO; Jura had way more to offer than I had ever expected. Stay at the hotel, enjoy the local cuisine, sample the whisky and tour rugged land.