-> 2010 -> Bagging on Islay and Jura

Diciadain, 20/Jan/2010

Bagging on Islay and Jura

Islay News in stencil

No, not Munro Bagging. There are no Munros on either Islay or Jura. Just bagging. So what's that all about then? I've come across BaggingScotland on Twitter first, may be a month or two ago. They also have a website at (surprise!) Bagging Scotland. It's a new Scotland tourism marketing iniative, which is also where Islay and Jura come into the picture:

The idea of the initiave is to give people ideas of place to ‘bag’, in a way following the idea of Munro Bagging. But with distilleries, castles, islands and other ‘must-see’ places instead. Today they managed to get a report in The Scotsman, New Scottish tourism drive hopes to bag bloggers, where the ‘Ten of the best places to bag in Scotland’ include one each from Islay and Jura:

Picture of a farm distillery on Islay, Kilchoman

It only just sneaked in at 10, but the place on Islay is Kilchoman distillery. A choice I can agree with. The youngest distillery on Islay and I think a great place to visit (and spend some time, not just bag it!). I've heard great feedback about the distillery tours, the staff I've met is friendly and helpful and they serve good food in the visitor centre. Strangely enough it doesn't make it into the list of Our Top Ten Distilleries on the Bagging Scotland website, instead Ardbeg and Laphroaig make the list from Islay here?

I've got a slight problem with their choice for Jura (which makes it into the Our Top Ten Islands list on their website, while Islay only receives an honourable mention) though: They picked Barnhill. Why is that a problem? Because it is a private house rented out as a holiday cottage (I disagree with the comments there). Fair enough, it's important to many people for the Orwell connection, but does that mean it's OK to just walk on to private property and peer through the windows into someones lounge? By all means list it, but put a ‘health warning’ on it. Feel free to go on to the walk (for it is a fairly long walk to get to it), but don't expect to see too much.

Still, I quite like the idea in general, pointing out all kinds of things to visit to people, even if it is in the format of a list of places to ‘bag’. I can think of quite a few things for Islay, I might publish it on their site, I might just create my own blog entry series. Distilleries, Celtic crosses, sandy Islay beaches or Islay's Marilyns are a few things which come to mind. Watch this space…

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