Isle of Jura

Romantic Milestone, Isle of Jura, Scotland

In two days, we are going to Scotland for our May holiday, but this year we are going for eighteen days.  We have never been away from home this long before, and have lots of things planned, but I have a horrible feeling the weather is not going to be as nice this year, as it was last year.  We have been very lucky in the past, so fingers crossed we get a few rain free days 🙂  I still have lots of photos from last year, but I shall just keep posting them.  I found this milestone in 2016 (I collect photos of milestones and have a category for them) at Craighouse, the only main settlement on the Isle of Jura.  I think it says Craighouse one mile to the Ferry, until thirty years ago you could catch a car ferry direct from the mainland, but now there is only the car ferry from Islay.  There is small high speed ferry from the mainland for foot passengers, so the milepost could be of use again.  But this post is really where the sign is positioned, just look at that view, beautiful.

May 2016

The Paps of Jura, Scotland

Last year 2016, we had second holiday in Scotland and we visited the Islands of Jura & Islay, Inner Hebridean Islands off the west coast of Scotland.  To get to Jura, you have to first catch a ferry to Islay and then s smaller ferry to Jura.  The first night we stayed on Islay at Port Askaig, before travelling on to Jura, first thing in the morning,  There is not a lot at Port Askaig, but it does have the most wonderful views of the Paps of Jura…..The Paps of Jura are three mountains on the western side of the island of Jura and their highest point is 2,575 feet (785 m).

More on the island to follow.

Clouds, Jura & Islay, Scotland

We spent eight hours on a train today, we travelled from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire to Edinburgh in Scotland, four hours there and four hours back….. six hours in Edinburgh.  A special offer on the trains, was to good to miss, so we choose to go to Edinburgh.  Normally we only visit in passing, mostly just a couple of hours, so this quite a treat.  We did lots of exploring, but I haven’t download todays photos yet, so here are a few cloud photos from our trip to Islay & Jura, Scotland, last year 2016. First two photos are Islay and the last two are views of Jura.


Jura Parish Church, Isle of Jura, Scotland



Last year we visited the Islands of Jura and Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, mainly for the Whisky Festivals.  We stayed on Jura for their Whisky Festival, which was brilliant, even thought the weather was pretty cold, wet and miserable, the whiskey was great.  But this post is about the small church, Jura Parish Church which stands on the inland side of the main road up the eastern coast of Jura at the northern end of the island’s only village, Craighouse. 


A very simple plain church, but has a very calming interior.  Built in 1777 at a cost of £115, this new church, replaced the old parish church which was sited more inland from the coast and less convenient for the villagers of Craighouse.


I found this old photo of the church and it shows how the church has changed over time.  The original church had no seats and no belfry, and according to one report was already in a state of disrepair by the early 1800s. The building was extensively renovated and enlarged in 1842.  The current interior of the church dates back to another refurbishment that took place in 1922.  


The stained glass window in the north east wall was dedicated in 1946 in thanks for the safe return of all but one of the Jura men who went to war. 



The church has wonderful views, overlooking the Small Islands out in the bay.


May 2016

Claig Castle, Heather Island, Jura, Scotland


Last year, 2016, we stayed on the Isle of Jura an island off the west coast of Scotland, to attend the ‘Whisky Festival’…….it was brilliant, more to come about that.  Part of this trip was for my husband, who is an avid whisky collector, mind you by the end of the visit, I got a liking for a wee dram.  The other part of the visit, was for me to explore the island and find interesting sites, which I did.  But the one thing I thought I wouldn’t find was a castle, as everyone told me there wasn’t one.  In the hotel we were staying. I found a small old book about the island and low and behold there was a reference to a castle.  Ok not much left, but I have seen less, now to find out where it was……no one in the hotel knew, some of the locals had no idea there was a castle or the ruins of one.  I was beginning to think maybe it had crumble away to dust, when one of the gamekeepers came in for a drink in the bar and told me exactly where it was.  As we left the next day and I had been told the exact spot to look right, we found it, otherwise you would miss it.  This was as close as we got, plus we did have a ferry to catch, so a zoom view had to do, but you can see the reason it was built there to control the sea traffic.  I have added a small amount of history.


The castle ruins are situated on a very small Island, Fraoch Eileen, in English, Heather Island, off the coast of Jura, but still in the parish of Jura.

The castle was once a massive fort described as a sea fortress, which allowed the Macdonald Lord of the Isles to dominate and control the sea traffic north and south through the Hebrides for more than four centuries.

The castle remained a stronghold of the MacDonalds until they were subdued in the 17th century by the Clan Campbell.

All that remains now from the slight historical evidence and features suggest a late medieval, probably 15th century tower house. Only a ruinous ground floor remains but it is likely that it comprised two main storeys, together with perhaps a garret contained within the roof.