Jura Whisky Distillery, Isle of Jura, The West Coast of Scotland


In May 2016, we visited the Islands of Islay and Jura, for the Whisky Festivals.  We were booked in for the Jura Festival and stayed on the island at the Jura Hotel, next door to the distillery.  I have posted about all the other distilleries that we visited on Islay, but for some reason, I had posted lots about Jura, but not the distillery visit.  It was only when husband asked, had I added it to the ‘Whisky Distillery Category’ …….well the answer was no, so hence the reason I am doing it now…..he doesn’t ask for much, ferrying me around, just a nice meal and a glass, or rather a bottle of whisky for his collection now and again.  It takes two ferries to get to Jura from Oban on the west coast of Scotland.  This trip was in 2016, in 2017 we tried to visit again, but the weather was too rough and the ferry was cancelled.  We tried again this year 2018, and guess what, the ferry was cancelled again due to bad weather, we got our money back, but husband was just a little disappointed, but he did make up for it in some other distilleries.  But back to Jura, the weather wasn’t great, but the whisky was flowing and we had a great time.

We had booked a tasting menu with different whiskies, a trip out on a speed boat drinking whisky with sea spray and tasting beer and whisky that matched each other. 

Husband walking with an air of determination, there’s whisky in them there buildings 🙂

Inside the distillery we were given generous sized samples of the different whiskies and then we made our way to the hotel.  Which is a really nice, comfortable and friendly, so handy for the distillery.

The next day we had the tasting menu and you can see from the photos just how tasty it was.

Later we went out in the speed boat, for more tasting and husband won a bottle of whisky, hence the big smile in one of the photos.

After our sea trip, we went to the shop and husband made some purchases.  I took one of the bottles, I had seen other people getting their bottles signed.  The manager was retiring and both him and the new manager were signing bottles.  I got both and then I noticed the someone else, he was the head buyer, so I asked him to sign my bottle, so I got all three.    

After the signing, it was time to taste some more whisky and beer this time, to see if certain beers complimented the whisky.  So ended a day of lots of food, whisky and beer tasting, we would do it again, if the weather allowed us to 🙂

Just a little history……. The Campbell’s from Jura built the distillery around 1810.  The whisky produced then was a peaty character, which differs considerably from the whisky produced today. The distillery was rebuilt in 1884 and produced 64,000 gallons per year back then.  In the early 1900’s the distillery was dismantled and the buildings became a ruin.  In about 1950, a few people on Jura got together and decided to restart the distillery, creating jobs for the island. The new distillery was built on the same location using some of the old ruined buildings.  The distillery finally reopened in 1963 providing jobs for a quarter of the male workforce on the island.  The whisky however changed as much as the appearance of the distillery and the taste became less peaty and more of a Highland character.


Views From A Train Window

We travelled by train to Venice in 2016, I did post a lot of photos taken from the train windows at the time, but there were a few views that I couldn’t find out where they were.  But there were some wonderful castles, churches and villages that we passed going through Germany, Switzerland and Italy that I would have loved to have visited, but maybe one day I will get to see some of them.  So for now, these photos are of where I would have loved to have jumped off and explored.  


In & Around St Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

We have been to Yorkshire this weekend, unfortunately the weather was very wet and there wasn’t any internet service, so not that many photos taken, but I did spent sometime sorting through some old photos.  When we were in Venice, October 2016, we visited St Mark’s Square, but I wasn’t happy about the photos that I took.  I very nearly trashed them all, but having some time to play around with them this weekend, I have saved quite a few.  There are always going to be loads of tourists, but since it is so iconic of Venice, I should post them and it is a wonderful place full of beautiful buildings, just ignore the bodies 🙂 

As the largest square in the city and the only one given the designation of “piazza” (the others are all referred to as “campi”), St. Mark’s Square has always been the location of important government buildings and other facilities central to the goings on in Venice.  

The centerpiece of the piazza is, of course, the magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica.  Commissioned in 1071 by doge Domenico Contarini, this amazing church is built in Venetian-Byzantine style, a mixture of western and eastern styles.

The basilica has a separate campanile – bell tower – that stands 98.6 meters tall (323 ft) and is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.  Originally built in the ninth century, the current version was rebuilt in 1912 after the original tower collapsed in 1902.

The other dominant building around St. Mark’s Square is the Doge’s Palace. A beautiful Gothic structure, it faces the Venetian lagoon and was completed in the early fifteenth century, though portions of it were rebuilt after a fire in 1574.

Between the Palace of the Doge and the Library is the Piazzetta (little piazza) San Marco.  It is known for the two columns located there that pay homage to two of Venice’s patrons – St. Mark and St. Teodoro of Amasea.

Back Streets of Venice, Italy

Sorting through some photos, I came across some Venice 2106 photos, that I had for some reason not use, mostly likely because I took way too many.  So I thought I would change these to mono and see how they looked.  I like photos that have that timeless feel to them, which you can achieve by changing them to black & white.  Hopefully some of these have that feel, anyway it was fun to do and I hate wasting photos 🙂

The Ancient Priory Church of St Mary, Portchester. Hampshire


After our visit to Portchester Castle, we made our way over to the Ancient Priory Church of St Mary, situated in the far corner of the Roman enclosure.  

Built in the 1120s of Isle of Wight stone by Normans. It was given by Henry 1 to a small community of Augustinian or Austin canons/monks.   Their seats in the chancel with arched recesses may still be seen. The priory buildings that once stretched south to the Roman wall have completely disappeared. The canons moved some four miles away to Southwick for a more quiet life after some 20 years, but sent a canon until the Reformation in the 1530s to serve this parish.

The Norman west door is a wonderful example of Norman stonework with a variety of patterns.

The building is of outstanding simplicity, a nave with traditional Norman arches and rounded windows in the north and south wall.  

On the South wall is an Elizabethan plaque, dated 1577, the oldest of this type in the county and a note of the royal grant.  The flowing photos will take you on a tour of this interesting church.





Portchester Castle, Portchester, Nr Portsmouth, Hampshire

We visited Portchester Castle, near Portsmouth on the south coast, a couple of years ago, and I thought, I had posted about the castle, I had up loaded the photos, but it would seem, that’s as far as I got.  This is a gem of castle, and its remarkable history begins in the 3rd century, when the Romans built a fort to combat attacks by barbarian pirates.  In the 5th century it was transformed into a Saxon stronghold, or burgh, to protect that part of the coast from Viking roads.  After the Norman Conquest in 1066, a castle was built inside the Roman Walls.  It later became a Royal residence.  Occupied until the 17th century, it was converted into a prison during the Napoleonic wars.  

As there is quite a lot to see, we will start the tour, with the Romans……..Since they were constructed over 1,700 years ago, the walls, towers and enclosing ditches of the square planned Roman fort have been at the constant and defining elements of the site.  Within the huge nine acre area they enclose, great changes have taken place.  

From the top of the Norman Keep, you can see how the Roman fort was laid out.


As it exists today, the layout broadly reflects the medieval  arrangement of the site, with a great tower or keep, at one corner surround by other important castle buildings in the inner bailey.  

Next we come to the Normans, who built the castle in about 1130.  

Now in the 1390’s a royal residence was erected for Richard the II.


There was a display area, that takes you through the history of castle.

Now there is just time to explore the site, before heading over to that very interesting looking church in the other corner of the fort…….continued in the the post.  I have added a few photos of Portchester Village, some nice buildings are left in the this ancient village.