Islay: Cragabus Byres

Islay map-en

Attribution: Ayack CC BY-SA 3.0 (

Our week on Islay began by ferry, which deposited us at Port Askaig in the north-east of the island. With only a short stop for provisions in the main settlement of Bowmore, we headed straight for our cottage in the south-west. As the name suggests, Cragabus Byres is the former byre of Upper Cragabus farm. Set in gorgeous countryside on The Oa peninsula, about half way along the road from Port Ellen to Lower Killeyan, it has been beautifully renovated. The owner, Craig, could not have been more helpful and the welcome dram was very much appreciated.

Our legs felt a bit cramped after the journey, so when we had finished our dram we set off on a circular walk around the local farmland. In the first couple of pictures in the gallery below, we are looking back at Upper Cragabus. Away behind the ruined church you can see the end of the peninsula, the Mull of Oa, which we would explore the next day. As I mentioned in my last post, my Great-Grandfather Sinclair came from Islay and I intended to keep an eye open for any mentions of the name. We found the first on a farm lorry – possible distant relations?

After our walk, we cooked our dinner (no handy restaurants nearby!) and settled down to plan the next few days. There were so many places we wanted to explore. This was going to be good!


  1. A lovely and adequate home away from home! I can see why one would have to cook their own meals – a nice change on vacation, it seems like. What’s a “dram”? Food, drink? It sounds interesting and nice of the owner of the place, whatever it is. 🙂


    • I admit I said to John when we drove up – that can’t be it! It does still look a bit like a cow she’d from outside, but I knew it had to be lovely inside because I had seen the pictures online. I’m getting more and more inclined to go for the peace of the countryside on vacation – it must be old age creeping up!

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      • I understand the time limitation. We are just back from 2 weeks touring in the US and in Canada so we are falling behind on our Australian pictures. We came back from Australia on April 15 and we are still working on processing our pictures. And we have made 2 more trips since then so lots more pictures to process. It seems like a never ending cycle… though we enjoy the travel and the picture taking!


  2. What fabulous accommodation. It’s a far cry from the byres I remember from my grandparents farm in Co. Armagh, N. Ireland, all smelly and mucky. I just couldn’t imagine how you would start to convert one of those into the lovely surroundings you’ve found. And the dram to go with it is a welcome bonus!