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Weekend Break On The Isle of Islay

You may have already read a couple of our blog posts about our time in Islay. We were on Islay for a business trip which involved hiking. I’m normally pretty good with packing but on our recent trips I’ve had to do the packing last minute.

Scenery on the way to Kennacraig
Scenery on the way to Kennacraig

Our Weekend Break On Islay

On the Friday morning, my husband had dropped the dogs off at the home boarding place that we use. After he dropped the car back off with me, we quickly packed the car and I left with the boys to go to my parents house. It was then a quick empty the boot to try and rearrange everything to fit their stuff in. For 2 people they had more than the stuff we had for 1 adult and 2 kids!

We eventually left, roughly 30 minutes late. To get to Islay, we had to drive to Kennacraig to catch the 2 hour ferry. Last check in was 12.30 which meant we were cutting it close to get there on time. Luckily after a couple of short stops along the way and taking in the beautiful scenery we arrived with 5 minutes to spare! (Go us!)

Kids area on the ferry

The Ferry

Our eldest son was convinced he would be sleeping on the boat just like he had done on the Hull to Zeebrugge ferry. He was very disappointed to find out it was only 2 hours and he didn’t have a cabin. We had our lunch on board and then headed outside for a look about. You get some beautiful views from the back of the ferry. Big K started to moan he was cold so we headed to the play area inside for the boys to run about. The play area is pretty basic but it kept the boys amused for the whole time which was good.

Living room in self catering house

Bedroom in self catering house

Bedroom in self catering house

Arriving on Islay

We had booked a 2 bed cottage for the duration of our stay. When we picked up the keys we were told they had upgraded us to the 4 bed house instead. My first thought was… “oh no I don’t have the baby gate!” The house was great, so much space for everyone and the living room was our main area where we sat in and let the kids play. We unpacked the car and I sorted out the rooms.

Travel cot

Fighting With the Travel Cot

The owners had kindly gave us a travel cot for Little K, now I have to say I gave up trying to put this up. After 30 minutes of fighting I headed downstairs for a cup of tea. After cooling down I decided I wasn’t letting the travel cot defeat me. Within minutes the travel cot was up and I shouted to my dad that I had been victorious in putting the stupid thing up. I thought I was never going to figure it out!

Sunset on Islay

Friday Night Dinner and Bed

We had bought the food for our dinner with us, so we just had to cook it and serve it up. Didn’t take too long and it gave us an excuse to use the big dining table in the self catering house. Bed time took a bit longer than normal, as back home I have my husband to help. However, while my parents sat downstairs I had to tackle bedtime by myself. Eventually both boys were fast asleep and I could head downstairs for a cuppa and a biscuit!

Family out hiking in Islay

Posing while out hiking on Islay


Our Saturday was spent walking Laggan Point and then having our dinner in Port Ellen. The restaurant (SeaSalt Bistro) was lovely and the food was great. All freshly cooked and the kids enjoyed it too. After dinner we drove the road to Ardbeg distillery for a look around, as our morning walk was around this area. It was then back to the house for bedtime and for us to rest up for the next day.

Toddler out walking in forest

Out walking in the woods


We had decided the morning walk would be done by just myself and my dad, while my mum stayed with the boys at the house. The house was across from the airport, which meant the boys could watch the planes (they don’t come in that often though) After the morning walk, we headed to Ardbeg distillery for lunch and a look around.

Ardbeg Distillery

Our afternoon walk was at Bridgend Woods, which ended up being Big K’s favourite walk. We climbed over fallen trees and jumped over the boggy ground. Definitely a very entertaining walk.

We headed back to the house to have showers and clean ourselves up (we all ended up rather muddy after the walk) and then head out to the Ballygrant hotel for our dinner. Best meal we have ever had by far. The food was delicious and well worth the wait. Although I don’t think the boys appreciated the wait.

Beach on Islay


Time to go home. I don’t think any of us wanted to leave. We had heard from the owner that the ferry may not be running as the ferry that came in the night before had hit the dock. Luckily we arrived and all was okay. We think the people from the afternoon ferry had been informed and were waiting to get on too. Some of the ferries had been cancelled.

We decided to spend our time on the ferry at the kids play area. The boys played nicely with the other kids that were about and were having a blast. Big K even invited one of the kids to stay over next time they visited (they come out with some funny things don’t they?).

Scenery on the way to Kennacraig

Long Drive Home

After stopping for lunch we then had the long drive home. I think we arrived back at about 4pm. We unpacked the car, dropped my mum and the boys off, before heading off to pick up the dogs!

We had a lovely break away, I wouldn’t call it a holiday as it was a business trip. However, we all had a great time and loved Islay. If only it wasn’t such a long drive to get there. The scenery is beautiful and is a must see if you love places where you can get away from the hustle and bustle.

Have you ever been to Islay?

Our weekend break on Islay, Scotland with Kids

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Mummy and Wife at Travelling With Our Kids
I have always had an interest in travel and now we have our two boys we want them to see more than just the UK. We hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children. You can also read about our holidays and the places we have visited while away.
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