Jura Island Tours and Private Hires - Isle of Jura, Argyll, Scotland - 01496 820 314
One of Europe’s last wildernesses, the Isle of Jura is a beautiful but little known island off the west coast of Scotland. Part of the Inner Hebridies, it is home to two hundred and thirty people and 5,000 red deer.
Jura's 115 miles of coastline has a wide range of interesting features, from caves and cliffs to raised beaches. Many rare species of plants, birds and mammals inhabit the island, including the beautiful and sometimes elusive otter (it is said there is a pair of otters for every 3 miles of coastline).
The largest settlement on Jura is the village of Craighouse where you will find the Hotel, Distillery, Antlers tearoom /gift shop and the local shop/Post Office. It's the central hub of the island and the main pick-up point for Jura Island Tours (tour pick-ups also available form Feolin and private hires by arrangement).
Craighouse sits at the south end of Small Isles bay, home to our resident colony of seals which can often be seen basking on the rocks in front of the Manse. The bay is also home to some stray Geese who dropped in a couple of years ago and decided to stay, as well as some Eider, Shell, and Mallard ducks, various wading birds, Herons and our resident swans.
There is a Heronry just outside the village which is home to a number of pairs of these pre-historic looking birds, they roost here at night and build their nests here during the breeding season.
The Paps of Jura
If you enjoy climbing and hill walking then the Paps of Jura should definately be on your 'to do' list. However, they are not for the faint hearted as they soar to almost 2600 feet and consist mainly of scree and lumps of Quartzite. Strong walking boots and warm clothing are a must and you'll need to set aside a day for this arduous task. However this will be well worth the effort as the views from the top will take your breath away (if the climb doesn't ). Islay, Colonsay, Mull, Scarba and Northern Ireland can all be seen from atop the Paps on a clear day.
Barnhill, where George Orwell wrote his famous novel '1984' lies a few miles beyond the road end. Today Barnhill is a private house, but you are still able to admire it from the old track and gain an understanding of the remote beauty which helped inspire Orwell to write.
Corryvreckan (Coire Bhreacain)
Another couple of miles walking will bring you to very northern tip of Jura and the viewpoint for the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest whirlpool in the world. The whirlpool is best viewed at certain states of the tide, so ask locally for tide times. If its doing it's thing then you will most likely hear it before you see it!