Isle of Jura Info The Scottish Isle of Jura off the west coast of Scotland Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:43:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 85757840 A Second Whisky Distillery on the Isle of Jura? Sun, 05 Nov 2017 14:58:26 +0000 A report in a recent Sunday Mail announced that a second Jura distillery has been proposed – with some high powered connections. Viscount Astor, David Cameron’s father-in-law, has applied to trademark Astor Whisky as well as Glenbatrick and and Corran River whiskies. Informal talks have taken place with Jura Community Council and a formal planning application to Argyll & Bute Council is expected soon.

Donald Darroch, Jura Community Council Convener, was reported in the Sunday Mail, as saying that a new distillery had been discussed but only informally. “It would be another stable source of employment. Estate/farming is on the downturn so any other type of stable employment is going to be very welcome,” he is reported to have said.

Applications have been made to the Intellectual Property Office in the names of “Viscount Astor, The Hon William Astor, partner of the Tarbert Estate Partnership” and his son, James, who is also a partner. They have asked for use of Astor Whisky, and Glenbatrick Whisky and Corran River Whisky, which are both bays on the west coast of the island.

According to the report earlier this year they also applied to register the name, The Jura Jerky Company for “meat, venison and beef with all being preserved, dried, cooked, cured, smoked, chilled and frozen”. Apparently no location has been identified for the distillery, which could employ around twelve people. More news hopefully soon!

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Sound of Jura Studio House Concert Tue, 30 May 2017 09:51:56 +0000 Giles Perring, owner of the Sound of Jura Studio in Knockrome, is organising the first House Concert on the 25th of June 2017.

Giles: A few things have all come together at the right time to realise a longtime dream of bringing an audience into our studio for an intimate evening of wonderful music and an evening meal. A team of us has pooled energies to put together this event, showing off Jura’s ‘cultural quarter’ of Knockrome, and we’re very excited about the whole thing!

The studio, which has been the setting for a growing catalogue of acclaimed music recordings from people like Something Secret, Yat Kha, Aline Frazão, Karl Culley and Mekons, is a lovely space for music making, and Knockrome Old School is, of course, sited overlooking Lowlandman’s Bay, which is one of the most beautiful spots on the island.

We are bringing together a concert featuring Madagascan singer and guitarist Rivo Noarivelo who will have just recorded an EP at the studio with a 3 piece band who reflect the very hip, and accomplished artistry that typifies the Norwegian music scene, with references from world, jazz and contemporary music. This treat is coupled with the act whose availability has catalysed the whole event, Twelfth Day Catriona Price [fiddle, voice] and Esther Swift [harp, clarsach, voice]. Twelfth Day have made visits to Sound of Jura as recording musicians on several occasions, but we have tempted them across to the island during a long tour to promote their second album ‘Cracks in the Room’, produced by folk legend Chris Wood. The evening also promises a window into the world of Sound of Jura’s house producer Giles Perring who himself, composes almost exclusively for film, TV and theatre. On this occasion, with some of his preferred musicians on hand, they will be playing some of his own music live – a rare occurrence indeed.

We’ve decided that in order to make this a proper evening in the spirit of sharing that’s embodied in the word ‘ceilidh’, we want to really give people the opportunity to take in the surroundings and the good company, so we will be offering an evening meal with the trimmings. We’ll start the food from 7pm, and we’ll follow on with the music as the evening gathers steam.

We’re really hoping people will be able to support what we really think will be a very special evening, with very special music, in a very special part of our island at a very special time of year. We are offering the whole experience for £30, with children under 12 welcome free [but please contact us in advance so we can manage numbers].

The schoolroom studio offers limited space so we are recommending that people book in advance, online at our tickets page, which accepts credit and debit card payments as well as PayPal. Tickets can be book here: Very much hoping to see you on the night.

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Jura Tastival 2017 Thu, 04 May 2017 07:36:21 +0000 Together with the Islay Festival, which attracts whisky fans from all over the world to distillery open days on Islay, the Isle of Jura Distillery will celebrate their open day on Thursday 1st of June under the name Jura Tastival 2017. Tastival will see Jura’s only whisky distillery throw open its doors to put on a number of free and ticketed activities – from unique whisky tastings and tours, to live entertainment – including music from legendary Scots Trad band RURA – and a chance to join the Jura community at special meet and greets with the distillery team.

This year’s Tastival event is limited to one day only (it has spanned two days in previous years) – so whisky lovers are advised get in early to snap up tickets, which are set to be in high demand. This year’s ticketed sessions include:

The Jura Long Table – Dine with the Diurachs (the name for Jura’s community) at this ‘getting to know you’ session. A special one off lunch in the distillery’s Grainstore, guests will join the locals (including some distillery staff) to hear stories on island life as they enjoy Jura’s laid back take on street food, prepared with the freshest local produce, each dish designed to pair with a dram of Jura whisky.

All Terrain Whisky Tasting – Discover the different sides of Jura and learn how the landscape inspires a whisky range as unique as the island itself. Venturing far beyond the realms of the distillery, the Jura bus will stop off at locations from serene beaches, to craggy mountain foots – with a whisky inspired by each location stashed for guests to find (if they listen to the clues) at every stop.

Whisky 101 – Meet Whyte & Mackay Whisky Maker & Blender Gregg Glass in this unique session designed for both whisky newcomers and aficionados alike. Smashing perceptions on traditional whisky tastings, guests will be invited to take on a different ‘state of mind’ when it comes to single malt – sampling Jura in a number of non-fluid states, before an anonymous Q&A will give visitors the chance can ask anything they ever wanted to know about whisky…but were too afraid to ask!

The Single Malt Masterclass – An exclusive masterclass hosted by Jura Distillery Manager Graham Logan, honorary distillers will get on-the-job whisky making experience – from learning how to keep a careful watch over the spirit gauge, to testing the mash tun and wash backs, rolling a barrel through the warehouse and siphoning whisky straight from the cask.

Jura Jetty

Ticketholders will arrive at Tastival in true island style, cruising from Islay’s Port Askaig directly to Jura’s Craighouse, delivered to the heart of the event by Captain Nicol. On their journey, guests will enjoy a special tasting of travel retail exclusive Jura Turas-Mara the way it was meant to be experienced – with the wind and sea spray in your face.

Music, live entertainment and the opportunity chance to sample Jura’s range will be available in the Dramming Bar in the distillery’s Cooperage, where guests will have the first opportunity to try, and purchase, Tastival 2017, Jura’s limited edition bottling created to mark the festival. The distillery will also run free tours of the still house throughout the day on a first come, first served basis.

Getting there from Islay: Jura will operate a free passenger ferry and coach shuttle service to and from the Port Feolin ferry station. For more information see Tickets on sale now, here:

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Visiting The Corryvreckan Whirlpool from Jura Thu, 02 Mar 2017 20:53:48 +0000 Corryvreckan WhirlpoolIn the north of the Isle of Jura, between the Isle of Scarba and Jura, is the Corryvreckan Whirlpool. Corryvreckan is the third largest of these natural phenomenons and can be a spectacular sight to see. The dangerous currents, standing waves and sudden calm waters between the two islands of Jura and Scarba usually appear around the changing of the tides, and most of all during spring tide. These effects are caused when in and outgoing tides enter the narrow strait between the two islands while being pushed up and down by deep waters of around 150 to 250 metres with a pinnacle in the middle which rises up to 30 metres below the surface. The Corryvreckan whirlpool is in fact the third largest, or second largest according to some, in the world, and only experienced skippers are able to navigate these waters during tidal changes. Visiting Corryvreckan is a must, trust me.

Although Corryvreckan is in the north of Jura it can still be quite an undertaking to visit it as there is no road going there. If you do want to make it on foot you’ll have to drive or take a bus to the end of the “Long Road“, the one road on Jura, to “Road End”, around half a mile after Lealt, where you’ll find a small car park and, a wee bit further, a chain over the road with padlock. From here on it’s a long walk to reach the north of Jura. The nearest cottage is Barnhill, which is 4 miles, Kinuachdrachd is 5 miles and Corryvreckan itself is a 7 mile walk. If this is too far, and it probably is for most, you might want to arrange 4-wheel drive transportation with one of the estates or ask Alex for advice.

Corryvreckan Whirlpool at Springtide
Corryvreckan Whirlpool at Springtide

If you can’t arrange a drive and walking is not your thing you might want to arrange another form of transportation to Corryvreckan. The most obvious one being a boat. There are a few choices here. You can get in touch with Venture West, they run regular trips from Crinan on the mainland to Corryvreckan. They also offer sea taxi pickup and drop off at various points on Jura upon request. For more info visit their website

Isle of Scarba and CorryvreckanLately another company has started to offer trips to Corryvreckan. It’s Islay Sea Adventures and they offer Corryvreckan trips from Port Askaig. Port Askaig is within easy reach of Craighouse. All you need to do is drive down to Feolin or take a bus or bike and cross the Sound of Islay on the Jura Ferry. From Port Askaig you sail up the Sound of Islay and along the very fascinating west coast of Jura to the Corryvreckan Whirlpool. The folk from Islay Sea Adventures are very knowledgeable and will also point out the wildlife along the way. Sightings of Golden Eagles or Sea Eagles occur very frequently. Booking is advised. For more information on the Corryvreckan Tours visit this link or you can either call Gus on 01496 300 129, or send an email to

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Willie Cochrane has Retired and Distilled One For The Road Wed, 31 Aug 2016 17:21:32 +0000 willie-cochraneJura Whisky’s celebrated Distillery Manager Willie Cochrane has just retired after an incredible 39 year career. To mark his contribution to the distillery, community and the industry itself, Jura today releases ‘One For The Road’: a limited edition 22 year old single malt, complete with exceptional ‘Pinot Noir’ finish and the final expression to be bottled in his care.

Willie’s story is extraordinary – he first came to the island as a young mechanic, with little knowledge of whisky and the intention of staying for only one year. He soon fell in love with the art of whisky making, the community and the island itself and steadily worked his way up to become of the industry’s best-loved figures.

Over the next 39 years, Willie became a celebrated part of the very fabric of Jura, renowned in the industry for his friendliness and expertise and earning prestigious titles for the whisky. A true ambassador for the brand, Willie has welcomed thousands of visitors from across the globe to the distillery, guiding them through the quality craftsmanship and dedication that goes into producing each cask of Jura.

one-for-the-roadWillie Cochrane said: “One of the perks of my job is meeting people who have travelled to the island from far and wide to share their appreciation for whisky with me and the team at the distillery. Now that I have the opportunity, I can think of no better way to repay the favour than releasing one final expression – one for the road – to share with them.”

As he bids farewell, Willie will embark on a European-wide tour, introducing One The Road to whisky lovers across the continent. From 17th Sept – 1st October 2016, Willie will visit Brussels, Lyon, Hamburg, Paris, Cologne and Stockholm to meet whisky fans and conduct tastings of the limited edition, One For The Road expression. This specially bottled 22 year old single malt, complete with exceptional ‘Pinot Noir’ finish, celebrates Willie’s 39 year career with Jura, and the story of one of whisky’s best loved characters. A must-have collectable for whisky fans, only 5,000 bottles (47% ABV) are available globally with an RSP of £120.

Graham Logan, the newly appointed distillery manager said: “Nobody embodies Jura’s spirit quite like Willie, so it’s a fitting tribute to a man who has contributed so much to our small, but passionate island. I’ll be raising a glass alongside the rest of the community as we wave Willie off on his next adventure.”

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Ardfin Golf Course Jura Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:49:14 +0000
image courtesy
image courtesy
An article was published in “today’s golfer”, a website about golf and everything related, about the new Ardfin Golf Course on the Ardfin Estate on Jura, the estate which was bought by Australian millionaire Greg Coffey in November 2010. Shortly after he bought the estate he closed down Jura House Garden which was a loss for the island and its visitors. Some time later plans were revealed for a top class golf course on Jura, not for everyone to use, but a private one. Quite an undertaking if you ask me and ever since they started I wondered what costs would be involved in such a big project. The answer came today, if it’s trustworthy, as the website I mentioned before wrote that the total costs for the Ardfin Golf Course has now hit £55 million. Like I said, I’m not sure if the source is very reliable as they write in the same article that you need four ferries to get to Jura from the Scottish Mainland. I don’t know how they came to that figure as we all know that two ferries will do just nicely, thanks! A quote from the article:

“If we had £450m in the bank, which of us wouldn’t add a putting green to the back garden? Maybe a short game area? Or even a cool par-3 hole? Former hedge fund manager Greg Coffey decided to take things one big step further, building his own 18-hole championship course, and it looks like an absolute belter. The course, designed by Coffey’s fellow Australian and Greg Norman’s right-hand man, Bob Harrison, will be finished next year and could set to become one of Scotland’s most spectacular golf courses.”

Whoever gets to play the Ardfin Golf Course on Jura, they will have stunning views as I don’t think there are many more golf courses in Scotland in such a dramatic and remote setting. Personally I can’t believe that Greg Coffey will keep the place to himself and I’m sure that the locals will be invited every now and then when they open next year. Mind you, I think golf enthusiasts would pay good money if they could play the renewed Machrie Golf Links on Islay, the Machrihanish Dunes in Kintyre and the Ardfin Golf Course on Jura in one or two days. A great challenge in one of Scotland’s most beautiful locations.

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Jura Time Machine development campaign Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:14:13 +0000 jura-time-machineAfter Jura’s award-winning oral history project of 2012-14, the community of Jura is on the threshold of an exciting digital expansion that could see more of their local knowledge and rich historical records being shared online. The Jura Development Trust are exploring the options for pulling together a new project that would find dynamic ways of preserving more of Jura’s amazing heritage and opening it up to friends of Jura around the globe, without affecting the unspoilt landscape or compromising on the values upheld by islanders. A new project could involve a mobile app about the island that uses augmented reality to uncover archaeological sites.

A phd student from Aberdeen University is working with the community to train people in the use of wiki-technologies so that the island could eventually have its own online encyclopaedia, a ‘Jurapedia’ (Google ‘Jurapedia’ to see the skeleton site). Also proposed are opportunities for residents to learn new skills, and improvements in facilities for accessing the oral history and genealogy records on the island, such as a portal at the care centre and a ‘tardis’ in Craighouse.

Jane Carswell, coordinating the JDT’s efforts on the Time Machine campaign says: “We’re a small community but we’re smart. There is no reason why, in the digital realm, Jura can’t compete globally for status and virtual visitors which, with our on-island limitations like the mini-road but our hugely rich history, could suit us really well.”

Donations to support the feasibility stages of this work can be made online through This is to pay for local community
consultation, guidance and staff time looking into precedents and financing. In return for their early investment, donors will receive a selection of limited-edition, uniquely-island, rewards! Google ‘Jura Time Machine’ to discover more.

Click this link for more info…

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Replacement Ferry Between Islay and Jura Fri, 01 May 2015 15:31:57 +0000 Work brought me to Jura this morning and as I drove into Port Askaig I noticed a different ferry than the usual one. The “Eilean Dhiura” is undergoing maintenance and the MV Eigg, the replacement ferry from Calmac, is now running the service. The MV Eigg is the oldest ferry in the fleet, a respectable 39 years old. She has been active for many years on the Oban to Lismore route. This ferry is smaller and it’s not a Ro-Ro type ferry. This means you have to reverse onto and off the ferry at Port Askaig. The capacity of the ferry is 5 cars as opposed to the usual 8 or 10 so you can be faced with slight delays. The Eilean Dhiura is expected to return in two week. Below is a picture of the MV Eigg at Feolin this morning.

MV Eigg at Feolin Isle of Jura

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The Kirsty Law Band, Craig Rozga & Neil Gow Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:12:27 +0000 kirsty-lawSound of Jura is excited to announce that it’s back with more live music on Jura for the 2015 season. The first show this year combines traditional Scots songs from a rising star on the Scottish folk scene with the long awaited Sound of Jura debut of two highly popular alumni of Jura’s musical melting pot. Borders-born Kirsty Law has grown up learning traditional songs, mainly in the Scots dialect. She now combines this with her strong interests in songwriting and poetry which has lead to exciting collaboration and her own self penned work, inspired by the ideas and forms she finds within the tradition. She has now launched into a career of performing and writing, fast becoming noticed as a talent to watch.

Starting ‘The Kirsty Law Band’ where she is accompanied by Rona Wilkie (BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2012) and Marit Falt (Vamm) they create a sound which is charged and exciting whilst resonating with stories, forms and melodies that have withstood the test of time. No lesser figure than the estimable Karine Polwart describes Kirsty Law thus: “Beautiful and feisty… it’s a joy to hear a young singer and writer in Scots with such earthy and conversational character to her singing and songs… a young musician doing things her own way”

Craig Rozga & Neil Gow need no introduction to Jura and Islay audiences. Last seen as a duo at the 2009 Jura Music Festival’s Sunday night concert, this pairing combines understated and intricate acoustic guitar playing with what is genuinely one of the great voices currently to be heard on the West Coast. Neil Gow is a songwriter and guitarist whose music perfectly complements the measured and involving voice of Craig Rozga. Known to many as one third of Jura’s Pete Smoke and the Roaches, this duo gives us something original and special.

The concert will take place in Jura Hall on 17 April 2015, doors open 20:30. Tickets for the gig are £12 on the door, and can also be bought in advance at If you’re on the island and able to get to the Jura Pub, you can also pick up tickets there for the special price of £10 up to a few nights before the concert.

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One Head Teacher for Islay and Jura Schools Sat, 07 Mar 2015 11:13:51 +0000 islay-juraI think if I was a teacher with the aspiration of becoming a head teacher in a stunning part of Scotland this would probably be the dream job. If this applies to you than you’ll be pleased to hear that The Keills & Small Isles Primary Schools on Islay and Jura are looking for a new headteacher. The job description mentions:

This is an exciting opportunity to lead the learning teams of two island schools for the Shared Headship of Keills Primary School, Isle of Islay, and Small Isles Primary School, Isle of Jura. Within their shared ethos both our schools retain their own uniqueness and sense of identity within their communities; whilst there is also a strong sense of partnership working between them and with the other local schools.

Both Keills and Small Isles Primary Schools have integral Pre 5 Units and their Early/First/Second Level Classes enable smooth transitions and partnership working from Pre 5 into Primary. Both settings are vibrant, creative, non-denominational establishments providing education for 3-12 year olds following the Scottish ‘Curriculum for Excellence’.

For more information and to apply please visit this link

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