Jura comes from the Norse words meaning Deer Island. Today
over 6500 deer live on six estates on the island. In contrast,
the human population is less than 200.
The island is 29 miles long and 7 miles wide in places. The
west is wild and virtually uninhabited, occupied only by the three
Paps of Jura which are known in Gaelic as The Mountain of the
Sound, The Mountain of Gold and The Sacred Mountain.
Many caves and raised beaches can be found on the west coast,
but you'll have to be a good walker to reach them.
If you want to get away from it all, this is the place to come.
The novelist George Orwell who stayed on the island at Barnhill
during the 1940s quite rightly described it as "an extremely
Wildlife lovers will be interested to know that there are
over 100 species of birds (including golden eagles) on the island,
together with wild goats, seals, rabbits, hares, stoats and otters.
How to get to Jura
The main route on to Jura is via the small vehicle ferry from Port Askaig on the Isle of Islay. It takes just 5 minutes to cross to Feolin on the southern tip of Jura. Tel: 01496 840 681.
Check the Council web site for prices and times.
The Jura passenger ferry
(12 seater RIB) will be running daily (except Wednesdays) from 28 March - 1 October 2013 from Tayvallich (mainland Argyll) to Craighouse on Jura. Booking essential - phone 07768 450000.
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
The Jura Bus is operated by Garelochhead Coaches (tel: 01436 810200) and travels between Feolin Ferry to Craighouse and north up the island to Inverlussa
Click here for timetables.
Mike Richardson gives guided tours of the island in his 12-seater Landrover.
Tel: 07899 912116.
Bike hire is available from Bramble Cottage - tel: 07092 180 747
Elizabeth Buie made a trip to Jura in 1987 and has posted a page on the Web about her experience.
My travellers' tips file may also be useful if you
are planning a trip to Scotland. It covers airlines, national car hire, train information,
accommodation web sites, etc.
If you are going over on the ferry from Kennacraig to Islay and need a place to stay,
is a traditional cottage overlooking Tarbert harbour (just 5 miles from the ferry terminal at Kennacraig) between Loch Fyne and the Mull of Kintyre.
Also try White Rock Bed and Breakfast which is a converted 18th century hilltop croft house on a small farm near Lochgilphead (25 miles from the ferry terminal at Kennacraig). 1 double room and 1 single / small double. Evening meals by arrangement. Organic produce.
Jura Development web site has a
detailed map of the island.
For searchable maps of Scotland,
visit Google Maps UK
What to see and do on Jura
Next to the ferry terminal, Feolin Ferry House holds the largest database of information about the Isle of Jura in existence in the world.
JURA HOUSE & GARDENS
Located 5 miles from the ferry at a place called Ardfin or White
Promontory. The house was built by the Campbells in the early 1800s. Previously available as self catering, it was bought by a new owner in 2010 and is being renovated.
The gardens are currently closed to the public.
You can see two little islands offshore. The one
on the right is Am Fraoch Eilean or Heather Island which controlled
the entrance to the Sound with the now ruined Claig Castle.
The grey coloured beach is made from grains of the local quartzite. Further along,
the path runs next to some of the famous Jura slate.
A longer walk will take you to The Misty Pool, waterfall, Bronze
Age burial cairn and also a Neolithic chambered burial cairn thought
to be 2000 years old.
The capital of Jura is 8 miles from the ferry. It is probably
the only place on the island you will find anywhere to eat or
drink. The village is home to petrol pumps,
post office, gift shop, church and the
Jura Hotel which has its own web site full of local information.
Antlers Bistro and Restaurant opened in 2009. Good food, crafts and local info available.
Isle of Jura Distillery produces a light malt whisky. The first official
distillery on Jura was built in 1810 but there is evidence that illicit
distilling took place as far back as 1502. It has been expanded over the
years but still occupies the same site, draws its water from the same natural
source and remains the only distillery on the island. To visit telephone
01496 820240 or email email@example.com.
Visit isleofjura.com for more details.
The general store is run by Stephen Martin and his wife
who have produced an excellent web site
which features photos and a map of the island.
If you are going to Jura and need supplies arranging in advance, just let them know.
Internet access is available at the Jura Service Point is next to the school in Craighouse. Open 10am - 1pm Monday to Friday.
Just north of Craighouse is the old crofters' settlement. Today
most of the remaining thatched roofs on the cottages have fallen
down, but you can still imagine how the people lived.
Ardlussa and Inverlussa: cemetery and cottages overlooking the
Saint Earnan, the uncle of Saint Columba, is buried in Inverlussa
graveyard, together with a lady called Mary MacCrain who apparently
lived until she was 128.
The road, such as it is, stops here, but if you continue along
the track (unsuitable for motorised vehicles), eventually it reaches
the northern tip of Jura, where George Orwell wrote 1984 and almost
lost his life in the Corryvreckan whirlpool.
THE PAPS OF JURA
These mountains are not that easy to get to or to climb when you
reach them. The upper slopes are mainly made of scree and lumps
of quartzite. You are recommended to wear strong boots. It can
easily take you the best part of a day just to reach and walk
up one of the 3 mountains, but on a clear day you will be able
to see for miles from the summit. They rise to around 2400-2500 feet.
Check if deer stalking is in progress (usually on days between 1 July and 20 October) by using the hillphone service, tel: 01496 820151.
There are several standing stones scattered about the east coast of Jura.
A Neolithic burial cairn can be found south of Strone farm.
South-east of Ardmenish, on Lowlandman's Bay is the dun known as An Dunan.
The ruins of Glengarrisdale Castle are in the north-west of the island.
Visit isleofjura.com for more details.
Events diary (Jura Jottings)
Tip of the Tongue – festival of oral culture: dates to be confirmed for 2013
13 April 2013: Concert in Jura Hall featuring Kris Drever Éamonn Coyne, plus Karl Culley.
25 May 2013: Jura Fell Race takes place
27-29 September 2013: 20th Jura Music Festival