Jura is an island famous for its single malt whisky of the same name. It’s just off from Islay, and you need to catch a 5 minute boat to get to it. Unlike Islay, the whisky from the single distillery there isn’t smokey at all.
We decided to take a trip over since we were so close by, grabbing the ferry that felt like a tiny floating box in the lashing rain. When you arrive there is no pomp or ceremony – just two road signs that don’t tell you very much. We followed the route that Google Maps suggested was the most sensible one, leading towards the location of the distillery. It wasn’t a smooth drive – along a bumpy single track road.
We reached the distillery only to realise that we had been complete idiots and forgotten to check whether it would be open on a Sunday. Obviously not. Though it was really the most suitable day for us to go, so we couldn’t be too annoyed. We had a drink in the nearby bar then drove on further down the only road to see what we could find.
Not very much.
The road ended in some private land where we turned back and headed to the beach. I had visions of us getting stuck in the marsh, but luckily Suede is a far more able driver than I. There was somebody camping out there, which seemed like complete madness to me in this weather, though on sunnier days it must be spectacular.
So, what did we learn on this trip?
- For some insane reason, there are palm trees on Jura. Yes, palm trees.
- Normal laws don’t really apply here. Road tax isn’t something the locals seem to bother about.
- There’s only one main road in Jura.
- Always check the opening times before getting a ferry to a distillery.
- Jura really does feel like it’s on the edge of the world.
We got pictures on the beach, before diving back into the warmth of the car and heading back to Islay.