MV Finlaggan From Tarbert To Islay

MV Finlaggan

Tarbert is not only the gateway to the stunning Kintyre Peninsula, it is also an ideal location to use as a base while island hopping around the Inner Hebrides.
Island hopping around Argyll’s Atlantic Islands is the perfect way to explore the west coast and see the rich history, wildlife and archaeological remains of this fascinating, ancient region
In time this site will cover all routes, but for now we are just popping over to the wonderful Isle of Islay.

The Isle of Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Southern Hebrides of Scotland and lies in Argyll and Bute.
A true wildlife paradise, everywhere along the coast you can find seals, wading birds, oyster catchers, gannets, terns, gulls, ducks, shags, cormorants.
Dolphin and  basking sharks can be spotted from the coastal areas.
The farm lands are also home to lapwings, curlews, fewer corncrake and many other birds.
Buzzards, Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles and other birds of prey can also be spotted.
The Isle of Jura, the Kintyre peninsula and Northern Ireland are Islay’s neighbours and should be added to your island hopping adventures too!

You can get to Islay from Kennacraig Ferry Terminal in Tarbert.
You can read more about Finlaggan In This Presentation.
The MV Finlaggan was the first CalMac ship to have “clam shell” bow doors, that open sideways. The car deck is partially open at the stern and has a mezzanine deck capable of taking an additional 18 cars
3 passenger decks with a restaurant, shop, and two disabled lifts serving all decks.
Entering through doors on the car deck, a staircase takes you up to a lounge with a bar/coffee shop, games room and baggage storage.
Further stairs, with a statue in the middle, take you to the cafeteria and a lounge with dog areas, a kid’s play area and televisions.
Below is a video I shot today of it leaving Kennacraig and heading off to Islay, what a beautiful calm, December day for it.

When you visit Islay, you must explore Finlaggan, the ancient capital of the once powerful sea-faring kingdom, the Lordship of the Isles.

Like many of the Scottish Isles you will find Islay has many treats in store, from fascinating history, wonderful food and of course fantastic whisky from one of the 8 distilleries.
If you cannot get to Islay right now but want to sample a wee dram, try these. Drinks by the Dram Islay Whisky Tasting Set (5 x 3cl)

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley- The Classic Laddie
Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest
Caol Ila 12 Year Old
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Lagavulin 16 Year Old
Islay is a world-renowned whisky producing island located in the Inner Hebrides.
A collection of fine single malt Scotch whiskies best enjoyed neat or with just a splash of water.

Bruichladdich 

Made from barley harvested at Rockside Farm, Islay, in 2006 and distilled in 2007. The specially selected grain, the slow distillation and carefully considered casks were vital in creating this iconic unpeated single malt.

On The Road, A Visual Tour

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I am not a great photographer, but as we travel through the hills and beside the lochs there are so many breathtaking views, so here is a short post, loaded with pictures and videos of the B8024 (Just go through Tarbert, past Stonefield Wigwams, then turn right as though going to Tarbert Golf Course.

Then do a left onto the B8024, the road follows alongside the shores of West Loch.

A Coo!

Just follow the road, be mindful of the passing places as you may need to give way to farming or forestry vehicles, if you stop for photos or to enjoy the view, make sure you have left room for other vehicles to pass.

Allow yourself plenty of time to explore, or just relax and take in the stunning scenery and crisp, fresh air.

Port Ban Holiday Park, A Romantic Beach Just Before A Snow Flurry

Along the road you will find an excellent holiday park with static caravans and camping pitches.
Port Ban Holiday Park is set in a fantastic location and is perfect for extra guests if you are planing on getting married in such a beautiful spot.

See Crear Weddings for further info.
It is also a perfect location for family holidays, with sandy beaches and craggy coastlines there is plenty for little ones to do.

For Naturalists, it is wonderful all year round, with wildlife in abundance!
You don’t have to wait long to see Seals, Buzzards, Deer, Otters and much more.

If you have time, take a small diversion and see the sculptured stones that have been stored under cover to protect them from the elements, you can read more about them here.

Sandy beaches and rolling hills

Of course, you could just sit back, relax and enjoy the views (even better if someone else is driving)

A Common Seal In Loch Caolisport
The Weather Seems To Change With Each Twist And Turn
Rocky Beaches

And Raging Burns

Loch Fyne Wildlife

Tarbert Harbour, Loch Fyne

While playing around on Youtube last night I found myself lost on a wonderful clicky trail along the beautiful waters of Loch Fyne.
There are many stunning videos on there, if you get the time have a search.
Meanwhile I have added a few of my favourites below.
Anyone that knows me knows why the first one had to be the first! 🙂
Just another few good reasons you should Visit Tarbert.
With thanks to;

Andy Jackson from SubseaTV. 81Banjo and the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, amongst others for sharing their videos.

Make a cuppa, sit back and relax while you watch some of the Tarbert locals doing what they do best….




Oyster Catcher

Short Films

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I have set up a Youtube channel to add the short films I have been putting on Facebook and Google+.
More recently inspired by playing around with the phone settings while out with the dogs.
They are all short and at the moment there are only a few but I have embedded the playlist so it will grow in time.
It’s just a bit of fun, but it shows the forests and lochs etc, if you enjoy walking you should be inspired.

Storm Desmond 5th December 2015

Just a couple of videos I made while playing with my phone walking the dogs, it’s still very rough out there so please be careful.
If you are travelling locally and you have a facebook account bookmark the A83 Facebook Group for regular news, photos and updates from the people on the roads.

Christmas Dinner Party

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The SNP Tarbert Branch Christmas dinner is on the 11th December 2015 at The Tarbert Hotel, Harbour Street, Tarbert.
Places are to be booked in advance, you can Follow Or Message The Tarbert SNP On Facebook.
Or contact me and I will pass your details to those taking bookings.

Please arrive at 7pm ready to start at 7:30 pm

This is open to all members and others interested in joining us, it is £25 per head.
 Please message us to book a place and confirm your seat.

After dinner, we will be joined by the Wonderful Singer Bonnie McCallum.
We hope you can join us!

You can listen to more of Bonnie McCallum By Clicking Here! Or follow Her Facebook Page.


Christmas Party Menu

Starters

Home-made soup of the day with a warm crusty roll.
Chicken liver pate with a sweet onion chutney and Scottish oatcakes
Smoked haddock and chive fish cakes coated in golden breadcrumbs
and served with a lemon and dill mayonnaise.
Fanned honeydew melon with fruit coulis

Main courses
Roast turkey served with all the traditional fayre
Oven baked fillet of haddock on a bed of caper mash with
vegetables and a creamy tarragon butter sauce
Roast beef with roast potatoes, vegetables,
Yorkshire pudding and a rich red wine jus
Stuffed peppers, oven roasted peppers filled with vegetable cous cous
served with salad, garlic bread and a rich tomato sauce

Desserts
Christmas pudding with brandy sauce
Apple pie with vanilla custard
Cream filled profiteroles with dark chocolate sauce
Vanilla ice cream

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Don’t forget to contact me if you are holding an even in or around Tarbert, so I can add it to this website and the Public Calendar for Tarbert.