Scotland // Argyll //

Isle of Jura

The long, whale-shaped island of Jura is one of the wildest and most mountainous of the Inner Hebrides, its entire west coast uninhabited and inaccessible except to the dedicated walker. Jura’s distinctive Paps – so called because of their smooth breast-like shape, though there are in fact three of them – seem to dominate every view off the west coast of Argyll, their glacial rounded tops covered in a light dusting of quartzite scree. The island’s name is commonly thought to derive from the Norse dyr-oe (deer island) and, appropriately enough, the current deer population of 6000 far outnumbers the 180 humans. With just one road, which sticks to the more sheltered eastern coast, and only one hotel and a smattering of B&Bs, Jura is an ideal place to go for peace and quiet and some great walking.

Anything that happens on Jura happens in the island’s only real village, CRAIGHOUSE, eight miles up the road from Feolin Ferry. The village enjoys a sheltered setting, overlooking Knapdale on the mainland – so sheltered, in fact, that there are even a few palm trees thriving on the seafront. There’s a shop, a post office, the island hotel and a tearoom, plus the tiny Isle of Jura distillery, which is very welcoming to visitors.

More about Scotland

20% off ebooks

Subscribe to the Rough Guides newsletter and get 20% off any ebook.

Join over 50,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month.