Jura is in a world of its own and an amazing one at that. It really offers you the chance to relax and (in my opinion) see some of the most beautiful Scottish landscape going. Jura is a little slice of heaven, situated off the Mull of Kintyre. An Island only 27 miles long and, at the widest, only 8 miles wide, the home of over 5,500 red deer but only 200 people, it really is something special.
I write this as I look out over the back of the ferry, the sun is shining, the sea is flat calm and I can see the rolling Paps of Jura as I head home after a fantastic weekend on Jura. How Lucky am I to be able to escape to the inner Hebrides whenever I can get the time.
How to get there….
Getting to Jura is a mini adventure all on its own!
I always choose to get to Jura by grabbing the bus from Glasgow which takes me direct to Kennacraig, this way you can sit back and relax as you drive along the west shore of Loch Lomond and up and over the Rest and Be Thankful.
Where from Kennacraig you can catch the ferry to the Isle of Islay, offering you stunning views over Islay and Jura (subject to weather!) and then the little boat will nip you across the water to the Isle of Jura.
The public bus service on Jura and Islay are great (although sometimes require booking) and will get you most places you need to go.
Putting a car on the ferry is also a great idea and allows you the freedom to roam as you please, just remember Jura has a single track road so make sure your reversing skills are finely tuned!
During the summer months the Jura Passenger Ferry will take you direct to the small village of Craighouse on Jura from Tayvallich on the the mainland. This gives you the option for an incredible day trip!
Where to stay
Have a google, you’ll find plenty of self catering cottages to rent if you head over with a group.
There is also Jura Hotel where you can stay, this option provides you with the perfect starting point for exploring Jura. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you’re able to camp in the hotel field. This means you’ll also have amenities nearby.
Always remember in Scotland you can camp anywhere (within reason obviously I.e not in someone’s garden or in the middle of livestock!). Such an amazing budget friendly option and something a little different.
What to Do With 48 hrs on Jura…..
For me the perfect 48 hrs spent on Jura would involve spending one day up the North End of the Island and one down the south end.
The north end provides whirlpools, George Orwells house, eagles, red deer, Stone Age settlements, yummy Tea on the Beach and delicious gin.
I headed up to the end of the Road, past Ardlussa, and parked up. By foot I headed up towards Barnhill, this is where George Orwell escaped to write 1984 and recuperate from tuberculosis. From there you can head up to the Corryvreckan whirlpool soon the track disappears but there is a sign to point you in the right direction. Once you reach the very north of the island you get stunning views over the gulf of the Corryvreckan onto the deserted Island of Scarbra. If you’re lucky enough to see the Corryvreckan in action you’ll be witnessing the third largest whirlpool, however even if it isn’t going the views heading north make up for it.
I was lucky enough to spot a pair of Eagles, red deer and plenty of friendly cows!
This is about a 20km round run/walk and once done treats are definitely in order. I can’t recommend stopping off at the Lussa Gin Distillery enough, it really is a gin like no other and I am a huge fan. Perfect opportunity to meet the makers and buy yourself a bottle of the good stuff to celebrate your time on Jura!
Tea on the Beach at Inverlussa provides the perfect chance to refuel before heading back down the road, yummy tea and cakes scoffed while looking out over Inverlussa Bay – yum yum!
The south end provides more wildlife, the challenging paps of Jura, Jura whiskey, fresh seafood. Day two was spent taking on the Paps of Jura, pretty challenging walk but the view definitely makes it worth your while. And a big walk should always be rewarded by a huge pub meal at The Jura Hotel. The venison burger is my favourite and this is the perfect time to try some locally caught seafood!
Why we are going back…. In September!
It won’t be long until we are venturing back west, this time it’ll be to enjoy the Music Festival and sample some of the famous single malt Whiskeys.
And as they have been known to say, “West is best”