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Wikipedia Undiscovered Scotland Internet Guide to Scotland Islay Info
A small village called Laggan was on the site of the current town of Bowmore before the then owner of Islay, Daniel Campbell, implemented his grandfather's plans to extend his gardens and grounds around Islay House where the village of Killarrow was situated (hence the name of the parish). From 1768 he planned the construction of the village that is now Bowmore. At around the same time, the planned village of Inveraray was built for similar reasons (Campbell had met the Duke of Argyle, who relocated Inveraray, while travelling in Europe) - again with a prominent church at the top of the main street - originally proposed to be round - but that was rejected as it didn't allow for the division of the church into English and Gaeilc speaking parts.
Bowmore & Whisky
Bowmore ticks all the boxes - Distillery, Whisky Shop, Whisky Bars. Even the School has a pagoda roof to match that of the distillery. What more could you want?
Bowmore's (Bogh Mòr) most famous feature other than the eponymous distillery is the round Kilarrow Parish Church - shaped so the devil has no corners to hide in - built in 1767. From the church, Main Street stretches down towards the Harbour past the Post Office, Co-Op, Cottage Restaurant, and the offices of the Ileach. The main road then takes a 90 degree right turn, with the distillery, RBS & Tourist Information Centre to the left. Shore Street has the Islay Whisky Shop, Duffie's Bar and the Bank of Scotland.
The Square lies between the turn in the main road and the Pier and contains the Harbour Inn.
Just outside town on the road to Bridgend is the Gaelic Centre (Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle)
Arriving & Departing
Bowmore is roughly equidistant from Islay's two ferry ports - Port Askaig and Port Ellen served by CalMac from Kennacraig Winter Summer). Getting to Kennacraig? - see main Islay page. There's also one or two sailings a week to/from Oban Winter/Summer using Port Askaig).
Open Cycle Map Bing Map
I've not stayed in Bowmore despite several visits to Islay, probably because the accommodation is rather more pricey than Port Ellen and other parts of Islay and not many single rooms.
Lochside Hotel 20 Shore Street 01496 810244
Harbour Inn Hotel The Square 01496 810330
Inns Over By The Square (run by the Harbour Inn)
Bowmore Hotel Jamieson Street 01496 810416 @
Bruce Hotel Shore Street 01496 810561 ????
Allandale B&B Gartnatra 01496 810981/07527304149 @ (1 mile)
An Cuan Jamieson Street 01496 810307/07887 754948
The Bowmore House Shore Street 01496 810324 @
The Island Bear B&B Shore Street 01496 810375 @
Lambeth House Jamieson Street 01496 810597 @ (web dead)
Meadowside B&B Birch Drive 01496 810479/07899 944330 @
Glenegedale House Glenegedale 01496 300400 @ (6 miles)
High View High Road, Glenegedale 01496 300158 (6 miles)
Bowmore Distillery have a number of self catering options within the distillery premises - with a bottle of 12yo and a tour of the distillery included. School Street 01496 810671 @
Several other Self-Catering options - see list on Islay Info.
Duffie's Bar, Lochside Hotel 20 Shore Street 01496 810244
Harbour Inn Hotel The Square 01496 810330
Bowmore Hotel Jamieson Street 01496 810416
Islay Cycles 07760 196592
Run from the Port Ellen Boatyard in the Business Park (behind the White Hart Hotel). Not a shop as such, but hire, sales, accessories and repairs available - see website/ring for further details.
Brian Palmer describes himself as "the only cycle repairer and spare parts person in Bowmore", and can be contacted via Catherine MacTaggart who hires bikes from Bowmore Post Office (01496 810366).
Nearest Cycle Shops Lochgilphead (18 miles from Kennacraig), Oban
Nevis Cycles 87 George Street, Oban 01631 566033
David Graham 13-15 Combie Street, Oban 01631 562069
Crinan Cycles 34 Argyll Street, Lochgilphead 01546 603511
Co-Op Main Street 01496 810201
Islay Whisky Shop (Spar) Shore Street 01496 810684
Banking - RBS, Main Street; BoS, Shore Street. Cash Machines at both.
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions and my other pictures of Bowmore are available at: