Begin your Islay adventure at The Machrie
The Isle of Islay, the Queen of the Hebrides, is found off the west coast of Scotland and is one of the most accessible of the Scottish islands. It is approximately 100 miles due west of Glasgow while the southern tip of the island is roughly 25 miles north of Northern Ireland’s Antrim coast.
The Kintyre Express links up Islay and Northern Ireland and links up Ballycastle on the Antrim Coast to Port Ellen on Islay. This opens up the opportunity to play Royal Portrush, Portstewart, Castle Rock, Ballyliffin as well as exploring Northern Ireland.
Just a 25 min flight from Glasgow with Loganair or two hours by ferry from Kennacraig with Calmac, Islay is one of the most accessible Scottish islands.
For more information on how to get to Islay from the mainland, please visit our The Journey section.
Notable nearby golf courses
For golfers wishing to combine a visit to The Machrie with courses of a similar style and calibre, there are several attractive options. To an extent, they may depend on your method of transport.
The Ayrshire coast offers no fewer than three Open Championship venues – Prestwick, Troon and Turnberry – as well as the likes of Western Gailes, Gailes Links and Dundonald.
Driving from Glasgow to catch the ferry to Islay from Kennacraig takes you past The Carrick and Loch Lomond. Continuing past Kennacraig towards the Mull of Kintyre brings you to Machrihanish and Machrihanish Dunes.
In between here and the Ayrshire coast is the Isle of Arran, home to 12-hole Shiskine.
Just to the north of Islay is Jura, where Ardfin can be found.
Finally, much closer than you might think, is Northern Ireland’s Antrim coast. Royal Portrush, which hosted the Open Championship in 2019, is the star attraction from a golfing perspective, while spectacular Portstewart is not far behind.