A Special tour package for the Isle of JURA
Your vehicle for the tour is a 16 seat Mercedes Mini Coach. Getting to Jura is a tour in itself! Travelling to Islay first, then a wee ferry to Jura, where we will be met by "a (local) Diurach" Alex who will also be our guide.
PACKAGE ONE; a whole island tour which will take about three and a half hours, this will begin with a visit to the photographic exhibition in the church, (the exhibition shows photos of Jura during the last 150 or so years with captions about the people and places of interest), this is followed by a tour of Keils crofting township pointing out some of the very early croft houses and drawing comparisons with the new, we visit the ancient burial site of Cillearnadill (picture shown right) where we will see carved gravestones from the Knights Templars, the Campbell mausoleum and the gravestone of Gillour Macrain said to have kept 180 Christmases in his own home and died about 1645. Our next stop is the Corran sands to see where many Diurachs left their Island home in the 1800’s to travel to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand knowing they would never return but hopeful of a new start and a better life where they would be the masters of their own destiny and not at the mercy of the rich lairds. There is a beautiful poem “Farewell to Jura” written by Jessie Scott in 1871 when she left Jura for North Carolina and we will see this on a cairn here. We will then drive northwards stopping at Evans walk giving us a fantastic 360 degrees view with the majestic Paps of Jura directly behind us and then south over Small Isles Bay to the Scottish mainland with the island of Gigha in the foreground and the mountains of Arran towering over the Scottish mainland, weather permitting we should even see the north east coast of Ireland, we can also trace the route of the Jura Fells Race from the viewpoint, this is a gruelling 17 mile race that covers 7 separate peaks including the three Paps of Jura, the race is sponsored by the Jura Distillery and attracts over 200 runners to the island on the last weekend in May and is one of the many festival weekends we enjoy.
As we continue north we will follow the drove road to the slipway at Lagg where the cattle where taken from Islay, Jura and Colonsay to the mainland and then walked almost 100 miles to the market at Falkirk, Lagg is over 200 feet above sea level and gives us spectacular coastal views north to Ben Cruachan on the Scottish mainland, another fantastic view is looking down on Tarbert Bay, here we will see the house where David Cameron ( the British Prime Minister ) stays when he visits Jura , we will also see Lady Nancy Astor’s ( the first British lady MP in the times of Sir Winston Churchill ) study where she wrote her memoirs. As we wind down the steep brae to sea level we will see the ancient burial ground of Kilmhoire and standing stone at Tarbert, all along the route there will be many photo opportunities with close ups of the Red Deer that Jura is famous for, Buzzards, Hen Harriers and Owls are also a common sight and if we are lucky we may even spot a Golden Eagle or Sea eagle. At Inverlussa cemetery we will see the Gravestone of Mary Macraine ( a descendant of Gillour Macraine mentioned above ) who died aged 128 years old, we can follow this up with Tea On The Beach, this consists of a table at the roadside with a walkie talkie in a tupperware box, a menu with instructions offers various teas, ground or instant coffee and a selection of home made cakes that are to die for, select the lemon drizzle or the Jura whisky fruit cake and you will not be disappointed. We will then return to Craighouse. END OF WHOLE ISLAND TOUR
INCLUDES; ferry costs from Islay - Jura return, guided coach tour, with packed lunch, plenty of question and answer time, photography time. This will be a part of a longer stay on Islay as part of a whisky tour, it will also include a distillery visit while on Jura.
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Burnside, Knockrome - one of the first schools to be built on Jura
PACKAGE TWO; The exact same tour as shown above, with the addition of staying overnight on Jura, return ferry next day to Islay.