Updated: Aug 17, 2020
So many people have commented on how lucky we are to have moved to a remote Scottish island when we did (Tom has been here 2yrs 3 months, 3 of us moved here August 2019 and the last 2 arrived December and February) and the truth is…
Yes, we are extremely lucky and as far as Lockdown goes we thank our lucky stars every single day, what a place to be lockdowned in!
For those not familiar with the Scottish Island of Islay, well imagine a paradise island, surrounded by azure blue crystal clear seas, miles and miles of beautiful sandy deserted beaches, dramatic cliff coast lines, abundant wildlife (of the Deer, wild goat, seals and birds of prey variety!) small whitewashed villages with locals so friendly they literally wave to greet everyone and warmed by the Gulf Stream to a barmy 90 degrees and this is Islay! Ok, I may have exaggerated just a little, but that was only regarding the temperature! Islay is actually warmer than the majority of Scotland (and that’s not just the welcome) so much so we had our patio doors wide open in February and when the sun shines, which it frequently does, I dare anyone to be distracted by a thermometer!
The next question in this current climate invariably is, do you still bother with lockdown on a remote Scottish Island…
Yes, and arguably more so as Islay’s community of just over 3000 actually do care about each other so we are all wary of infecting our large elderly and vulnerable population and are also mindful of our very limited medical resources. We appreciate that it is relatively easy to follow the rules here because exercising whilst maintaining a distance of 2 miles rather than 2 metres is common! However, just like the mainland all non essential shops, all restaurants, cafes, hotels, holiday lets and all of our amazing visitor attractions (including the 9 Malt Whisky distilleries) are all closed. The amazing community quickly pulled together to organise volunteers to shop for groceries and deliver medicines to those cocooning (more apt description than ‘shielding’). Donations from local businesses and even well wishers and Islay lovers from afar to the island’s Covid-19 Fund also pays for free hot meals twice a week to those cocooning too.
This leads on to the inevitable and important question, ‘Well, if isolating on Islay is so idyllic, we will come too…’
No, please don’t! Islay, it’s people and many businesses are very much looking forward to extending it’s warm and very genuine welcome once again to the thousands of visitors who discover and return to this paradise every year, but sadly not yet. Please be patient, wait for the Government advice on when it will be safer to travel to such remote and vulnerable communities and even then only come if you’re fit and well and are not likely to be carrying this dreadful virus. Islay has many beautiful natural resources and even an abundance of many, widely acclaimed man made amber nectars too, but it doesn’t have the medical resources of the mainland. Becoming poorly here and/or infecting Islander’s is a gamble not worth the risk either for yourselves or us! Our promise to you is Islay is worth the wait and in the meantime enjoy the Islay magic from afar.