Why Islay? Why Ballitarsin?
We are Jonathan and Jacqueline - owners of Ballitarsin.
Here's our Islay story.
Jonathan first came to Islay in 2001 when he bought a cask of whisky from the recently reopened Bruichladdich. He immediately fell in love with Islay and a connection to the island, its atmosphere (and the whisky) was born.
We first came up together in 2009 when I fell in love with the island as well. We were staying in a house on the Oa and I just loved the space and the variety of landscapes.
We visited regularly and in 2017 we were once again saying we wished we had our own place on Islay. On our way to Saligo Bay, we spotted a deserted barn with a wonderful view which prompted us to see what was for sale on Islay.
One day, we found Ballitarsin online and, excited, we came up to view it. We fell in love with the big skies and the views, put in a bid (with fingers crossed). We both couldn't believe it when the phone call came through to say we had WON!!!
We met the planners and architect and eventually on November 5th 2019 the houses arrived, flat packed, from Ireland. Watertight by Christmas and then on with the build….. then Covid struck!
Fortunately, there were men on the island who could keep the work going safely and we are now ready to welcome our first guests.
Ballitarsin has a rich history, which we will write about soon, we look forward to you being part of her future, as a perfect self-catering destination for existing Islay lovers, and those who have yet to discover her beauty
During the purchase negotiations someone asked me what I liked about Islay; I said the light! Yes there’s the whisky, adorable; and the scenery, superb! But it’s the changing light that captivates me.
As I am writing this from the Lodge in the middle of February, the colours and sky are constantly changing, birds swoop past in flocks, the geese are grazing in the fields below, the grass goes from a drab winter green to a vibrant spring green as the sun catches the tussocks and the well grazed fields. The Paps of Jura come and go as the clouds scud across, the blue sky reflects in Loch Indaal as well as in the puddles of yesterday’s rain in the track down to the fields. Sheep and a few cows graze the pasture below, a perfect winter’s morning.
I know that in a few moments, the skies will change again, the beauty of this Hebridean light is something to behold. I hope that you get to experience this, because in any season, and in any weather, there is something magical to be experienced on this island.
We hope to welcome you soon.
Ready to write your own islay story?