Islay is the most southerly of the Inner Hebridean Islands off the west coast of Scotland and belongs to Aryll and Bute. It is 25 miles long, 20 miles wide and home to just over 3,000 people. Islay's closest neighbours are Colonsay to the North, Jura to the North East and Gigha to the East. It has 130 miles of beautiful unspoilt coastline and benefits from the warm Gulf Stream. It rightly deserves its title of "Queen of the Hebrides".
The history of Islay is very ancient. On his way to the Isle of Iona in 563, St Columba records a visit to Islay which is one of the earliest records of habitation on the island.
The Kildalton Cross in the churchyard at Kildalton is one of the finest examples of a Celtic High Cross remaining. It was probably carved in the second half of the 8th century AD and is closely related to the crosses on Iona.
The medieval capital of the Hebrides was on the shores of Loch Finlaggan where the Lord of the Isles had his settlements from the 12th to the 16th centuries.