“Jura is one of the last wildernesses in the UK.”
“An extremely un-get-at-able-place.”
Few countries in the world can rival Scotland for dramatic scenery and outdoor pursuits. On Jura, the Ardfin estate extends to 12,000 acres across the southern tip of the island, where we offer a wide range of outdoor activities from pitch & putt golf to kayaking, fishing, shooting, deer-stalking and whale and dolphin watching. For whisky lovers we can arrange tasting tours of every single Jura and Islay distillery - 10 in all.
The Sound of Islay is a narrow stretch of water, hemmed in by the beautiful islands of Islay and Jura. To the North you look out towards the looming Paps of Jura, great peaks that dominate the skyline. The Sound is a great place to spot a swift and sleek porpoise, or slow and gliding basking shark, as the tide washes by. Surrounding Port Askaig are some of the many distilleries that make Islay famous, but the raw beauty of the area makes it much more than just a gateway to pass through on your way to a wee dram or two. Stop a while and take in the view, you might just spot something wonderous. On Ardfin's Rib you may be lucky enough to spot the playful bottlenose dolphins that sometimes come to swim with the boat.
There are so many walks and treks to enjoy at Ardfin, from an easy 3 mile / 5 kms out-and-back walk to Loch a' Bhaile-Mhargaidh (or Market Loch), the water source of Jura whisky, to a more challenging 10 mile /16.5 kms trek to the Paps of Jura, on the most northernmost point of the island. The first section of this walk follows a rough track to Barnhill - the remote house where George Orwell completed 1984 - before continuing to the old Kinuachdraschd harbour and onto the furthest tip of Jura. Other walks take in the wild Gulf of Corryvreckan and its famous whirlpool.
Ardfin offers exclusive access to all of Jura's (1) and Islay's (10) distilleries. Visiting the Jura Distillery is an easy drive, but exploring all Islay has to offer will take several days, visiting and tasting a "wee dram" at Arberg, Ardnahoe, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol ila, Kilchoman, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Port Ellen. Gin and Rum are also distilled on Jura, while Islay offers two gins at Bruichladdich and Nerabus Distilleries.
Half a day sea kayaking allows you to explore the bay and its surrounding skerries. A full day’s excursion allows four or five hours in the kayaks, covering seven to ten miles, with plenty of opportunities to explore islands on foot. Along the way you will spot seals, herons, Arctic terns, black guillemots and even the elusive otter in its natural environment.
Fishing can be organised on a boat or simply fishing off the rocks below Jura House or along the Sannaig coast line. Catches include Pollock. Rasse, Mackerel and Colley. Colourful metal and soft baits are the recommendation from our fishing experienced team.
There are many lochs on Jura and a plethora of fish to be found, including brown trout and sea trout. The fishing season stretches from March to October. Every fisherman keeps his own secrets, but we whisper that Olive Daplers, Kate Maclarens and Peter Ross Flies work well here. Weight #Five and #Six fly rods are the choice of the experts, but beginners might prefer a #Seven or #Eight.
We can organise boat trips on our own rib, the Ardfin Redbay to the Corryvreckan whirlpool and West Coast of Jura.
With nearly 6000 deer and just 230 people, Jura is a unique habitat where red and fallow deer proliferate, and hunting deer for food has been common since man and deer arrived. It is believed that the Lords of the Isles used Jura as their hunting grounds and today guests of Ardfin can join a stalking party under the expert supervision of Willie MacDonald, our Estate Manager. whose knowledge of the hills and mountains he has explored all his life is unmatched. Jura's deer stalking season is 1st July-20th October for stags. and 21st October - 15th February for hinds.
For the ultimate Scottish golfing experience, combine Ardfin with playing Machrihanish and Macrihanish Dunes on the Kintyre Peninsula - a 2 hour ferry trip from Islay - and the Machrie on Islay, which lies in the wildest dunes in Scotland. Our concierge will arrange bespoke itineraries to suit your preferences.
On the hillside above Ardfin lies the Rifle Range. It comprises an enclosed shooting area pointing towards the natural hillside to create a stalking environment with a 100m and 150m range. The range is used for zeroing weapons and guest practice and, being undercover, ensures it can be used in any weather conditions, providing a true reflection of the terrain.
The clay pigeon ground is set up as a simulated game experience, combining hillside and woodland, with shooting positions and variable traps which can be set to replicate a variety of targets. Qualified tuition offers a safe and secure environment to create unforgettable experiences.