|[Finlaggan from near the visitor centre]|
In the 14th and 15th centuries, a huge swathe of western Scotland and its countless islands were the domain of the Lordship of the Isles, a far-reaching title held by the chiefs of Clan Donald. The unlikely centre of all this was Finlaggan, a pair of islands on a loch on the Isle of Islay. A long footbridge now provides a link to the first island, and the link to its ruined chapel and other buildings. The link to the so-called "Cradle of Clan Donald" is less visibly obvious: most of the surviving structures were actually built in more recent times and have no link to the former power base. Nevertheless, the islands' historical significance mean they deserve a visit, with interpretation boards and a small but helpful visitor centre to explain what you're looking at. The nearby Ballygrant Inn serves superb evening meals and lighter lunches, with one of the most extensive whisky selections you're likely to find anywhere.
|[Ruined buildings at Finlaggan]|
Name: Finlaggan ★★☆☆☆
Location: Minor road end a mile north of Ballygrant, G.R.: NR 392685 / glass confronts extension
Open (2017): Visitor Centre: Monday to Saturday, April to October; Island: Always
Cost (2017): £4 (adults), £2 (children) when visitor centre open, otherwise by donation
Anything else? Finlaggan itself is about 500 metres from the visitor centre on a grassy path.