Blackrock Beach is around one mile in length. At low tide there’s an opportunity to walk on the mud flats at Bridgend almost as far out as the Gaelic College. This beach is situated at the head of Loch Indaal, directly to the east of Uiskentuie Strand. There is plenty of parking available. The easiest one is on the grass just before the road meets the loch, 500 metres west of the Cross houses.
Blackrock Beach and the farm are named after the big black rock in the sea, you can’t miss it. On the hill, at the west end of the beach, is a memorial for the Sunderland flying boats which were stationed here in the second world war. The monument is to commemorate the men who lost their lives when a Sunderland flying boat crashed here at Blackrock killing 9, only a few survived.
Also from the hill you’ll have good views of the beautifully curved beach and the hills in the central part of Islay. On the beach itself, at the southern end, are the remains of a pier. However, it’s not clear to me why it was built here as the water is rather shallow.
Blackrock beach is a lovely stretch of sandy beach where you can wander about, do some beach-combing or go for a longer walk towards the mud-flats opposite Islay House. Do so at low tide and make sure to wear wellies. Almost in the middle of the mud flats, a mile out from Islay House are a few remains of a shipwreck. To walk on the mud-flats as far out as possible is a great feeling and there are many many birds to be seen from there.
If you do this walk anywhere from October to April you might see the thousands of Barnacle Geese at the head of the loch. Watch the tides though, they can come in quickly! It’s a lovely area to discover and very centrally located. If you’re on Islay you’ll certainly pass here and I think this one is slightly more interesting than Uiskentuie Strand further west.