Port Ellen is blessed with a few very nice beaches. A little further away from the village are the beaches of Kilnaughton Bay and The Singing Sands. Closer to the village is the beach at Leodamais Bay and there is the White Hart beach, at the road to Port Ellen Maltings. Let’s start with the first one.
The smalles of the two Port Ellen Beaches is located in the centre of the village, opposite Frederick Crescent. You can’t miss it when you’re in Port Ellen and parking is easy, you can do so on the street. It’s a lovely white sandy beach and a joy to sit and watch the world go by. There’s usually lots of activity in Port Ellen. Fishermen come and go with their boats, sailing yachts usually arrive later in the day at the pontoons to shelter for the night. The Islay ferry comes in several times daily and there’s the occasional grain boat with supplies for Port Ellen maltings.
See and Do in Port Ellen
For me Port Ellen is always ideal to get a bite to eat and sit on one of the picnic-benches at the beach, or sit on the beach itself, and relax. There is a take-away restaurant called SeaSalt nearby. The Post Office, Blue Letterbox, sells ice-cream and gifts. Stocking up on supplies is also easy, the Co-op is situated on Frederick Crescent and Lauries can be found next to the Islay Hotel.
If you’re in for some action you can join Islay Sea Adventures, they run wildlife trips from the harbour in Port Ellen. Or walk along Frederick Crescent towards the end and go up The Ard, the area behind Frederick Crescent, from where you’ll have an amazing view over the village. Nearby is the three distilleries path, a very nice footpath which takes you to Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg Distillery.
White Hart Beach
The regular visitors might remember where the name White Hart Beach comes from. No1 Charlotte Street, the B&B next to the filling station, used to be the White Hart Hotel. The beach across from the road was therefore called White Hart Beach. This is the beach where the Islay Rugby Festival used to be held. Next to the filling station is Ramsay Hall, the Port Ellen Playing Fields, currently under reconstruction, and a playground for the kids.
At rainy days we sometimes parked next to the public toilets at the White Hart Beach to enjoy the views. It’s there where we met a lovely old couple with whom we stayed in touch with ever since. Nice memories!