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“A little quiet spot on a beautiful island”
Review of Ballivicar Farm

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Ballivicar Farm
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A little quiet spot on a beautiful island”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

Beautiful location near Port Ellen, with lovely owners. Stayed in the bothy and had a great week staying there, thanks for the hospitality!! We stayed there during the Feis Ile, and found this a great place to travel the island from, close to the town and shops, and also quit and in the middle of nature.

Ansgar & Thomas Speller
lovingwhisky.blogspot.nl

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank whisky4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
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English first
Herrin, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2013

My husband and I met in Scotland for his mid-deployment break in 2011, chose Islay especially for the distilleries and the Jazz Festival, yes, Jazz Festival http://www.jazzfestival2013.com/lagavulin-islay-jazz-festival/.
Loved it so much, I'm up to try a winter stay!
Ballivicar could not have been more perfect as our base. Classic accommodations, delightful hosts, centrally located and easy to navigate from. We stayed in the Hayloft and felt completely at home, plenty of room, well appointed, everything we needed to cook food from the co op or take away.
The thick traditional stone walls did keep the temperature crisp but not uncomfortable with a sweater. This is Scotland after all, think Canada, New Foundland and Labrador. This is north folks!! Keep seeing comments about how cold it is, well...the further north you get the colder it is likely to be.
However, we found the warmth of the people to be far more and enticement to stay than the possibility of higher temperatures.
The sun and the brisk air set the stage for beautiful views. The rain and the fog led to a feeling of mystery and adventure.
We would go back in a heartbeat, and plan to visit again. Can only hope Ballivicar will have a spot open for us when we have the opportunity to 'go home'

Room Tip: All of the rooms are well appointed, comfortable and quiet. Since this location is off the beaten p...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Celloista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Highlands, Scotland
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2012

I stayed in one of the cottages on this farm for 5 days this week as I was on the island with my work. The cottage (The Haycroft) was well kitted out and spacious although slightly cold for my personal taste despite having heaters. The owners were welcoming and friendly. It was a central location being just a couple of miles out of Port Ellen and 10 miles from Bowmore.

I travel with work across many areas but I have found the Islay inhabitants to be the friendliest - most drivers will wave despite you being a visitor, folk look at you in the street and say hello. The roads are very good with Islay boasting one of the longest straightest roads in the UK! Drivers are considerate on the single track roads and no one seemed in a major rush to get anywhere.

All in all a good week away from home :)

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank rmill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staffordshire
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2012

We had a wonderful week staying on Ballivicar Farm in August. The scenery is just beautiful -acres of land with horses and sheep living happily side by side. We stayed in the Chougherie. It is spacious, well equipped and very comfortable. It could benefit from updating a bit, some of the kitchen equipment has seen better days but everything worked fine. It was great having a washing machine in the cottage and the Islay wind dried everything in super fast time!
My daughter and I both tried pony trekking on site which was great fun.
The owners were helpful when asked and on hand when needed but we were left to our own devices which suited us fine.
Kilnaughton Bay is a couple of minutes drive away as is the town of Port Ellen. We really found it a perfect spot on a beautiful island.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DebbyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

We visited Islay for wildlife and whisky and wanted a base where we had a bit of room for an extensive travelling library and a microscope!

Ballivicar Farm is down in the South of the Island, a good base for the Oa and the awesome trinity of Ardbeg, Lagavullin and Laphroaig, as well as the pretty little bays of the SE of the Island (it would be a good place for the ferry as well, once Port Ellen is operational again, but at the moment its a 40 minute drive to Port Askaig). We didn't mind a bit of travelling (Islay isn't big, but the roads aren't particularly quick) so we were happy to use it as a base for the further flung corners as well ~ I managed to sup representative samples at all eight distilleries ~ even if Caol Isla was more of a sat at the gates job (it was shut).

Harriet and Toby are friendly and approachable, but equally happy to let you get about your business (lambing was on during our stay and we had a lot to squeeze into a short time). The geese were in during out visit, and it was quite a site to see a few thousand barnacles on the farm fields, and the starling flock outside our 'hayloft' studio was quite vocal come night time, amazing to hear the variety of bird calls this seventeen strong choir could imitate.

As well as the sheep there are horses and a few dogs (one of which will eye up your ankles, but isn't really a problem) and its a very pleasant place to be of an evening.

Everything was spic and span in the room, with decent radiators that could heat the large living/kitchen area up very efficiently. Only complaint was from the Cook - she hates electric ovens, but managed for the week.

The nearest town is Port Ellen, quite small but with the essentials, shop and a few takeaways and pubs, less than ten minutes by car, and Bowmore which is a little bigger, about half an hour by car.

The Oa is good for wildlife, we had Hen Harrier and White Tailed Sea Eagle there (Golden is more common) and the views from the American Monument are superb. The singing sands are very close, but seemed to have lost their voice ;)

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank mattnnic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed in The Bothy at Ballivicar Farm from September 20-24, 2011. Harriet is a lovely woman, very responsive via email (we are from Canada) and a pleasure to chat with.

The location is very near to Mull of Oa and Kintra Farm, both of which have fantastic sights, and hikes if you're into that sorta thing. Within about 1-2 hour hike to old ruins, or the popular 'singing sands' on Oa.

Ballivicar Farm offers self accommodating suites so you can cook your own meals, which is very important because there isn't a ton of tourism infrastructure in the Port Ellen area. There are one or two restaurants, (Majarani Indian and Cyber Cafe snacks/coffee/takeout).

I would recommend the Bothy for non-couple travelers as it boasts two single beds as opposed to a king or queen sized. We made it work by pushing the beds together, however it wasn't ideal.

Word to the wise, Ballivicar comes with it's own rowdy welcoming committee (two barking dogs) so do not be afraid upon your arrival. They're mostly all bark :)

All in all, we LOVED Ballivicar Farm and if we ever return to Islay we will be sure to contact Harriet again!

Room Tip: The Bothy Room is not ideal for couples as it has two single beds.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KarlyG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

have stayed in the cottages for a number of years on our frequent holidays on islay.an absolutely lovely setting on a working farm .Harriot and Toby and family are very friendly and helpful.children are welcomed and lots for them to do.there are 3 cottages available all excellent value for money.beaches are nearby and kilnaughton beach is within a 15 min walk or a less than 5 min drive .kintrae beach is slightly further but easily reached,nearby is the machrie golf links which is a gem if your a golfer you must give it a try.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
9 Thank Trueblew9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ballivicar Farm

Property: Ballivicar Farm
Address: Port Ellen PA42 7AW, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Islay > Port Ellen
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Port Ellen
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Ballivicar Farm Islay/Port Ellen

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