Jura is the eighth largest Scottish island by size, yet the thirty-first largest by population. It is 36,692 hectares, and yet in 2001 was populated by only 196 people. This means that there are 20 million square feet per person which, you would think, is plenty of room for a decent sized house with an outside hot tub and a few chickens to boot. Unfortunately Jura is mostly blanket bog, meaning the walk up your new driveway would feel nice and bouncy, but you might find your nice new house had sunk and disappeared by the time you got to your front door.
All the same, it is a beautiful place with friendly people. We took the ferry over from Islay. We took the A846, the island’s main (and almost only) road in. The A846 sounds quite grand, but it is a single track road with passing places which I quite liked. The Paps of Jura dominated the skyline on the way over from Islay.
The Paps of Jura are three hills (you can just see the third peeking out, behind the left hand one) on the western side of the island. The word “pap” is an ancient word whose origin is Old Norse and refers to the female form of a breast. I had no idea of the origin of the word when I was there having my photo taken with the Paps in the background. With the benefit of this knowledge my photo now looks outrageously indecent as I nestle myself between them!
Our trip to Jura was to see this:
But I couldn’t help facing away from the distillery to look at this instead:
The sparsely populated Jura has a raw beauty. I only saw a small piece of it and wish we had spent more time there.
Points in this post (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Ferry Crossing from Islay: N 55° 50.896 W 006° 06.290
- Paps of Jura: N 55° 53.775 W 006° 00.500
- Jura Distillery: N 55° 49.965 W 005° 57.055
- Date of Visit: 10 September 2014
Looks so gorgeous there! Beautiful photos 🙂
Thank you! We were lucky to be there on such a good day. We were on a distillery tour so after Jura we went straight back to Islay and the next distillery, although I headed back with great reluctance. I would have liked to have spent the day exploring the rest of the island.