Islay (i/ˈaɪlə/ EYE-lə; Scottish Gaelic: Ìle, ), is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as "The Queen of the Hebrides", it lies in Argyll just south west of Jura and around 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of the Irish coast. The island's capital and largest settlement is Bowmore where the distinctive round Kilarrow Parish Church and a distillery are located. Port Ellen is the main port.

Islay is the fifth largest Scottish island and the seventh largest island surrounding Great Britain, with a total area of almost 620 square kilometres (239 sq mi). There is ample evidence of the prehistoric settlement of Islay and the first written reference may have come in the 1st century AD. The island had become part of the Gaelic Kingdom of Dál Riata during the Early Middle Ages before being absorbed into the Norse Kingdom of the Isles. The later medieval period marked a "cultural high point" with the transfer of the Hebrides to the Kingdom of Scotland and the emergence of the Clan Donald Lordship of the Isles, originally centred at Finlaggan. During the 17th century the Clan Donald star waned, but improvements to agriculture and transport led to a rising population, which peaked in the mid-19th century. This was followed by substantial forced displacements and declining resident numbers.

Today, it has over three thousand inhabitants and the main commercial activities are agriculture, malt whisky distillation and tourism. The island has a long history of religious observance and Scottish Gaelic is spoken by about a quarter of the population. Its landscapes have been celebrated through various art forms and there is a growing interest in renewable energy. Islay is home to many bird species such as the wintering populations of Greenland White-fronted and Barnacle Goose, and is a popular destination throughout the year for birdwatchers. The climate is mild and ameliorated by the Gulf Stream.

Read more about IslayGeography, Etymology, Prehistory, Economy, Gaelic Language, Religion, Media and The Arts, Wildlife, Notable Natives

Other articles related to "islay":

Islay - Notable Natives
... father's bankruptcy prevented him inheriting the Islay estate ... Glenn Campbell, Scottish political reporter for the BBC, was brought up on Islay and attended Islay High School ... Democrat Deputy Chief Whip, was born on Islay to hill-farming parents ...
Loch Gruinart
... the Old Norse, meaning "shallow fjord") is a sea loch on the northern coast of isle of Islay in Scotland ... is a coastal promontory near the mouth of the loch on the northwest of Islay ... Sir Lachlan Mor MacLean of Duart and the Islay men led by Sir James MacDonald, 9th of Dunnyveg, son of Angus MacDonald of Dunyvaig and the Glens, in which Macleans were defeated ...
Lord Of Islay
... The Lord of Islay was a 13th and 14th century titles used by the chief of Clan Donald of Islay before they rose to assume the title "Lord of the Isles" ... The first person known to style themselves "Lord of Islay" (Dominus de Hyle) was Aonghas Mór, son of Domhnall the progenitor of the MacDonalds ...
HMT Islay (T172)
... HMT Islay (T172) was a British Royal Navy Isles class armed trawler of the Second World War ... While under the command of C H L Clarke RNR, on 28 June 1942, the Islay picked up 19 survivors from the British merchant steamer SS ''Zealand'' which had been hit by two torpedoes from U-97 to the ...