Picture-Postcard is Understatement!

Entire cottage hosted by John

  1. 8 guests
  2. 3 bedrooms
  3. 5 beds
  4. 2 bathrooms
Entire home
You’ll have the cottage to yourself.
Enhanced Clean
This host has committed to Airbnb's 5-step enhanced cleaning process.
Great location
100% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.
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Portnahaven is Islay's best kept secret. And the Anchorage is Portnahaven's. This modernised 200 year old 2 storey cottage has views over the bay, to the islands and open sea. Watch the sun set from the conservatory and you'll never want to go home!

The space
Portnahaven is Islay's best kept secret. A handful of cottages huddled around a quaint wee sandy bay, where fishing boats moor and seals bask on the rocks. It's your perfect base from which to explore Islay's wealth of beaches, wildlife and distilleries.

The Anchorage itself is set in a picture-postcard spot. Indeed it takes centre stage in many an Islay postcard! We reckon the house is around 200 years old and has been in my family for about a quarter of that.

It is called the Anchorage because it is the last house in the village before you come to the boatyard and pier; where you can buy crab and lobster fresh off the boat if you speak nicely to the fishermen. During its lifetime, it has been used as a school and the local headmaster's house but to me The Anchorage is just the most beautiful place in the world.

The house has a twin bedroom and a master with ensuite upstairs, a double downstairs and the living room has a double sofa bed. The newly fitted bathroom has an electric shower and underfloor heating. The big dining country kitchen has an electric hob and a big old table for family feasts. The living room has a real fire that you can throw some peat on after a hard day's walking (or whisky tasting!).

The conservatory has open and breathtaking views of the lighthouse island (where an ancestor of mine, the Clan MacKay chief is buried). In simpler times, my uncle Malcolm used to swim his cattle across to graze on the island.

Take a walk round the coast to the east past Finlay's rock (named for my cousin who capsized there whilst canoeing with my dad one summer!) and explore the pebble beach at Claddach or have a barbecue at Curry Sands.

A stroll to the west will bring you past the well where my gran used to send me to get drinking water as a kid (don't worry though, the tap water is long since potable!).

You've not walked far by this point but I recommend you stop at Burnside Lodge for awesome coffee and homemade cake all the same. This comes with the (pretty safe) guarantee that if you don't see a seal then your coffee is on the house! Once you're done here you can walk off that cake on the little coastal trail and then complete the circuit through Port Wemyss and back into Portnahaven.

Back at the Anchorage grab a chair in the garden or settle yourself in the conservatory to watch the sun set spectacularly into the Atlantic, over a relaxing game of Scrabble.

If you're not inclined to cook dinner then why not stroll across the bay and try the fresh crab claw salad at An Tigh Seinnse or venture a bit further afield to the Lochindaal Hotel in Port Charlotte to sample their famous seafood platter.

Part of Portnahaven's charm is that there's not much there but you can pick up most daily needs in the local post office and general store at the head of the bay.

For many years the Anchorage was a haven from technology, however we have recently relented somewhat and installed such newfangled luxuries such as a telephone, colour television and Wi-Fi broadband.

There's also double glazing, electric heating, dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier. Parking for 2 or 3 cars right outside the front door.

When I read her this description, Mum cried all the way through; "they won't want to leave" she sobbed. She's right, so be sure to book that extra night (or seven!).

What this place offers

Beach access – Beachfront
Free parking on premises
Washing machine
Indoor fireplace
Unavailable: Carbon monoxide alarm

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4.65 out of 5 stars from 204 reviews


Where you’ll be

Isle of Islay, Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Hosted by John

  1. Joined in February 2012
  • 586 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Love music, love cinema, love travel, love snowboarding, love scrabble! My wife and I have just relocated to Texas, so we let out our Glasgow place through AirBnB when we are not using it (which is most of the time!). Both the Islay cottage and Glasgow apartment are managed locally so you can be assured of a smooth checkin and a relaxing stay, just check our reviews. Look forward to hosting you!
Love music, love cinema, love travel, love snowboarding, love scrabble! My wife and I have just relocated to Texas, so we let out our Glasgow place through AirBnB when we are not u…

During your stay

The Anchorage is our holiday house so we generally won't be there, in order to allow use of the whole property. Instead, you will access by collecting the key from the lock box by the back door.
  • Language: Español
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
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Things to know

House rules

Check-in: After 16:00
Check out: 10:00
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events

Health & safety

Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm not reported Show more
Smoke alarm

Cancellation policy

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