Port Ellen on the island of Islay in Argyll was once called Leodamas (meaning Leod’s Harbour) and was built around the perfectly situated Loch Leodamais.
It grew over the years, however, and now Port Ellen is much larger, and has spread out across Kilnaughton Bay. The two parts of the town are separated by a rocky outcrop where the harbour can be found. This is called Rhuba Glas.
Port Ellen as it is known today was founded in 1821 by Walter Frederick Campbell (Laid of Islay). He named it after his first wife.
Although the largest settlement in Islay, it was its sister village in the north, Port Askaig, that contained the important ship docking areas. Port Ellen was better known for its whisky distilleries, including the Port Ellen Distillery which was originally opened in 1825. It closed for good in 1983, but it is still possible to see the remains of the site. If you want to see fully working, open distilleries then a short trip out of Port Ellen will bring you to three (Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin)!
Apart from the whisky, there is plenty for visitors to enjoy in Port Ellen. Photographers especially enjoy coming here as the views are like no other and include the beautifully evocative ruins of Dunyvaig Castle.
Ferries to Port Ellen, Scotland
|Kennacraig Port Ellen||4 daily||2¼ hours||See prices °|
This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.
Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries
Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found sailing to Port Ellen sailing on a cruise ship.
Top 3 Cruise & Ferry Deals
- Irish Ferries Ireland mini cruise from £38pp
- Day trip to Rosslare with Stena Line from £5.50pp
- Sail to Belfast with Stena Line from £10pp each way
To find other ports near you, take a look at the UK port map here.
The Ferry Terminal, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, PA42 7DW, United Kingdom