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Port Ellen

Argyll and Bute

A small town of the southern coast of Islay, Argyll and Bute, Port Ellen is the second largest settlement of the island and lies on Loch Leodamais, the island's main harbour. Port Ellen was established in 1821 by the Laird of Islay, Walter Frederick Campbell, who named the settlement after his wife. Like most of the island, Port Ellen is characterised by white washed buildings and cottages. Nearby lie the ruined remains of the 14th-century Dunyveg Castle, once a fortress of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles. This castle was besieged and captured many times before being demolished by the Campbell lairds of Islay in 1677 when they moved to Islay House. Nearby are located the distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. To the west lies the peninsula known as the Oa, once home to over 4,000 islanders before the Clearances and now mostly uninhabited. Islay Airport lies 4 miles (7 km) to the northwest.

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