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Isleornsay is located in Isle of Skye
Location within the Isle of Skye
OS grid referenceNG696125
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtIV43 8
Dialling code01471
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°08′44″N 5°48′32″W / 57.14569°N 5.80902°W / 57.14569; -5.80902Coordinates: 57°08′44″N 5°48′32″W / 57.14569°N 5.80902°W / 57.14569; -5.80902

Isleornsay (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Iarmain) is a village lying off the main Armadale to Sleat road (the A851) on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.[1] It overlooks, but is not upon, the island of Ornsay. The island itself shelters one of the best natural harbours in southern Skye. The location was exploited from the 18th century or earlier by the MacDonalds who owned this part of Skye.

There is a hotel in the village called the Isle Ornsay Hotel and a local company Pràban na Linne founded by Iain Noble which produces a vatted malt whisky called Poit Dhubh (literally the "Black Pot" or "Illicit Still" and two blends, Té Bheag nan Eilean ("small dram of the islands") and Mac na Mara (the "Son of the Sea").[2]

Ornsay was the principal location for the international bestseller, The Ice Twins, by S. K. Tremayne, published in 2015.


Emigration from the Highlands and Islands was endemic in the 19th century and the company that ran the Isleornsay store, MacDonald and Elder, acted as emigration agents from the early 1800s. In 1822 they advertised that they were able to "to fit out transports for the conveyance of passengers from Inverness & the West Coast" of Scotland to the east coast of Canada. In the 1830s a programme of assisted passages to Australia from the Sleat peninsula was organised. The William Nicol sailed to Sydney from Isleornsay in July 1837 with 322 passengers including 70 families from Sleat. At the time it was reported that so many local people wished to emigrate that the ship could not accommodate all those who wanted to embark.[3]


In 1898, the proposed Hebridean Light Railway Company was to have terminated at a new ferry port at Isleornsay, but the line was never constructed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gittings, Bruce; Munro, David. "Isleornsay". The Gazetteer for Scotland. School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh and The Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Visit Us at Eilean Iarmain" Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Emigration" Comunn Eachdraidh Shlèite/Sleat Local History Society. Retrieved 7 August 2011.