The glorious July weather hasn’t just affected the south of England. On a recent trip to Islay in Scotland, the waters off the Inner Hebrides had been transformed into a passable imitation of Sardinia or the Greek islands. It would be misleading to pretend the sun always shines there, but throughout the summer and autumn Islay is a place of great beauty, combining rugged mountains with white sandy beaches, misty glens, red deer, eagles, otters, bottlenose dolphins, seals and herons.
The main local product is single malt whisky, and Ardbeg, the premier distillery near Port Ellen on the southern shore, has just converted a characterful whitewashed building that was once the distillery manager’s house into a smart and extremely comfortable holiday let, available from July. Seaview Cottage, which does indeed have glorious views out towards the Mull of Kintyre and the Hills of Antrim, features two double bedrooms and one twin (all ensuite), a stylish open-plan lounge, an open-plan kitchen and dining room, and a big front garden overlooking the sea. It costs £220 per night, for a minimum two-night stay, or £1,500 per week.