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Whisky Galore on the Isle of Eriskay

Posted on Mar 27, 2017 by Sonja Jones

What would you do if a load of whisky washed ashore?

Would you liberate a few bottles before the authorities arrived on the scene? The true story that inspired Whisky Galore is that the SS Politician struck rocks to the north of the Isle of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides in 1941. In the ship’s cargo hold were more than a quarter of million bottles of whisky and legend has it that the islanders, struggling to survive on wartime rations, managed to squirrel away around 24,000 bottles around the island. When the authorities eventually arrived a game of cat and mouse ensued between the police and customs and the islanders as they tried to recover the illicit goods and unpaid duties.

Whisky Galore on the Isle of Eriskay












Seventy years ago Compton Mackenzie published his bestselling novel Whisky Galore which was inspired by the real-life incident and a film followed in 1949. Eyes are back on Eriskay this Spring as the BBC announces a remake of Whisky Galore due be released in cinemas on 5 May 2017.

Apparently some of the stashed bottles still turn up because no-one knows where they were all hidden. So if you fancy searching the island for a 70 year old bottle of whisky why not join us for our Outer Hebrides walking tour. We enjoy a beautiful coastal hike filled with history and intrigue and also pass the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie first stood on Scottish soil.

On our road cycling trip of the Outer Hebrides we stop off for a dram at the local bar – you might even be able to sample the plundered goods if a bottle has turned up.


Road Cycling - Outer Hebrides

Location: Outer Hebrides and St Kilda
  • Cycle tour from Barra to Lewis through nine amazing islands of the Outer Hebrides.
  • Admire the outstanding landscapes of white sand beaches and towering shapely peaks.
  • Enjoy the fascinating history, rich culture and warm hospitality of the islands.

Price: from £1,695

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Wilderness Walking - Outer Hebrides: Uists, Barra and Mingulay

Uist, Barra and Mingulay
Location: Outer Hebrides and St Kilda
  • Visit seven islands on a spectacular journey through the southern Outer Hebrides, indulging in the wild scenery and rich history of the islands.
  • Journey to the abandoned island of Mingulay on a privately chartered boat, relishing its wild beauty and abundant wildlife while learning about the hardships of life there.
  • Enjoy exceptional Highland hospitality at our carefully selected guest houses, set in magnificent coastal locations.

Price: from £1,595

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About the author

Sonja Jones

Sonja left the big smoke behind to focus on combining two of her great loves: Scotland and storytelling.

Read more articles by Sonja

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