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Islay Voices Guided Walk: The Oa and the American Monument

This is one of two guided walks that we're running over the festival weekend. While taking in the local scenery, the walks will feature anecdotes from local oral history, including poems and songs, taken from Jenni Minto and Les Wilson's recent book, Islay Voices.

“On fame’s eternal camping ground, their silent tents are spread / While glory keeps the solemn round, the bivouac of the dead.”

Atop the Mull of Oa’s most southerly tip stands the American Monument in remembrance of the American servicemen who lost their lives in the Tuscania and Otranto tragedies in 1918. Join Jenni Minto and Les Wilson as they tell the story of these two tragedies intermingled with the rich history of one of Islay’s most fascinating landscapes.

Walk instructions: Meet at 1.30pm at the car park opposite the Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen if you require transport or wish to share transport, or at 2pm at the RSPB car park at the Oa. The walk is approximately 3 km and is on a path. Level of difficulty: easy (not suitable for wheelchairs). It can be windy around the Monument itself, so please take care not too walk too close to the cliff edge. Any children must be supervised at all times. Rainwear may be required. The walk will take around an hour and a half to two hours.

Please note that in the event of the walk being cancelled due to bad weather, indoor readings from the book will take place at No.1 Charlotte Street. Please check our Facebook or Twitter feed for updates, or if in doubt meet at the Ramsay Hall car park rendezvous point at 1.30pm.

Tickets are available on the day or book online here:


Later Event: September 30
Sara Sheridan: On Starlit Seas