Details on Visiting Orwell's Barnhill Farmhouse on the Isle of Jura, Scotland

Sunday, March 15, 2009

GETTING THERE: Major carriers offer connecting service to Glasgow from Washington airports, starting at about $589 round trip. Commuter flights from Glasgow and ferries from the mainland get you as far as Islay, the island just south of Jura. Rent a car in Islay, then take the ferry to Jura. Or the CalMac Ferry ( carries passengers and vehicles from Kennacraig on the mainland to Port Ellen and Port Askaig on Islay.

ABOUT BARNHILL: Barnhill, which sleeps seven in five bedrooms, can be leased (about $830 a week; for more information, e-mail The exterior of the old stone house is much as it was when Orwell lived there; little of the interior is the same.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code (the "right to roam") allows visitors to walk nearly anywhere, as long as you don't bother livestock or residents. That means you can hike to Barnhill after parking at the end of the pavement (a 10-mile round-trip trek). The only smart way to do this is to lodge at the Jura Hotel (Craighouse, Argyll, 011-44-(0)1496-820-243,; from about $49 per night) so you needn't worry about missing a ferry back to Islay. If you visit Barnhill without retaining guides from the family, remain a civil distance from the house; the owners have had Orwell fans peering in windows, even seeking to enter without permission.



-- P. McH.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company