Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Scotland, UK
Port Ellen is a photographer’s dream, with rows of whitewashed cottages that ring a sheltered bay on Islay’s southern coast. The whisky industry proved a boon for the town; its first distillery was established in 1825, and three of Islay’s iconic distilleries – Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig – sit just to the east. Nearby stands the 8th-century Kildalton High Cross, one of the finest Celtic crosses in Scotland, along with the old parish church ruins and carved medieval grave slabs. MacDonald Lairds ruled over the Hebrides from Dunyvaig Castle; built between the 13th and 16th centuries, its ruins overlook Lagavulin Bay. A number of prehistoric sites are scattered around the area as well, including a Bronze Age standing stone at Kilbride. The 65-foot-high American Monument, set atop the cliffedge of the Oa Peninsula, commemorates two U.S. troop ships lost here in 1918.