The Legend of the Gulls

When the Scots spread from their Celtic homeland to create the Kingdom of Dalriada-in-Alban, the Pictish and Brythonic tribes who already occupied the lands resisted fiercely. Legend has it that the daughter of a Pictish King fell in love with a captured Scottish warrior and helped him escape. Together they fled westwards to Islay. As they rowed towards the young warrior's home on the shores of Loch Indaal, a terrible storm lashed their boat, sending it crashing against the rocks.

The young Scot's clansmen found only splintered wreckage of the boat and no trace of the lovers - but a pair of white gulls soared and swooped together across the Loch, settling neither on the western nor the eastern shore, as if torn between the two.

The legend endures, and today, before a storm, the Bowmore Distillery echoes to the haunting cry of a pair of gulls over the loch. (Not to mention many of the 100+ other bird species resident on Islay, but that's by the by.)

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