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The 235 square miles of Islay house a population of around 4000. The island offers terrain which ranges from the wild high cliffs on the Mull of Oa to the boggy lowlandswhich cover most of the island. The main island industries are represented by eight malt distilleries (*) and some 500 farms though the island supports some tourism and offers rivers full of salmon and sea trout. Islay has had its own population and culture for centuries as attested to by ancient stone circles and celtic crosses, one particularly fine example of the latter dating back to the 8th century.

The administrative centre is Bowmore

(*): Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Port Ellen, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain)

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