Exploring the Isles of the West – 9 night guided cruise
|Availability||Sat 2nd June to Mon 11th June||4 places (1 double cabin, 1 twin cabin)|
Marc Calhoun is a writer and traveller, he has been cruising with Northern Lights for many years, his knowledge and enthusiasm for the people and history of the Hebrides is extraordinary. This exciting itinerary is the result of conversations with Marc encouraging him to devise a wish list of some favourite islands we could incorporate into a cruise. For more about Marc, and his travels to the Scottish islands, see his two books, Exploring the Isles of the West – Firth of Clyde to the Small Isles, and Exploring the Isles of the West – Skye and Tiree to the Outer Isles. Also see his website at http://marccalhoun.blogspot.com/.
Marc will offer his advice and knowledge on the various islands. Depending on the island, he will lead guests on a short walk near the landing place, followed by a longer, and more strenuous walk further afield. (Note that some walks may involve crossing trackless, rough, steep, and boggy terrain. As such, they may not be suitable for all guests, and sturdy, waterproof footwear may be required.) As usual with all our cruises, if you wish to explore on your own you’re more than welcome to do so.
The Garvelachs: On Eileach an Naoimh lie the extensive ruins of St Brendan’s monastery, including the largest corbelled stone beehive cells in the Hebrides.
Scarba: The guardian of the Corryvreckan whirlpool. If the wind and tides are right the whirlpool is an amazing sight. If we manage to land, a hike to a whirlpool viewpoint is possible.
Eilean Mor of the MacCormaig Isles: A fascinating tiny island, once the hermitage of St Charmaig. Sites to see are its pilgrim chapels, Celtic crosses, St Cormac’s effigy, and his hermitage cave.
Oronsay: This tidal island is connected to Colonsay at
low tide. We hope to land directly on Oronsay to visit the priory ruins, including the magnificent Prior Colin’s Cross. Also to see is one of the best collections of carved medieval grave-slabs in Scotland.
Another important outpost of the early Celtic Church. Sites to be seen are the ancient burial ground, Celtic Cross, and the ruins of St Kenneth’s Monastery. The solitary mansion on the island was once lived in by Harold Boulton (who wrote the lyrics to The Skye Boat Song), and from 1935 to 1965 by the Mitford family.
Erraid: The island base used by the Stevenson’s for the construction of Dubh Artach lighthouse. The lightkeeper’s homes are now used for retreats by the Findhorn Foundation. Another Stevenson connection is RLS’s use of the island in Kidnapped, where he briefly stranded David Balfour (until David realized it’s connected to Mull at low tide).
We arrive back in Oban for your departure after breakfast on Monday 11 June.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Gannet is the largest seabird indigenous to the British Isles, at up to 95 cm (37 inches) in length, and 70% of the world's population of gannets breed.