‘There is a perpetual mystery and excitement in living on the seashore, which is in part a return to childhood and in part because for all of us the sea's edge remains the edge of the unknown; the child sees the bright shells, the vivid weeds and red sea-anemones of the rock pools with wonder and with the child's eye for minutiae; the adult who retains wonder brings to his gaze some partial knowledge which can but increase it, and he brings, too, the eye of association and of symbolism, so that at the edge of the ocean he stands at the brink of his own unconscious.’
Gavin Maxwell, Ring of Bright Water (London: Penguin, 1974)
The Small Isles archipelago comprises the islands of Muck, Eigg, Rum, Canna and Sanday and is located north of the Ardnamurchan peninsula and south of Skye. Around 40 species of birds breed regularly on Muck and the marine life around the island is particularly rich due to the Gulf Stream which flows past its shores creating a rich marine environment, which includes a large colony of common seals, dolphins, minke whales and occasionally, basking sharks.
During the week, we will visit the islands of Canna, Rum, Eigg and Coll aboard the privately charted MV Lochan. With the exception of Eigg, we will land by dingy onto sandy and rocky shorelines which give access to undisturbed locations, rich in photographic opportunities and bird life. On Muck and on Coll, we will enjoy walks over dunes and moorland to some high points with little in the way of elevation. The remaining days will be spent photographing on Muck, which not only has varied landscapes but superb views out to Rum, Eigg and beyond to Skye where sunrise and sunset opportunities are possible.
Situated on the north side of Muck and overlooking the coral sand beaches of Gallanach Bay, Gallanach Lodge is a beautiful, purpose-built lodge, that offers fully catered accommodation of the highest standard. All bedrooms have been individually styled to provide the ultimate sanctuary and comfort with the double rooms having superb views over Gallanach Bay, where guests can enjoy views of seals playing from their bedroom window. The bathrooms and shower rooms have all been finished to a very high standard and fitted with powerful showers, deep baths, and under-floor heating and come with complimentary toiletries. A total of 8 bedrooms share 4 bathrooms and shower rooms – there are no ensuite rooms.
Guests will enjoy Gallanach Lodge’s passion for outstanding food using local fresh produce. All meals are served in the main dining room complete with a wood burning stove. The handmade, elm wood dining table which seats 18 people was made by the same craftsman on Rum who made the beds. The dining room has full height panoramic windows where guests can enjoy one of the most memorable views on the western seaboard, particularly at sunset.
The images used to promote this tour were captured by Colin on previous trips and are representative of the conditions which may or may not be encountered throughout its duration - in Scotland, one must be prepared for constant change.
Please note that our excursions to the other islands are dependent on suitable wind and sea conditions and should we experience adverse weather, it may not be possible to venture offshore.