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Knoydart and the Small Isles Photography Tour


Trip at a Glance


09 July 2022 - 16 July 2022


7 nights


Knoydart and the Small Isles

Start / Finishes








  • Spend seven days on location with Colin Prior
  • Enjoy access to some of the most varied locations in Scotland aboard the Mary Doune
  • Capture spectacular mountain scenery and encounter eagles, dolphins and whales
  • Seven nights, single occupancy accommodation at Doune Lodge
  • Enjoy fresh local cuisine in the award-winning Doune Dining Room
  • Tutorials and critique session with individual feedback
  • Group size normally 8

The accommodation is a Scandinavian style wilderness lodge with a spacious interior and eight bedrooms. The rooms are located on the upper level while the ground floor consists of a large lounge and open plan kitchen, which is used for tea and coffee - all meals are served in the restaurant. Shared bathroom facilities are adjacent to the kitchen, with showers, wash-hand basins, and toilets - there are no en suite rooms. Freshly prepared, locally sourced meals are enjoyed in the adjacent Doune Dining Room and are a real highlight of the trip, with freshly caught seafood a particular specialty. Special dietary requirements can be catered for. The restaurant is licensed and offers an excellent choice of wines, beers, and spirits.

Travel Insurance

Moderate - these tours involve straightforward hiking generally over good trails. Terrain underfoot is mainly on paths or hill trails which may be muddy in places. There may be a limited amount of uphill walking.

Tour Synopsis

The Knoydart and Small Isles Photography Tour will explore the islands of Muck, Eigg, Rum, Canna, and Skye where photographers will enjoy a real taste of wildness and adventure. Throughout the duration of the workshop, we have exclusive use of the Mary Doune, which will take us on a new island adventure each day. Travelling to and from each location by boat takes on a new dimension with fantastic views of the surrounding islands and mountains where seabirds, dolphins, and minke whales are often encountered.

We are based at Doune Bay, the site of a former crofting community that is perfectly situated for accessing the Small Isles and Skye. Accommodation is at Doune Lodge, a Scandinavian-style wilderness lodge with views across the Sound of Sleat to the Skye Cuillin and is complemented by the adjacent, Doune Dining Room.

This will be my final year at Doune as the owners are retiring, so if you have ever thought about visiting Knoydart and the Small Isles, or about returning, one place remains.

The images used to promote this tour were captured by Colin Prior either on a personal trip or on a previous tour and are representative of the type of weather that we may or may not experience throughout the duration of this tour. In Scotland, one must be prepared for constant change.


Day 1

Pickup from Mallaig - Doune We meet in Mallaig which can be reached by car or train via the spectacular West Highland Railway line. We meet on the pier at 1750 and this coincides with the arrival of the train. Once everyone has arrived, we will cross to the Knoydart peninsula – a journey that takes around 20 minutes. After a short briefing, we will reconvene for dinner in the Doune Dining Room.

Day 2

Isle of Muck; Gallanach Bay After breakfast, we board Mary Doune around 0900 and head south-west to the island of Muck. Our anchorage is at Gallanach Bay where coral sands are backed by rocky terraces on which a large colony of common seals resides. The bird life in May is prolific with oystercatchers, ringed plover, dunlin and common gulls defending their territories. We head up and onto a higher headland that has spectacular views overlooking Rum, Eigg, and Skye. We return over Muck’s single-track road which takes us to the Tea Shop in Port Mòr where refreshments are available before our departure back to Doune.

Day 3

Loch Hourn; Eilean Rarsaidh; Runival As we enter the fjord of Loch Hourn, the view north is dominated by Beinn Sgritheall – one of the steepest mountains in Scotland. Our first location is Eilean Rarsaidh which in May is densely covered in bluebells and wild garlic. After returning to the boat, we continue up past Ladhar Bheinn and Barrisdale Bay to arrive at a wild location where stands of Scots pine cover the lower slopes of the mountains. Otters are often seen hunting here in the shallows.

Day 4

Isle of Eigg; Bay of Laig Heading out in a south-westerly direction today, we travel down the east coast of Eigg and arrive at the pier, one hour later. Here we transfer into a mini-bus and are driven to the Bay of Laig on the eastern side of the island. It is a spectacular location with a huge sweeping sandy beach and is set against a backdrop of the Rum Cuillin rising vertically from the sea to over 800m. Two distinct areas provide endless photographic opportunities: the coral sand beach and the rocky shoreline where cannonball concretions stand exposed on the sandstone creating bold spherical shapes.

Day 5

Isle of Skye; Loch Eishort; Boreraig Rounding the Point of Sleat – the most southerly point on Skye, we head across to Loch Eishort where the Cuillin Ridge rises before us. Our destination today is to the former crofting township of Boreraig, an isolated spot on the shores of Loch Eishort. It was from here in 1853 that Lord MacDonald forcibly evicted 120 men, women and children, to foreign lands. Ammonites and other fossils can be seen in the limestone rocks along the shoreline.

Day 6

Rum; Guirdil; Bagh Rubha a’ Mhoil Ruaidh Rum’s rugged coastline is a landscape of contrasts. From towering sandstone cliffs to secluded sandy beaches, its underlying geology has created some fantastic photographic locations. At Guirdil, the sea has eroded a cave through a sandstone headland to the opposite side creating great possibilities for photographs and to the south in a secluded bay, the beach formed of rounded pebbles, rises up at an angle of 30°, having been exposed to Atlantic swells.

Day 7

Isle of Canna and Isle of Sanday We head out and along the east coast of Rum towards Canna’s north cliffs, which rise 150 metres above the sea. These are home to thousands of the breeding seabirds, which include, puffin, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes, and occasionally a white-tailed eagle makes an appearance, which we have the opportunity to photograph from the boat. In the afternoon, we will head across to Sanday to photograph from the sea cliffs and the basalt stack on which a large colony of puffins nest from May to July.

Essential Information

Lightweight boots or wellies often the terrain we cover is boggy and wellies are the best way to keep your feet dry.
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Hat for sun protection or warmth
Casual clothes for evening wear
Personal wash kit
Head torch
Midge net
Re-usable water bottle

The information below is intended simply as a guide to help you achieve the most enjoyment from this tour.

All brands of cameras and lenses do the same thing; they look outwardly into the world and record what they see on different sized sensors. What differentiates what they see is not the camera, but the person looking through the viewfinder. So, what will help you gain most from this tour is a familiarity of your own camera’s layout and menu structure. There is no shortage of tutorials on You Tube to aid you in this process and it is essential that you take the time to understand how to control the most salient features of camera.

Camera bags come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important that your bag can hold the equipment you wish to carry, comfortably, over uneven terrain and that your balance is not affected by its design, or lack of it. Backpacks distribute weight evenly between your shoulders and hips and are normally supplied with a rain cover.

Lenses are a personal choice. Many landscape photographers will choose to shoot with a 16-35 mm, 24-70 mm or a 24-105 mm lens. Shooting with zoom lenses makes a great deal of sense as it reduces the equivalent number of prime lenses that would otherwise, have to be carried. Many photographers compliment their wide-angle zooms with either a 70-200 mm or 100-400 mm lens. If you enjoy working within the landscape, a 90 mm or 100 mm Macro lens opens myriad possibilities.

Under certain circumstances, filters are indispensable. Graduated neutral density filters control contrast locally and come in a range densities and graduations. The dynamic range of modern sensors has mitigated the need to use filters on many occasions and accordingly, I carry only two – a 0.6 (2 stop) filter with a soft graduation and a polarising filter which I used judicially.

Despite, image stabilisation allowing the hand holding of cameras down to very low shutter speeds, there is still no substitute for a good tripod in landscape photography. The emphasis should be on a relatively lightweight model which is easy to carry with one caveat; that it is more vulnerable in strong winds. One important factor when considering a tripod is that you can work comfortably with your camera at eye-level – many ‘travel tripods’ reach their maximum height well below this height and are stressful to use. Carbon fibre tripods are lighter and more expensive than those made from aluminium but do the same job.

Backup and storage – always a good idea to have your images in more than one place. It’s a good idea to bring your laptop onto which you can back up but also to select your best images for the critique session at the end of the tour.

Wet weather protection for your camera – this isn’t essential, however most digital camera don’t like moisture that much and it makes sense if you have some sort of cover – if it was raining heavily, it is unlikely that we would be photographing for long, however, a random shower or constant light drizzle can sometimes be problematic. Whilst there are specialist solutions available, having a polythene bag to hand would do the job.

Lens cloth – a lens cloth is useful for removing rain or sea spray if it finds its way onto a lens.

A remote release is crucial to ensure sharp images, either cable, Bluetooth or App.

Spare batteries – make sure that you don’t run out of juice.

To confirm your booking, you are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the tour price. Once we receive your deposit, the contract between us will become binding and covers everyone you are booking on behalf of. After this, we will send you an invoice for the balance and advise you of the date for payment of the same. Brochure and website prices are quoted in UK Sterling. Payment will be accepted by:
Maestro, Visa Electron, Visa Debit and Solo debit cards or Visa/Mastercard/American Express credit cards.
Bank Transfer (details available from our office).

For our full Booking Conditions can be found here: Here

To confirm your booking, you are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the tour price. Once we receive your deposit, the contract between us will become binding and covers everyone you are booking on behalf of. After this, we will send you an invoice for the balance and advise you of the date for payment of the same. Brochure and website prices are quoted in UK Sterling. Payment will be accepted by:
Maestro, Visa Electron, Visa Debit and Solo debit cards or Visa/Mastercard/American Express credit cards.
Bank Transfer (details available from our office).

For our full Booking Conditions can be found here:

We strenuously recommend that you take out a travel insurance policy as soon as you have booked your trip with us.

A travel insurance policy protects you and your holiday arrangements from the unexpected before and during your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have adequate cover, and we are not able to offer advice on insurance. However, we recommend your policy should include cover for emergency medical costs, cancellation or curtailment of your trip, personal belongings/baggage and personal liability:

In the event of emergency rescue and medical care and/or repatriation from a trip due to injury or medical emergency, any evacuation and medical costs will be borne by the client.
If you need to cancel your trip with us, then you may lose some or all the money you have paid.All luggage and personal equipment are, always, at your own risk. We will not be responsible whatsoever for any loss, damage to your luggage and/or personal equipment.

Some options for Travel Insurance Providers include:
Campbell Irvine Direct
Journeyman Insurance Services

However, we recommend you do your own research to find the best provider for you.

Park Inn by Radisson
Glasgow City Centre
139-141 West George Street
Glasgow G2 2JJ
0141 221 1211

Motel One
78-82 Oswald Street
G1 4PL
0141 468 0450

Grand Central Hotel 4-Star Hotel
99 Gordon St
G1 3SF
0141 240 3700

Radisson Blu Hotel,
301 Argyle Street
G2 8DL
0141 204 3333

Premier Inn
Glasgow City Centre (Argyle Street)
377 Argyle Street Glasgow
G2 8LL
0333 777 7292

Millennium Hotel Glasgow
George Square
Glasgow G2 1DS
0141 332 6711

Jurys Inn Glasgow Hotel
80 Jamaica Street
G1 4QG
0141 314 4800

Premier Inn Inverness
19-21 Huntly Street
Tel: 0871 527 9302

Premier Inn Inverness
Millburn Road
Tel: 0871 527 8544

Eildon Guest House
29 Old Edinburgh Road
Tel: 01463 231969

Dionard Guest House
4 Star
39 Old Edinburgh Road
Tel: 01463 233557

Glenmoriston Town House Hotel
4 Star Luxury Hotel
Ness Bank
Tel: 01463 223 777

Lynver Guest House
4 Star
30 Southside Road

For those travelling by train, Colin will meet you on the platform at Mallaig Railway Station at 1750 on Saturday. The harbour is less than a five-minute walk from the station. If you are travelling by car, drive straight through the roundabout and turn first right onto the pier. Ahead you will see blue bollards which is where the Inverie ferry departs from. I will be around from 1600 and you can drop off your bags with me and then park in one of the long-stay car parks. Our boat, the Mary Doune, will arrive around 1700. On the following Saturday, we will return you to Mallaig at 0920 in time to connect with rail services south.

Coronavirus - COVID-19

We continue to run tours in a way that is true to our values, respecting each of you as individual travellers, whilst respecting the communities that we are visiting.

Please note that new bookings will only be accepted on the provision that if the trip is unable to go ahead due to Covid 19 restrictions and the trip suspended, payments will be held indefinitely and can be put towards any future workshop.

Traveller responsibility

1. We request that all travellers bring a minimum of 2 reusable masks.
2. That clients declare if they feel they that they may have COVID-19 symptoms.
3. That you do not travel if you feel unwell or are symptomatic before the trip.
4. That you follow all guidelines and procedures set out by us and any suppliers we use.

The current situation in the UK

To stay informed, we recommend you visit the UK Government website as well as the Scottish Government site.

Travel advisories and inbound health measures
If you are travelling from outside the UK then you must review the contents of this section of the Scottish Government guidance before considering travel to Scotland.

Travel advice for travellers visiting the UK from common locations

United States   |   Canada   |   Australia

We recommend you check your own government advice with regards to travel to the UK and Scotland.

Pre-trip information
Please take extra care to read through any pre-trip information you are sent, paying particular attention to the COVID-19 details and requirements, such as bringing your own face masks, and being aware of any rules which apply in Scotland which may be different to rules where you live.

Please also check with your airline/train company about any specific requirements they may have in place for your journey to Scotland. If you’re informed, then you’ll be able to raise any questions with us ahead of your trip, which of course we’ll be delighted to help with.