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May 14, 2016 - May 21, 2016

Scotland Loch Hourn Skye Cuillin sunset

    • Dates: 14th – 21st May 2016
    • Duration: 7 nights
    • Location: Knoydart and the Small Isles
    • Start/Finishes: Mallaig
    • Comfort: Classic
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Price: £1425


  • Spend a week developing your photography skills with Colin Prior
  • Enjoy access to some of the finest landscapes in Scotland on the Mary Doune
  • Capture the drama of the spectacular mountain scenery and encounter eagles, dolphins and whales
  • Enjoy fresh local cuisine in the award-winning restaurant at Doune on the Knoydart peninsula
  • Workshop restricted to nine clients


Easy straightforward hiking generally over good trails with no major ascents. The days are fairly leisurely and we spend about 6-8 hours outdoors. Terrain underfoot is mainly on paths or hill trails which may be muddy in places. Daily walks are mainly glens or coastal hikes with some ascents up to 450m (1500ft).


With a spacious interior, accommodation is a mixture of twin and single rooms. Bedrooms are located on the upper level while the ground floor consists of a large lounge and open plan kitchen,which is used only for tea and coffee –all meals are in the restaurant. Shared bathroom facilities are adjacent to the kitchen, with showers, basins and toilets – there are no en-suite rooms.

Freshly prepared, locally sourced meals are taken in the adjacent ‘Taste of Scotland’ accredited restaurant 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.


  • Seven nights accommodation in a Scandinavian style wilderness lodge.
  • Each client will have private accommodation with shared facilities.
  • Private boat charter for the duration of the week.
  • Breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals are included throughout.
  • Personal tuition, critique sessions and tutorials.
  • All transport during the trip, starting and finishing in Mallaig.


The Knoydart peninsula is one of the remotest parts of the Scottish mainland and is not connected to the road network. The best way to travel is by boat and the Mary Doune, which is privately chartered, will take us on a new adventure each day. The boat journeys themselves add great value to the experience and it is not uncommon to see, sea eagles, dolphins, whales and a wide variety of seabirds.

We are based at Doune, which is located in a remote, bay and is the perfect base for the ultimate getaway. Our accommodation is in a Scandinavian style wilderness lodge and all meals are served in the adjacent award-winning restaurant.

Our day begins with breakfast at 8.00a.m. with an informal briefing of the proposed activities for the day. We will set off aboard the Mary Doune to our chosen destination – a journey that normally takes around an hour where we will photograph throughout the morning and break for freshly made packed lunches. The afternoon location usually involves another short boat trip to a second location and we will return to Doune at around 5.30p.m. where there may be opportunities to critique some of the day’s images, or enjoy a drink overlooking the bay before settling down to the gastronomic delights of Doune’s restaurant. During the course of the workshop there will be tutorials and a group critique session.

Scotland Canna Rum basalt columns - Colin Prior Knoydart workshop


Below is a typical itinerary, which inevitably will change to take advantage of the optimum weather conditions on the day. The decision about the following days location is usually made the evening before when the most up-to-date weather forecasts have been studied.

Day 1 – Pickup from Mallaig – Doune

We meet in Mallaig which is easily reached by car or train via the spectacular West Highland Railway Line. Mallaig has plenty of long term parking which is free and where vehicles can be left for the duration of the workshop. A short 20 minute boat journey will take us to Doune on the tip of the Knoydart peninsula. After an informal introduction to the group and to the facilities at Doune we meet for dinner.

Day 2 – Muck

After breakfast we meet on the Mary Doune and head south-west to the island of Muck. Our anchorage is a secluded bay where white coral sands and backed by rocky terraces on which a large colony of common seals reside. The bird life is prolific with oystercatchers, ringed plover, dunlin and common gulls defending their territories from unwelcome visitors. We head up to a higher headland which overlooks Rum, Skye and Eigg and if tidal conditions permit over to Horse Island. A walk back over the single road takes us to the tea shop where refreshments are taken before our journey back.

Day 3 – Loch Hourn

As we enter the mouth of Loch Hourn which is essentially a fjiord, the view north is dominated by BeinnSgritheall– one of the steepest mountains in Scotland and we head up past LadharBheinn and Barrisdale Bay to one of the most beautifully wooded parts of the glen. To the north, the lower slopes of DruimFada are
covered with sessile oak, birch and rowan, whilst on the southern slopes stands of ancient Scots pine punctuate the landscape.

Day 4 – Eigg – The Bay of Laig

Heading out in a south-westerly direction again today, we travel down the east side of Eigg and ultimately to the harbour. Here we will transfer into a mini-bus and take a 20 minute transfer to the Bay of Laig on the eastern side of the island. Facing east, the Rum Cuillin rise vertically from sea level to almost 1000m and for a fantastic backdrop for our images on Eigg. Two distinct areas provide endless photographic opportunities: the white sands and the sandstone foreshore where pods of concretions can be discovered.

Day 5 – Skye – Loch Eishort – Boreraig

Rounding the Point of Sleat – the most southerly point on Skye we head over to Loch Eishort where the full Cuillin Ridge rises before us. Our destination today is to Boreraig, an isolated spot on the shores of Loch Eishort where the remains of a pre-crofting township stand. It was from here in 1853 that Lord MacDonald forcibly evicted 120 men, women and children.

Day 6–Rum

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. In one of these secluded bays, the sea has channelled a cave through a headland and in anotherlies a boulderfield with brightly coloured lichens.

Day 7 – Canna and Sanday

We head out along the east side of Rum to the north cliffs of Canna. These are home to many of the breeding seabirds, which include, puffin, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes and occasionally, sea-eagles. Later, we will visit the island of Sanday, which, lies to the south of Canna.

Day 8 – Return to Mallaig

Following a relaxed breakfast, we board the Mary Doune and return to Mallaig. For those travelling by rail, we arrive atMallaig in time to catch the morning train back to Glasgow.

Scotland Eigg Bay of Laig concretions Rum - Colin Prior Knoydart workshop
Scotland Canna Rum Compass Hill - Colin Prior Knoydart workshop

This trip starts and finishes in Mallaig. For train time-tables, costs and reservations follow these links:


Colin will meet you on the platform at Mallaig Railway Station at 5.50p.m. on Saturday. The time coincides with the arrival of the train from Glasgow.

Our boat will be moored in the harbour less than five minutes away. On the final Saturday, we will return you to Mallaig at 9.30 a.m. in time to connect with rail services south.


The trip price is £1425 per person. Group size is limited to 8 client rooms and this ensures that Colin can give a one-to-one tuition and a critique session.


  • Transport to and from the workshop start/end points
  • Travel insurance and personal equipment
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcohol and soft drinks, laundry
  • Gratuities
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

The ability to respond to Scotland’s changeable weather with appropriate clothing will enhance your enjoyment. The key is to bring comfortable clothing, which will maintain your body temperature under a variety of weather conditions.

If you are at all susceptible to the cold, a down jacket or windproof fleece is the most effective way to keep warm and can quickly change your mental outlook.

  • Lightweight boots
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hat for sun protection or warmth
  • Casual clothes for evening wear
  • Personal wash kit
  • Head torch
  • Ear plugs
  • Optional: sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip salve

Carrying equipment for every eventuality is also counter-intuitive and you should avoid your experience outdoors being overshadowed by the weight of your bag – at the end of the day you are here to enjoy and not endure.

Cameras – Camera equipment is very much a personal choice and is dependant on individual preference, budget and experience. Whetheryou shoot with a 35mm DSLR or a mirror-less system is unimportant. What is important however is that you are familiar with your camera’s layout and menu structure and understand the differences between the shooting modes.

Camera bag – bring a camera bag that allows you to comfortably carry your equipment over rugged terrain. Backpacksdistribute the weight between your shoulders and hips making walking much easier than a bag with a shoulder strap and are normally protected against wind and rain.

Tripod – the ideal tripod needs to be light enough to carry but heavy enough to perform in winds. A tripod is essential for landscape photographyallowing camera settings to be used that would otherwise be impossible. A wide range of models are available from Manfrotto and Gitzo and for more advanced photographers, carbon fibre tripods offer a lighter weight solution but essentially do the same job as those made from aluminium.

Remote release– an indispensible accessory, which eradicatesvibrations when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Lenses – again, lenses are dependant on personal choice, budget and also the subjects pursued by each photographer. For travel photography an excellent solution is to have two zoom lenses such as a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. With two lenses, a range of 24-200mm can be covered, which will account for 95% of your images. If you are interested in more intimate landscapes, a 100mm Macro lens opens up a wider range of possibilities.

Backup and storage – ensure that you have adequate memory cards and a means of backing up your work, either on a laptop, iPad or supplementary storage drive. Bringing your own laptop will allow you to see what you have shot each day and will facilitate critique sessions.

Spare batteries – batteries can be re-charged daily if necessary, however it makes sense to bring a spare battery to maximise your opportunities of taking photographs.

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


We accept bookings online, by phone and post. Booking online is straight forward and enables us to confirm your reservation immediately. Before booking, it is important that you read the relevant Trip Dossier and our Booking Terms and Conditions. If you have any doubts regarding your suitability for a trip, please contact us.

To book online, simply click the relevant link from the trip page on our website. You will then be asked to complete the online booking form and proceed to payment. All payments made are directly through Worldpay in a totally secure environment.

For online bookings we accept payment by Maestro, Visa Electron, Visa Debit and Solo debit cards or Visa/Mastercard/American Express credit cards. Please note that there is no charge for payment by debit card but a 2% surcharge for payment by credit card. A deposit of 25% is required at the time of booking unless you are booking less than 56 days before departure. In this case, full payment of the trip price is required.

Should you prefer, you can call us with your reservation and card payment. This will enable us to confirm your place although, in all cases, we require a completed booking form (either online or by post) with details of all persons travelling. If booking by post, we accept all of the above payment methods plus cheque or bank transfer. If booking online we will confirm your booking immediately, including a copy of the Trip Dossier and an invoice for payment of the balance. If booking by any other method, we will confirm your booking within seven days of receipt.


It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. We also strongly recommend you take out cover for cancellation and curtailment and baggage cover. We work with and recommend Campbell Irvine Insurance whose policies are specially designed for adventure holidays and are underwritten by AXA Insurance.

Insurance can be arranged directly at Campbell Irvine.


May 14, 2016
May 21, 2016


Mallaig, Inverness-shire PH41 4PL United Kingdom
01687 462667


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