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KNOYDART AND THE SMALL ISLES PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

May 15, 2021 - May 22, 2021

£1850
  • TRIP AT A GLANCE

    • Dates: 15-22 May 2021
    • Duration: 7 days
    • Location: Knoydart
    • Start/Finishes: Mallaig
    • Exertion: Moderate
    • Price: £1850

  • 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 eight

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.

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
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities

SYNOPSIS

The Knoydart and Small Isles Photography Tour was designed to explore one on Scotland’s best kept secrets; The Small Isles – the islands of Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna. Combined with Skye and a trip into Loch Hourn, photographers will enjoy a taste of wildness and diversity. 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 takes on a new dimension with fantastic views to the surrounding islands and mountains where seabirds, white-tailed eagles, dolphins and minke whales are not an uncommon sight.

We are based at Doune Bay, the site of a former crofting community which 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 Blaven and the Skye Cuillin and is complemented by the adjacent, Doune Dining Room.

ITINERARY

The itinerary may be subject to change to suit weather conditions on the day.

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. Journey time from Glasgow, with a break, is about four hours. 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 which take around 20 minutes. After a short briefing we will reconvene for dinner in the Doune Dining Room.

Day 2 – 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 reside. 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 which 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 – Eigg; The 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 – Skye; Loch Eishort; Boreraig

Rounding the Point of Sleat – the most southerly point on Skye, we head across to Loch Eishort where the full 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 – Canna and Sanday

We head out and along the east coast of Rum towards Canna’s north cliffs, which rise 150 metres from the sea. These are home to thousands of the breeding seabirds, which include, puffin, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes, and sometimes white-tailed eagles, 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 stacks on which a large colony of puffins’ nest from May to July.

Day 8 – Return to Mallaig

Following breakfast, we board the Mary Doune for the final time and return to Mallaig to arrive at 0920, in time for the south bound train to Glasgow.

RECOMMENDED PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

The ability to respond to Scotland’s changeable weather with appropriate clothing will enrich your enjoyment of the tour. Bring comfortable clothing, which will maintain your body temperature under a variety of weather conditions.

If you are susceptible to the cold, a down or insulated jacket is recommended.

  • 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
  • Sunscreen
  • Re-usable water bottle
PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

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

All brands of cameras and lenses do exactly the same thing; they look outwardly into the world and record what they see on different sized sensors. The only thing that differentiates what they see is not the camera but the person looking through the viewfinder. So, what will help you gain most from this workshop is a familiarity of your own camera’s layout and menu structure and an understanding of the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Consider a camera bag that is comfortable and which allows you carry your equipment over uneven terrain. Backpacks distribute the weight evenly between your shoulders and hips and are normally supplied with a rain cover.

Lenses are very much a personal choice and will be influenced by the subjects which you, as a photographer, pursue. For many outdoor photographers, the combination of two lenses – either a 24-70mm or 24-105mm and a 100-400mm provides them with the ability to shoot from 24-400mm with just two lenses. If working within the landscape is something that appeals to you, then a 90mm or 100mm Macro lens opens up myriad possibilities.

Under certain circumstances, filters are indispensable. Graduated neutral density filters control contrast locally and come in a range densities and graduations. I use, almost exclusively, a 0.6 (2 stop) filter with a soft graduation. A polarising filter is also extremely useful for a number of scenarios and worthwhile having in your camera bag.

A tripod is essential for landscape photography. The emphasis should be on a relatively lightweight model which is easy to carry. The disadvantage of a lightweight tripod is that it is more vulnerable in high winds to both camera shake and to the risk of being blown over. 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 below this height. 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. A laptop or iPad is ideal and will allow you to see what you have shot each day and will facilitate feedback.

A remote release is essential. Whether it is a cable, IR device or a phone app it will ensure sharp photographs.

Spare batteries – batteries can be re-charged as required, however it makes sense to bring spares.

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

BOOKING CONDITIONS

To confirm your booking, you are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the trip 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:

INSURANCE

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 of the money you have paid.
  • All luggage and personal equipment are, at all times, 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 inculde:

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

GLASGOW ACCOMMODATION

A list of city centre hotels at close proximity to Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street Stations can be found here:

MEETING INSTRUCTION

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 recognise that you may have questions regarding the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 with regards to existing and future bookings with us. As this is a dynamic situation, we do not intend to publish all the facts here but rather to give you the direct links where you can read more about the situation from primary sources, rather than via mainstream media.

The UK Government guidance and latest information on COVID-19

(https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)

For detailed FAQ please visit this World Health Organisation page.

There are no travel restrictions to or within Scotland and our trips will run as planned.

As we always do, we strongly encourage you to take out travel insurance that will provide adequate cover in case your plans change for any reason.

Once you have booked a trip with us, our terms and conditions apply for any cancellation or postponement of your trip. You can view our booking conditions here:

If any restrictions were put in place by Government, the impact of this is likely to be covered by your travel insurance policy, however, you should check this with your provider. Insurance does not usually cover “disinclination to travel” where Government does not advise against travel. You may be able to pay a premium for cancellation for any reason but you must speak to your insurance company about this. It is your responsibility to make sure your travel insurance provides adequate cover.

Details

Start:
May 15, 2021
End:
May 22, 2021
Cost:
£1850

Venue

Doune
Knoydart
Mallaig, Inverness-shire PH41 4PL United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Phone:
01687 462667
Website:
http://www.doune-knoydart.co.uk/

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Knoydart 15-22 May 2021
£ 1,850.00
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