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 aboard the Mary Doune and head south-west to the island of Muck. Our anchorage is a secluded bay where white coral sands are backed by rocky terraces where a large colony of common seals reside. The bird life is often prolific with oystercatchers, ringed plover, dunlin and common gulls defending their territories from unwelcome visitors. We head up and onto a higher headland which has spectacular views overlooking Rum, Eigg and Skye, 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 available before our journey back to Doune.
Day 3 – Loch Hourn
As we enter the mouth of Loch Hourn, which is essentially a fjiord, the view north is dominated by Beinn Sgritheall – one of the steepest mountains in Scotland. We continue up past Ladhar Bheinn and Barrisdale Bay to one of the most beautifully wooded parts of the glen. To the north, the lower slopes of Druim Fada are
covered with sessile oak, birch and rowan, whilst on the southern slopes stands of ancient Scots pine cover the landscape.
Day 4 – Eigg – The Bay of Laig
Heading out in a south-westerly direction today, we travel down the east side of Eigg and arriving at the harbour one hour later. Here will transfer into a mini-bus and take a 20 minute drive to the Bay of Laig on the eastern side of the island. The Rum Cuillin rise vertically from sea level to almost 1000m and creating a superb backdrop for our images in the bay. Two distinct areas provide endless photographic opportunities: the white sands beach and the sandstone foreshore where cannonball concretions can found.
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.
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 channelled a cave through a sandstone headland and in another bay lies a boulder field 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 thousands of the breeding seabirds, which include, puffin, razorbills, shags, kittiwakes and occasionally, sea-eagles. Later, we will visit the basalt stacks on 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 at Mallaig in time to catch the morning train back to Glasgow.