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KNOYDART AND THE SMALL ISLES

May 12, 2018 - May 19, 2018

£1650 | 8 places available
  • TRIP AT A GLANCE

    • Dates: 12th – 19th May 2018
    • Duration: 7 nights
    • Location: Knoydart and the Small Isles
    • Start/Finishes: Mallaig
    • Comfort: Classic
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Price: £1650

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend a week developing your photography skills with Colin Prior
  • Enjoy access to some of the finest landscapes in Scotland aboard 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

GRADING: EASY

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).

ACCOMMODATION & FOOD

The accommodation is a Scandinavian style wilderness 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 only for tea and coffee –all meals, including breakfast, are served 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 enjoyed 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.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP:

  • 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.

TRIP DETAILS

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 a Scandinavian style wilderness lodge and all meals are served in the adjacent award-winning restaurant.

Our day begins with breakfast at 8.00 a.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 workshop, there will be tutorials and a group critique session.

TRIP ITINERARY

Below is a typical itinerary, which inevitably will change to take advantage of the optimum weather conditions on the day. The decision about the each day’s 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 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.

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. 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.

GETTING THERE

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

MEETING INSTRUCTIONS

Colin will meet you on the platform at Mallaig Railway Station at 5.50 p.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.

TRIP PRICING

The trip price is £1650 per person.

 

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • 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
RECOMMENDED PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

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 outlook.

Lightweight boots

Waterproof jacket and trousers

Hat for sun protection or warmth

Optional: sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip salve

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

Cameras – Camera equipment is very much a personal choice and is dependent on individual preference, budget, and experience. Whether you 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. Backpacks distribute the weight between your shoulders and hips making walking much easier than a bag with a shoulder strap and are normally protected from wind and rain.

Tripod – the ideal tripod needs to be light enough to carry comfortably but sufficiently robust to be used in winds. A tripod engenders a more contemplative approach to the photography and allows the use of slower shutters speeds. 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 aluminum.

Lenses – like cameras, these come down to personal choice and will be determined by the type of subject matter normally pursued. Many photographers choose two zoom lenses; a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm, which will account for 90-95% of the images taken with only two lenses. Another popular combination is 24-105mm and 100-400mm. Some photographers prefer to work with prime lenses which offer improved performance at their designated focal lengths which means carrying more lenses and accordingly more weight. If the intimate landscape interests you, a 100mm Macro lens can be ideal.

Filters – many photographs find it difficult to shoot an image without some sort of filter. A filter needs to add value and if it isn’t then you are potentially degrading the image by placing a sheet of resin in front of your lens. The most commonly used filters in digital photography are graduated neutral density filters. These differ from neutral density filters in that they allow you to control contrast locally. They come in a variety of densities and gradations but in my experience, the most useful are a 0.6 soft and 0.6 medium gradation. Several brands of ‘grads’ are available but by far the best are manufactured by Lee Filters. They also offer a professional filter holder which allows the gradation to be moved within the holder, relative to the scene.

You may find a polarising filter desirable, although personally, I dislike the artefacts that it creates within an image and most what it achieves can be replicated in Lightroom more naturally. Some photographers favour Lee’s ‘Big Stopper’ which increases the exposure by 10 stops and transforms water and clouds into amorphous forms.

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 hard drive. Bringing your own laptop will allow you to see what you have shot each day and will facilitate critique sessions.

Remote release – essential to eradicate camera shake when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

Spare batteries – bring extra batteries for backup.

Lens cloth – a lens cloth is useful for removing rain.

HOW TO BOOK

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.

INSURANCE

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.

Details

Start:
May 12, 2018
End:
May 19, 2018
Cost:
£1650

Venue

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

Tickets | 8 places available

8 available
Knoydart and the Small Isles 12-05-2018£1,650.00A deposit of 25% is required to secure payment