Hebrides Experience

Brand new to our portfolio of tours and workshops for 2024.

*Maximum of just three guests per week*

Sorry this tour is fully booked for 2024 & 2025

 

The Outer Hebrides are a spectacular archipelago of islands lying off the west coast of Scotland, made up of approximately fifty islands stretching for almost one hundred and thirty miles from the far north to the southern tip.

 

Wildlife, beaches, scenery and food.

 

For this trip our base will be on South Uist, this island along with Benbecula and North Uist is where we will be concentrating most of our time. In comparison to Lewis and Harris these islands are low lying and riddled with fresh water lochs ranging from nothing more than a puddle to the largest Loch Bee. The islands are also home to an array of beautiful beaches. 

 

The accommodation is a modern, spacious and incredibly comfortable detached house with a generous social space. It’s set within its own grounds and hosts stunning views across the adjacent loch and beyond. Each guest will have a private room with en-suite facilities (no sharing). There’s even a games room with pool/table tennis/air hockey table, not that we’ll have much time to make use of it!

 

In May 2023 myself and Lyndsey took a recce trip to the islands and were blown away by the beautiful scenery, clean, expansive and deserted beaches, friendly locals, delicious food and most importantly the wildlife. Everyday yielded us good photographic opportunities and sighting of the more exotic species that reside here, short-eared owls, hen harriers, golden eagles, white-tailed sea eagles, snipe, whimbrel, sanderling, dunlin, the list goes on….. 

One image that eluded us was of a corncrake, on multiple occasions we heard and saw them but they were masters at hiding in plain sight. We will endeavour to rectify this on future trips!

 

It’s important to point out that this trip will differ slightly to our usual trips, although we are fully committed to wildlife photography we will also be taking time to enjoy and immerse ourselves in other non-wildlife offerings. Taking walks along the beach and visiting a gourmet roadside catering van for lobster or prawn roll (other options are available). Supporting local craft makers and taking part in a fun and informative gin tasing session at the North Uist Distillery. We will also be enjoying an evening meal at the Westford Inn on North Uist, famous for its delicious locally sourced seafood and conveniently located close to a ‘raptor hot-spot’!

Most of these additional activities will be either en-route to wildlife photography locations or during the middle of the day when heat haze can become an issue for photography.

We will also be making a day trip to the the Isle of Harris via a ferry to visit its stunning beaches and take in the beautiful scenery, of course I’m no landscape photographer but even I get inspired when visiting this location. Lunch on this day will be taken at a fantastic community run restaurant overlooking Niseaboist beach and the sound of Taransay. 

 

Raptors. 

Harriers and the charismatic Short-eared Owls are in our opinion the ‘stars of the show’ and its for this reason we shall be concentration the majority of our efforts on these, there are annual fluctuations in numbers caused by the boom and bust lifecycles of the vole populations, hopefully these will remain high for the foreseeable future.

It is highly likely we will encounter eagles on most days, this is totally dependant on the weather conditions, not all encounters will result in photographic opportunities. With eagles we need lady luck to be on our side. Like with most wildlife encounters the more time we are out looking the luckier we become.

Waders.

One thing the Atlantic coastline has in abundance are waders, mostly Dunlin, Redshank, Sanderling and Turnstone. Photographing the involves getting as low as possible and photographing them at eye level. A waterproof sheet will be provided for each guest to lie on.

 

Positioned on the Atlantic it is possible to experience all weathers in one day, fog can give way to rain and wishing an hour it can be wall to wall sunshine. Clothing wise its best to be prepared for all eventualities, walking boots are the best form of footwear. The dreaded Scottish Midge tends not to be very ferocious during May but can make an appearance of a warmer and calm evening, but nowhere near as prolific as in the later part of the Summer. Anti-midge spay will be to hand, just in case.

 

Draft Itinerary:

Sunday: 17:00 -  Arrival at the accommodation

Monday - Wildlife Photography

Tuesday - Trip to Luskintyre on Harris - Wildlife/Landscape Photography Wildlife 

Wednesday - Wildlife Photography - Gin Tasting

Thursday - Photography - Dinner Westford Inn

Friday - Wildlife Photography 

Saturday 09:00 - Departure.

 

How to get to South Uist:

Ferry from Mallaig to Lochboisdale

Ferry from Uig (Skye) to Lochmaddy

Ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway then a ferry from Harris to North Uist

Fly to Benbecula from Glasgow or Inverness

 

Tour Cost £2195.00

A deposit of £495.00 will be required at the time of booking.