Natural World of the Shiants and St Kilda
7 nights including 2 Gala Dinners
Few experiences can match the overwhelming impression of the sea stacs, as they loom through the mist on the approach to St Kilda, or the profound sense of abandonment on this far-flung archipelago, evacuated by its last residents in 1930 after 5,000 years of continuous habitation.
Rounding Ardnamurchan, we plot a northerly course to Skye and walk around the wildly magnificent Loch Coruisk. Continuing north through Kyle Rhea and the Inner Sound, we are bound for Shieldaig to travel the panoramic Bealach na Ba pass to Applecross.
From Gairloch, explore the acclaimed beauty of Inverewe Garden, planted in the 1860s by the young Osgood Mackenzie. Having sailed into Loch Broom, we marvel at the deep chasm of Corrieshalloch Gorge and the misted, plunging Falls of Measach.
After a walk on the uninhabited bird sanctuary of Isle Martin, we land on the enchanted Shiant Isles, spellbound by the sights and sounds of the vast seabird cliffs. Onwards to Lewis and Stornoway; the Callanish Standing Stones, erected some 5,000 years ago, and Iron Age Carloway Broch are majestic and awe-inspiring.
An early morning cruise of the echoing sea stacs of Boreray and Stac Lee precede a tranquil stroll through the deserted cottages of Village Bay on Hirta, now roamed by indigenous Soay sheep. Venturing to Barra, our voyage of discovery concludes with a visit to the Macneil stronghold of Kisimul Castle, where a climb of the tower house battlements is rewarded with spectacular views of Castle Bay, before whiling away the afternoon on the return crossing to Oban.