30 pictures to encourage you to go to the Scottish Isles

0
184


Sharing is caring!

It was a sunny and scorching 30°C once I hopped off the airplane in Glasgow. I hadn’t packed for this. Scotland isn’t meant to be this toasty.

My first journey again to Europe from New Zealand because the pandemic was lengthy however price it. I can’t imagine I used to fly this route on a regular basis with out batting a watch!

With winter behind me and my toes itching to embark on this new journey, I shortly received over my jetlag earlier than boarding the Ocean Endeavour – my new residence for the following few months. My dream of engaged on expedition ships was lastly taking place with Adventure Canada for the northern summer time. I’d be engaged on seven journeys with them, journeying from Scotland to the Faroe Islands, Iceland to Greenland, and throughout Arctic Canada. 

Let’s go, guys!

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

The first port of name for me was Glasgow, the place I’d hop onboard for his or her iconic Scotland Slowly expedition. We would spend the following 11 days crusing round Scotland’s northern and outer islands, ending in Aberdeen.

I haven’t been to Scotland since 2008, once I was learning overseas in Spain. My greatest buddy was learning in Edinburgh on the identical time, so I visited her for a protracted weekend. I solely keep in mind the pubs. 

Time for a revisit!

The Shetlands, Orkneys, and the Hebrides are a few of Scotland’s most lovely and distant locations, greatest skilled by boat. Traveling to those wild islands by boat was an unimaginable approach to expertise Scotland over 11 days. 

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Of all their unimaginable journeys, the Scotland one is usually the preferred. I’ve thought lots about this; curious as to why Scotland trumps polar bears and icebergs the dimensions of cities; it comes all the way down to coronary heart, I believe. Also, Adventure Canada solely visits Scotland each different yr.

Many folks onboard have Scottish ancestry, and plenty of Scots who left got here from these northern locations and distant islands. Also, this journey takes you to locations that aren’t precisely straightforward or fast to go to by yourself. To get to those Scottish Isles requires flights and ferries repeatedly. Isn’t it less expensive and easier to go by ship? It is. 

I’ve a lot extra to share from my adventures across the Scottish Isles, however to start, listed here are 30 of my favourite photos from the journey. Enjoy!

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Islay and Bowmore

Islay was the primary place we known as into after departing Glasgow on the Scotland Slowly journey with Adventure Canada. Pronounced “eye-lah.” Known because the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is the southernmost island within the Inner Hebrides. The Hebrides are an archipelago off the west coast of the Scottish mainland: Inner and Outer.

I’m going to be trustworthy right here; I hadn’t heard of the Hebrides within the Scottish Isles earlier than this journey. Or if I had, it had lengthy been forgotten. 

Home to lovely coastlines, nice seafood, thriving textiles, and many wildlife, Islay is legendary for one factor about all: whisky. Home to 9 iconic distilleries, the long-lasting peaty, smokey style makes Islay world-famous. The nostalgic salty seaside air mixed with the peat bogs crafts a taste in contrast to wherever else. 

Bowmore is the principle hub of Islay, with a lot to see and do. With one of many few spherical church buildings on the earth, nice distilleries, and fab purchasing, it was straightforward to spend a day right here. 

Scottish Isles

Staffa 

Staffa is a distant uninhabited island within the Hebrides that has develop into iconic for its unimaginable rock formations, basalt columns, and caves. If you’ve been to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, it’s the identical. 

Famous naturalist and botanist, Sir Joseph Banks wrote about Staffa after visiting on his approach to Iceland. Banks is a determine I do know nicely since he was the botanist onboard Captain Cook’s first journey to New Zealand and since he turned Kew Gardens into the main botanical backyard on the earth (hi there, fellow houseplant fams). He renamed the principle sea cavern Fingal’s Cave, resulting in Staffa turning into more and more well-known. Mendelssohn even featured it in his Hebrides Overture after visiting within the early nineteenth century. 

We hopped within the zodiacs from the ship close to Staffa and went on our personal little tour across the island. It was wild and delightful, and we noticed many seabirds, together with shags, razorbills, and ALL THE PUFFINS.

Scottish Isles

Isle of Iona

As a large nerd with a medieval historical past diploma, visiting Iona was an enormous deal. While Iona is a small island, it was the beating coronary heart of Gaelic monasticism for hundreds of years. The Iona Abbey is world-famous, based by Irish St. Columba, and was the middle of Christianity, spreading via Scotland within the sixth century. I’m not spiritual or something, however in case you’re within the Dark Ages in Britain, it’s the core theme. 

Iona is tiny however mighty, clocking in at solely three miles lengthy. With sandy blue seashores, lovely views, and a number of epic historical past makes for a terrific journey. 

It helped that it was scorching and sunny for a lot of the go to, so heat that individuals went swimming.

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

The Isle of Skye

If I needed to hanker a guess, I’d say that Skye is essentially the most iconic of all the Scottish Isles, at the very least for my fellow millennials. What’s up, Instagrammers!

Skye is thought for its rugged landscapes and wonderful views and for being plastered throughout Instagram in recent times. It was overcast and nonetheless once we landed at Skye. It was one of many solely days it rained whereas we have been at sea, and even then, it was only a sprinkle. Big gloomy clouds made the spikey inexperienced mountain pop in shade much more. How is it this inexperienced?

The moody skies by some means made the day much more lovely. I like experiencing locations within the rain.

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Isle of Lewis and Harris and Stornoway

Another of the long-lasting Scottish Isles that hadn’t been on my radar was Lewis and Harris. It was my favourite day of the entire journey. What a shock. The Isle of Lewis and Harris is a part of the Outer Hebrides, and whereas it seems like two distinct islands, it’s truly only one island known as Lewis and Harris. The northern two-thirds is Lewis, and the southern third is Harris. And sure, it’s residence to the long-lasting Harris Tweed.

On days like this, we frequently have cut up days on board. Half the ship will get free time in port; right here it was, Stornoway, the biggest city. And then the opposite half go on totally different excursions. Then we swap midway via the day. The ship is small, with lower than 200 passengers on board, so it by no means feels crowded, even in these small cities.

Something additionally I liked about Adventure Canada was that they actually inspired everybody to spend their {dollars} regionally all over the place we visited. As somebody who owns a small retail enterprise in a port city the place cruise ships at all times name in (my store, NODE in Lyttelton), I can say how a lot it means when vacationers cease in and store. 

Stornoway was ridiculously charming, the proper dimension city to discover with a lot of cute outlets and eateries. Then, in a while, we went out and visited a few of the unimaginable websites across the island – Dun Carloway Broch, the Calanais Standing Stones, and the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village.

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

The Shetland Islands and Foula

Did somebody say Shetland ponies?!

Visiting Shetland was excessive on my listing of dream locations to go to in Scotland, and I used to be so stoked once we lastly arrived. Since we have been on an expedition ship, the primary place we known as in was Foula. Not a simple place to get to, Foula is essentially the most remotely inhabited island within the UK: inhabitants 30. Pony inhabitants: heaps.

Twenty miles from the mainland, Foula is residence to many seabirds and large seacliffs. It’s a ravishing and wild place, with huge open landscapes sprawling throughout the peat moors. It was one in every of my favourite stops on the journey, particularly attending to spend time with the pleasant ponies.

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Fair Isle in Shetland

Another unimaginable and distant island is Fair Isle. This Scottish Isle sits midway between Shetland and Orkney. The National Trust of Scotland has owned Fair Isle since 1954.

Only about 60 folks name Fair Isle residence. The primary drawcard is that it’s a vital breeding website for our most beloved seabirds. Bird nerds unite!

We spent hours in zodiacs cruising alongside the seacliffs of Fair Isle, marveling on the sheer variety of birds whereas equally praying to not get shat on. It was price it! Puffins!

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

The Orkney Islands and Kirkwall

Some of the most effective prehistoric websites in Europe will be discovered on Orkney. It was additionally one other one in every of my favourite spots to go to. I used to be fortunate to go to twice: on the Scotland Slowly journey and once more on the North Atlantic Saga

Orkney felt particular. You can inform persons are proud to be from right here, and there’s usually discuss Orkney’s independence, with it being so totally different from the remainder of Scotland and the UK. As an American, I’ll at all times help the underdog. 

We had heaps of time in Kirkwall, the principle city, and explored iconic websites like Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar. The Orkney Islands sit excessive in my recollections of beloved experiences in Scotland. I can’t wait to return once more at some point!

Have you been to any of those Scottish Isles? Are they locations you’re eager to go to by ship? Share!

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Scottish Isles

Many due to Adventure Canada for internet hosting me in Scotland – like at all times, I’m holding it actual – all opinions are my very own like you might count on much less from me!



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here