anthony galvin

TAGGED: HEBRIDES

Once more. With feelings.

Back to the “inner isles” (Na h-Eileanan a-staigh) for our summer trip. Some new islands this year. But the same objectives: Immersing ourselves in landscape and history. Exploring beaches. Scanning the horizon for the wildlife (this time including Basking Sharks).

Each time we go back to these islands the connection gets stronger. Our collective Islomania intensifies.

3 weeks, 1500 miles driving, 5 Scottish Islands (Coll, Tiree, Mull, Ulva, Bute) and 11 ferries. Happiness.


#holiday #scotland #islands #hebrides #family

2017-09-11 20:22:59 GMT permalink

Late summer and we headed northwards again. To Ulva, a place we’d visited but never spent more than a few hours at a time.

People first started living on the island more than 7000 years ago. At the height of the kelp boom in the 19th Century 600 people called Ulva home. It’s a much quieter place now with just a few residents. The passenger ferry runs 6 days a week at the height of summer and stops at 5pm. There are no paved roads. No street lights. Little phone signal.

The week at Fisherman’s Cottage will live long in the memory. Great food from The Boathouse. The amazing landscape and weather. Walking through abandoned villages. Stumbling across a family of red deer. Watching curlews and buzzards.

It’s easy to think about places like Ulva as period pieces or as a tourist destination. Our stay made me realise that it’s much more complex. Ulva is a private island and a real place.

We’ve been coming to the Inner Hebrides for about 5 years. The relationship between the ecology, animals and people who live on and around the islands is complex. Each time we visit, I understand a little more.

#scotland #islands #ulva #holiday #family #hebrides #photo

2016-09-05 21:03:05 GMT permalink

There’s always another island.

Looking west from Haunn, Mull I can see the island of Coll across the water. The weather always looks slightly better over on Coll, the sunset brighter, the beaches a golden streak across the dark island.

And beyond Coll, the Uists, connected, almost to the conjoined isles of Harris and Lewis. There is always another island. 

Which creates a slightly uneasy feeling, an unrest. A glance at the ferry times, thinking about the logistics. In the same way some people feel compelled to cycle up alpine passes, bag Munros or tick off indian provinces, the very existence of un-visited Hebridean islands creates some kind of implied experience vacuum. 

Until perhaps you reach St. Kilda, the edge of the world, just Greenland to keep it a distant company. 

But this is really a flat earth approach to island hopping, where the horizon represents the edge of the known world. A spherical planet surely means that there is always another island, near, far or unreachable. 

#scotland #holiday #mull #coll #islands #hebrides

2014-05-12 09:10:43 GMT permalink

Lifes a beach. 1800 miles of driving, lots of walking, some cycling and one haggis. More pictures from Harris and Lewis on Flickr.

#photo #scotland #surf #hebrides

2009-06-01 22:06:00 GMT permalink