Workshops: Inverpolly, Harris, And N. Uist Masterclass
Duration of Course: 9 days ------ £2695
(Single occupancy of twin/ double rooms - Half Board).
* Maximum group size FOUR
* Dawn - Dusk field tuition
* Evening critique
* All transport at location included.
* Pick up/drop off to/from Inverness accommodation.
The Northern Highlands of Scotland around Inverpolly and Assynt is quite simply the most spectacular and breathtakingly beautiful area of mainland Britain. In my opinion it supersedes the honey pots of Skye and Glencoe giving you a genuine taste of remote and rugged Scotland. It has stunning diversity in it's terrain and is almost devoid of habitation, I really cannot recommend it highly enough. Ullapool is the last Highland town of any real size and is the gateway to the Outer Hebrides and as such is a natural follow on from the Inverpolly area. Here the adventure truly gets under way as we sail into Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and thence travel across to the adjoining Isle of Harris famed for having some of the most incredibly beautiful beaches of anywhere in the world. The turquoise, azure and sapphire expanses of water shift in hue as the fine white coral sands reflect the sunlight through the shifting tides beneath colossal cloud flecked skies.
It goes without saying that this is a course for photographers that love the coast, but there is a colossal amount of variety too, undoubtedly on the first leg of the course in Inverpolly; and Harris to offers superb mountain backdrops and a skyline dotted with islands. The final leg of the journey involves a short hop across on the ferry from Leverburgh to the isand jewels of North Uist and Berneray both of which face the wild Atlantic ocean often with sunsets to die for, North Uist has endless beaches often backed by sand dunes, but it also offers derelict thatched Blackhouses, forgotten wooden fishing boats, wrecks and inexplicable island monuments in spite of being another hebridean Island the flavour of this place is entirely different from Harris and Lewis and it will charm and beguile you with it's remote emptiness, a place where nature has a stronger foothold than mankind.
Whereas Harris and the Uists are relatively mellow and painterly the Lewis coastline goes for an altogether more rugged approach, though not strictly on the agenda time permitting we may get the chance to visit Mangerstadh, the ultimate in coastal ruggedness, fearsome rock stacks and towering cliffs that wouldn't look out of place in the Harry Potter movies, usually with a sea to match. Even the sandy coves here are markedly different, marbled chocolate and ebony black mineral enriched sand dotted with gorgeously marked Lewisian Gneiss, perhaps the oldest rocks on the planet. There is precious little land between the Outer Hebrides and the east coast of North America so the rugged west coast beaches of the Outer Hebrides often receive the full force of the Atlantic weather with monstrous seas lashing the rocks and cliffs, sending plumes of spray high into the air.
This nine day workshop should be considered an adventure, I will help you get the very best out of the scenery on offer, not only in terms of the vast scenic expanses of sand and sea, but also from the smaller more intimate coastal studies, castles, hills and mountains with fine tuned and carefully honed compositions that make the best of the colour palette and light on offer. If you have never been to the real Scottish Highlands or the Outer Hebrides the scenery will leave you thrilled and undoubtedly eager to return for more of the same, it is an experience not to be missed.
Our journey will start from Inverness where I will pick you up early from your pre-booked accommodation departing for Ullapool. There you will stay single occupancy of twin/doubles for three nights bed, breakfast and included 2 course evening meal at one of my favourite and most charming Highland hotels the Ceilidh Place which has character and charm by the bucket load, it offers the usual decent standard of accommodation but quirkily has no televisions or tea and coffee options in your room, instead the hotel successfully manages to integrate all those staying, so that they gravitate to the charming first floor lounge with guest only kitchen facilities, a fridge, kettle, tea, coffee and a help yourself honesty bar. It's a really homely place with good food and I seriously doubt that you will want to leave it behind.
But leave you must in order to get the the car ferry across to Stornoway on Lewis. From there we will drive to Tarbert in Harris where we will be staying single occupancy of twin/double rooms in the Harris hotel for a further three nights. The Harris hotel is a lovely characterful building with charming staff and your stay there includes excellent two course evening meals. This will be our base for the Harris and Lewis leg of our trip. There are just four places available on this masterclass, it would be easy to open it up to more than that, but to do so would not be in keeping with the dreamy sense of isolation and loneliness that these remarkable Highland and island landscapes demand, for that reason I have opted to keep participating numbers low. On the seventh day of our journey together we will depart Harris on the Leverburgh car ferry bound for Berneray and North Uist to visit the immense dune backed sandy beaches so typical of these islands.
Our new base for the final two nights will be the Langass Lodge on North Uist, a really impressive place by Loch Eaval with views across the entire island, local walks and easy access to the various photographic locations photo location. You will be staying single occupancy of twin or double bedded rooms on the same basis as the other hotels on this trip. As before, the Langass Lodge offers a high standard of accommodation with very pleasant and comfortable rooms and all the usual ensuite facilities and truly excellent local cuisine, a really lovely place to round off our stay. On the final morning of our trip we will take the morning ferry from Lochmaddy to Uig on Skye and close the circle of our Outer Hebridean loop before making our way slowly back to Inverness taking advantage of any photo opportunities en route. It is anticipated that we should arrive back in Inverness by 7.30pm in time to drop folk off at their accomodation or to catch the overnight sleeper train from Inverness to London.
I hope that you are able to join me on this grand Highland and Islands journey I suspect places will go quickly and as ever it will be a first come first served basis in respect of bookings.
Grade: Easy/Moderate Sandy beaches some dune climbing / short walks mostly less than 1 mile average fitness required. Terms and Conditions apply.
A £300.00 deposit is required to reserve a place on this course.