From Down Under to St Kilda… 

By Iain A MacSween 

Testament to just how accessible the remote archipelago of St Kilda has become is that many of its visitors each year are Australian. 

“We’re finding that we are getting more and more bookings from people who have made the connection between this St Kilda and the St Kilda in Melbourne,” says Seumas Morrison, proprietor of Sea Harris.  The Australian suburb which is called St Kilda takes its name from the schooner ‘Lady of 
St Kilda’, which was wrecked off Tahiti in 1844. 

“The Australian passengers are usually on holiday in Scotland and when they hear there is a St Kilda here they want to go and check it out,” said Seumas. 

Sea Harris operates a 16.5 metre Stormforce 1650 vessel, ‘Enchanted Isle’, custom-built for the St.Kilda day trip by Redbay Boats in Northern Ireland.  The large air-conditioned cabin has comfy aircraft style seating for 12 passengers, arranged in pairs down each side of the cabin, plus toilet facilities. 

The dashboard has Cummins engine instrumentation plus a wide range of Garmin electronic navigation instruments, and with safety of passengers being paramount there is also a video camera to keep a watchful eye on any that are out on the aft deck.  Visibility is excellent through the large windows when alongside the gargantuan sea-stacs of St Kilda. This installation gives a top speed of 27 knots, and an economical cruising speed of 22 knots. 

Read more: From Down Under to St Kilda… 

RNLI walker gets great welcome in the Isles

 

By Eilidh Whiteford

 “There are over 4,500 volunteer lifeboat crew in the RNLI and their dedication saves an average of 23 lives a day at sea; simply put, that's the reason for doing this,” said charity walker Alex Ellis-Roswell – 6,500 miles into his 9,500 mile UK and Ireland coastline walk to raise funds and awareness for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

In January 2017, two years and four months after he began, Alex reached the Outer Hebridean leg of his epic challenge and visited the islands’ three RNLI stations – Stornoway RNLI, Leverburgh RNLI, and Barra Island RNLI – as he walked 400 miles from Barra to the Butt of Lewis and back again.

“I think it's difficult to lump the Outer Hebrides into one thing,” he said, speaking after his stint walking the Long Island. “It's too broad a place to be one; the communities and the landscapes throughout are very diverse.

“But the islands have been a definite highlight; I've never walked somewhere so remote and yet felt so safe and surrounded by good people.”

Read more: RNLI walker gets great welcome in the Isles

An island sky for the eagles…

 

By Eilidh Whiteford

Wonderfully secluded, covering some 12,500 acres of wild, rock-strewn hills on the west coast, Morsgail is one of the most stunning estates on the Isle of Lewis.

As for the island’s wild residents, guests at Morsgail are spoilt for choice with many golden eagles nesting on estate lands, deer grazing in front of the windows, and otters bobbing about in the river.

Boasting a prolific salmon river and renowned deer forest, the estate delivers some of the finest fishing and stalking opportunities available; as well as a plethora of other activities, from walking and wildlife-watching to boat-trips and water sports.

Read more: An island sky for the eagles…

Luxury cruising for Hebrides…starting from Castlebay 

By Katie Macleod 

The Midnight Rose is a true luxury yacht, the kind you expect to see on the French Riviera, with glittering celebrity parties taking place on deck as the sun goes down.   

This summer, Hebridean Prestige Cruises are bringing some of that Mediterranean glamour – and the Midnight Rose – to the Outer Hebrides.   

Based out of Castlebay, Hebridean Prestige Cruises will be offering bespoke private charter cruises on the Midnight Rose for those who wish to see the Outer Hebrides in style.   

As a joint venture between Brian Currie, owner of the Craigard Hotel in Barra, and Captain Roddy MacLeod, a Master Mariner with 38 years of sailing experience, Hebridean Prestige Cruises aims to develop the luxury market in the Hebrides. 

Read more: Luxury cruising for Hebrides…starting from Castlebay 

Artists’ welcome for visiting ‘glampers’

 

By Eilidh Whiteford

When artists Derek Scanlan and Elsie Mitchell moved to the Isle of Lewis in 1998, little did they know that 15 years later they would establish one of the first 'glamping' sites in the Outer Hebrides.

Opened in August 2013, the Mangersta Croft Wigwams and Shepherd's Huts, on the couple's croft in the Uig village of Mangersta, offer scenic, self-catering accommodation for visitors.

“A great thing about the Wigwams and Shepherd's Huts is the flexibility – they suit lots of different guests from families with young children to couples on a romantic get-away, or the solo traveller,” said Elsie.

“We've glamped in both the Wigwams and the Shepherd's Huts to make sure that they are a good experience, warm and comfortable to stay in at any time of the year.”

Read more: Artists’ welcome for visiting ‘glampers’