Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Outer Hebrides Scotland
Scotland Skye Highlands and Hebrides Photo Tour
- The lochs, moors, and mountains of the Highlands.
- Photograph and explore the diverse landscape of the Isle of Skye.
- Photograph the historic standing stones in the Outer Hebrides of Lewis and Harris.
- Maximum of twelve participants.
- Professional photography leader Jeff Hirsch.
$6195 Estimated for 2025
per person, double occupancy*
*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-7 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $795.
Jeff Hirsch is thrilled to be leading this trip to Scotland and take you to the wild landscape of the Highlands, and the Western Isles. He invites you to join him on this amazing journey. The number of participants is limited to twelve, so sign up early before the trip is full. This itinerary features the Isle of Skye, and Lewis & Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Each...
Jeff Hirsch is thrilled to be leading this trip to Scotland and take you to the wild landscape of the Highlands, and the Western Isles. He invites you to join him on this amazing journey. The number of participants is limited to twelve, so sign up early before the trip is full. This itinerary features the Isle of Skye, and Lewis & Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Each day will be at a relaxed pace, allowing enough time to photograph the diverse landscape as well as taking in the local history, people, and culture.
At the meeting point of three sea lochs on the west coast of the Scottish mainland is the very photogenic Eilean Donan Castle where we will stop to photograph. On Skye you will photograph the spectacular Quiraing range, basalt uprising that is the dominant feature of the Trotternish Peninsula. A trip across the peninsula will take us to the tiny village of Uig, where you will overnight and begin early the next day, taking a ferry to the Outer Hebrides.
We will be based at Breascleate on the west coast of Lewis, midway between Callanish and Carloway. Callanish has become an icon of the archaeology of Scotland, inspiring many artists, poets, and photographers. The pale and sometimes ghostly stones have an extraordinary affinity with their landscape. Both to the north and south we will encounter many beautiful and exciting photo opportunities.
Harris and Lewis are not separate islands, despite usually being talked of as if they are. Harris is the southern third of the largest and most northerly of the Western Isles, most of which forms Lewis. Some say the distinction between the two dates back to a split in the MacLeod clan which dominated the Western Isles for centuries. Others simply point to the range of high mountains that impeded land access between Lewis and Harris, turning them into virtually separate islands. There are numerous sandy beaches and little coves, extensive moorland interspersed with lochs, and many historical sites throughout this sparsely populated area.
Accommodations are at quaint inns or lodges, all rooms having private bathrooms. Breakfasts will be taken at the lodges, while lunches will usually be picnics in the field or pub lunches, with dinners at local restaurants, those meals included are listed in itinerary. The food is both delicious and wholesome. Transportation will be in a comfortable bus.The trip is suited for people of all photographic levels, and there will be plenty of time to work individually with participants to address specific photographic concerns. This is primarily a photo tour, concentrating on shooting rather than critique. Participants should be in good physical condition if they wish to partake in hikes over rough terrain.
May 12: Home
Depart from the U.S. today on an overnight flight* to Glasgow International Airport. Your arrival time on May 13 will need to be by 10am or prior, if any questions or concerns, please contact our office. Recommendations for airport hotels will be given if you would like to or need to arrive early.
*PLEASE NOTE: International tickets will be issued multi-city, flights will be your home/GLA-Glasgow Scotland, and return flights being from Stornoway, Lewis SYY/Home.
May 13-15: Glasgow-Glencoe
Your guide and driver will meet you at the Glasgow Airport and depart for Glencoe. Our accommodations are set in the heart of Glencoe, surrounded by mountains. In the Highlands, the past is all around. Ancient cairns and stone settings, the later brochs (defensive round towers), then the Picts with their mysterious carved symbol stones have all left their faint traces on the landscape. Although the old clan ways have vanished, the Highlands are still a special place and a place apart, enjoyed not only for their unspoiled environment, but also for their particular sense of the intertwining of past and present.
You will have another day to immerse yourselves in the highlands of Scotland, with Glencoe being an excellent base from which to explore the region. Signal Rockis a pleasant short walk from the inn, where in the past, bonfires were lit to warn of imminent danger. From Rannoch Moor there are distant views to the surrounding mountain ranges, Blackmount to the west, and the almost perfectly shaped mountain, Buachaille Etive Mor, the subject of numerous well-known photographs. There are fine views from beside the road at various points, and even better views can be gained with some relatively short walks. The Devils Staircaseis a short uphill stretch of The West Highland Way and offering even better views from higher viewpoints. An eleven-mile-long sea loch, Loch Leven, takes us from Ballahullish in the west to Kinlochleven in the east. The loch is fringed to both north and south by steep sided mountains, giving some dramatic scenes. On the shore there is a small harbor originally used by the slate industry; a fine walk along the shoreline provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Overnight Glencoe (D; B; B).
May 16-18: Isle of Skye
Your guides will take into consideration the interests of the group, and weather conditions to determine the most opportune photo stops along the drive to Skye.
The Trotternish Peninsula, which consists predominantly of a long basalt outcrop, giving rise to the dramatic cliff and mountain scenery roundabout. Driving around the “North End” of Trotternish, we will make a number of varied photo stops along the way. Photographing the strange and dramatic rock formations of the Quiraing is a highlight along with one of Skye’s best-known sights, The Old Man of Storr. It is a pinnacle of rock, 160 feet high, visible from much of the east coast of Skye. Overnight Isle of Skye (B; B, D; B)
May 19-22: Outer Hebrides - Lewis and Harris
Leave Skye today, taking the Outer Hebrides ferry to the small port of Tarbert on Harris, then driving fifty miles to our accommodations. The Outer Hebrides are at the northwest edge of Europe, comprised of a one hundred fifty-mile-long chain of islands. Harris divides neatly into three areas and has a different character to the much larger Lewis.
Great Bernera is an island that has been linked to the mainland by bridge since 1953. There are notable archaeological remains on the island consisting of standing stones, and the Iron Age roundhouse Dun Baravat in Loch Bravat. At the southeast corner of Harris is the little township of Rodel. There is a lovely little harbor still used by a few fishing boats, and best known is the St. Clements Church, which is looked after by the Scottish Heritage and is the most impressive example of church architecture in the Hebrides.
One day heading north from our base, we may visit The Butt of Lewis, which is the northernmost point of the island. The sea is always dramatic here, as the waters of The Atlantic meet The Minch. In contrast, the Port of Ness, nearby, is a small scenic fishing port. The Arnol Black House is a Scottish Heritage site where both ‘black houses’ and a ‘white house’ have been preserved as a small museum. White houses were in use well into the second half of the twentieth century, while previously black houses were the traditional home for hundreds of years. Everybody lived in one space with a peat fire in the middle of the floor, while livestock were kept at one end of the house.
Carloway is a large village by Lewis standards, best known for the remains Carloway Broch, a once fortified impressive round stone structure. Heading south from our base at Breascleate, the world-famous standing stones of Callanish are just a few miles away. In fact, there are three standing stone remains at Callanish. The main one is a particularly impressive, well-preserved ancient site, set in spectacular surroundings. We will certainly photograph here in the twilight, as well as by day. Stornoway, on the east coast, is the island’s capital and lifeline to busy harbor life. Overnights Outer Hebrides (B, D; B; B; B)
May 23: Stornoway-Glasgow-Home
Depart on a morning flight from Stornoway (SYY) to Glasgow and connect with flights home. Strabo cannot be responsible for flight delays, therefore depending on timing of your return flight home, and optional overnight at airport hotel may be necessary.