Handa and the Summer Isles

4 Days

From £455pp

  • The spectacular Falls of Measach at Corrieshalloch Gorge
  • Birdwatching and wildflower spotting on Handa
  • Delightful cruise to the Summer Isles
  • The isolated splendour of Inverewe

Just off the west coast of Scotland, at the mouth of Loch Broom, you’ll find a small sprinkling of islands with a big personality. Here, on Handa and the Summer Isles, wildlife enamours and landscapes astound. 

You may not have heard of Handa and the Summer Isles, but get acquainted, and they won’t be leaving your mind in a hurry... We begin our tour in breathtaking style, with a journey through the captivating scenery of Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the dramatic culmination of the river which carved it at the Falls of Measach. 

The laid-back pace of life here is something we’re wholeheartedly in favour of. We dedicate a whole day to exploring Handa Island, a haven for wildflowers and wildlife, particularly the hundreds of thousands of seabirds which come here to breed on its sandstone cliffs every summer. The next morning brings us a leisurely breakfast and a cruise from Ullapool Pier aboard the MV Summer Queen, a fittingly regal vessel from which to discover the beauty of the Summer Isles. 

In contrast to their rugged majesty, Inverewe Gardens are a magnificently lush sub-tropical eden — we visit on our final day, admiring plush rhododendrons and constellations of olearia before our scenic journey home via Loch Maree. 

 

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Day 1

We depart from our designated pick-up points, passing through some magnificent scenery as we approach Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach. The breathtaking mile-long gorge where the River Droma plunges over the falls is quite spectacular. There are two footpaths, one which takes a gradual climb down to the suspension bridge and over to the viewing platform. The other is a circular walk along the top of the reserve offering stunning views along Strath Broom towards Ullapool, descending to join Lady Fowler’s Fern Walk towards the suspension bridge.

We continue to the Royal Hotel, Ullapool where dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 2

This morning, we depart for Tarbet to catch a ferry to Handa Island which we will be free to explore at leisure. As we walk round the island, look out for seabirds such as guillemots, razorbills, great and arctic skuas to name but a few.  In addition to the birdlife, there are also the archaeological remains of an old village which was inhabited until 1847 and a profusion of interesting wild flowers. After spending around three hours on the island, we will catch the ferry back to Tarbet to join our coach and return to our hotel.

Dinner is served at the hotel in the evening. 

Day 3

After breakfast, we head out on a Summer Isles Cruise. As we head out of Ullapool sailing down the centre of Loch Broom, keep a look out for Mussel Bay where you can often see a colony of Atlantic Seals basking on the rocks. Sailing to the Summer Isles themselves, we will visit Cathedral Cave where we can see the shags and cormorants nesting inside. Passing through the islands, we will arrive at Tanera Mhor, the only inhabited island within the group. We then weave our way back to Ullapool, where the afternoon is leisure.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner. 

Day 4

This morning, we check out of the hotel. Before heading for home, we have time for one more visit - Inverewe gardens, unquestionably one of the most outstanding gardens in the country.  The northern road into Inverewe is spectacular — famous gardens do not always live up to their reputations but it would be hard to imagine anyone failing to be excited by Inverewe, providing colour and interest throughout the year. Following our visit, we continue our journey south passing beautiful Loch Maree and Achnasheen, another spectacularly scenic journey.

Thereafter, we return to our original pick up points arriving home in the late afternoon or early evening.

What's Included

  • 3 nights at the Royal Hotel, Ullapool – dinner, bed & breakfast
  • Visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge and the Falls of Measach, Handa Island, The Summer Isles, and Inverewe Gardens
  • Services of a professional tour manager

Supplements per person

  • Single room supplement: £75.00
  • Insurance: £21.00 (under 65); £42.00 (65-74); £63.00 (75-90)    

Rail/air travel and overnight accommodation in Glasgow, Edinburgh or Perth before or after the tour available on request

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Departures

Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

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Departure points and times

Depart Return
Glasgow
(Millennium Hotel, George Square)
0700 2130
Edinburgh
(Marriott Hotel, Glasgow Road)
0815 2015
Dunfermline
(outside Fife College)
0845 1945
Kinross
(Moto Services, M90)
0900 1915
Perth
(Bus stop on Canal Street, Tay Street end)
0915 1900
Inverness
(Jury's Inn Hotel)
1300 1600
Subject to minimum numbers, the following pick-up will be served by feeder coach and passengers will join the main coach in Perth:
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Dundee
(Outside Discovery Point)
0845 1930