Antarctica. South America. Norway. There are plenty of places that spring to mind when you hear the word ‘expedition’, but you could be forgiven for thinking that the British Isles isn’t one of them. But take the wildlife haven archipelagos and the historical seaports, the Viking kingdoms and the remote sandscapes, and suddenly the UK looks as primed for adventure as anywhere else in the world. In the week that Hurtigruten announced British Isles expeditions, we explore the Scottish isles and highlights.
Isle of Mull
The Isle of Mull has a sense of myth and mystery to it, inhabited since 6000BC, invaded by the Vikings and once a part of the Kingdom of Norway. Reclaimed by Scotland in 1158, its sweeping moors, tibny hamlets and imposing castles are storybook worthy. Tobermory is the island highlight, made famous by the Ballamory of your childhood and with a harbour as bright and inviting as it looks on TV.
St. Kilda Archipelago
The untamed archipelago is edged with sea cliffs that buzz with the activity of endemic wildlife. Thousands of sea birds cling to nesting ledges with a sweeping sea view as minke whales swim in fierce waters below. The archipelago is so wild that visits are entirely dependent on the weather, making those who do get to experience it even more fortunate.
Isle of Islay
Islay is known as the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’ but to whisky buffs the world over it is ‘Whisky Island’. The distilleries here are nirvana for anyone who loves a wee dram and the island’s peaty terrain has created unique single malt whiskies that go down a little too smoothly. Distilleries are dotted around the island and some truly special restaurants sit in amongst them too. It’s the island that promises all the delicious indulgence we’ve waited more than a year for.
This rugged smattering of skerries is home to some of the most accessible seabird colonies in Scotland, teeming with puffins, razorbills, gannets and kittiwakes. With eyes peeled on deck, you run the chance of seeing basking whales glide below and golden eagles soar above. Otters, seals and sea eagles also call these time old island landmarks.
Embark on your own expedition in the British Isles with Hurtigruten. Find out more here.