|Depart Day 1||Newtonmore 8am|
|Arrive Day 5||Shieldaig 3pm|
|Day 1||Kyle of Lochalsh to Plockton|
Our Journey begins at The Kyle of Lochalsh with views across to Skye where our journey takes us in a few days time. The first day is relatively short in distance as we will spend some time covering efficient paddling and safety procedures as well as taking our time to explore and savour the splendid coastline going north to the historic village of Plockton. As we leave Lochalsh we will visit Eilan Ban where the author Gavin Maxwell, famous for the book and film – Ring of Bright Water, lived.
|Day 2||Plockton to Scalpay|
Today we make our first foray out into the open waters of the Inner Sound. As we paddle across to the southern end of the Applecross peninsula, making our way to the Crowlin Islands, the Cuillin mountains of Skye are in full view. Eilean Mor has evidence of human settlements in Mesolithic times – 8,000 years ago. More recently the island was inhabited by people from Applecross who were evicted from their homes to make way for sheep.
Tonight we will make camp in the Isle of Scalpay once inhabited by St Columba and later by the Vikings. Evidence of their time here is still in evidence.
|Day 3||Scalpay to Portree|
Today’s destination is Portree – the main town on Skye. We paddle across the south shore of Raasay, stopping at Churchton bay for lunch and a short walk around the village. The island of Raasay is the birth place of the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean. Onwards we travel over the sea to Skye; as we skirt past the cliffs of Ben Tianavaig, we may well get a sighting of White-tailed sea eagles and further round the cost, we will visit the steep and mainly inaccessible Caves at Udairn. The atmosphere changes slightly now as we enter the busy little harbour town of Portree where Flora Macdonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie met for the last time.
|Day 4||Portree to Applecross|
We leave Portree harbour behind and make our way North beneath the steep sea cliffs of the Trotternish peninsula. Before heading out into open seas to the North of Raasay, we hope to make a quick visit to another of Prince Charlie’s hideout caves. Without haste we make our way across the sound to Raasay, a 6km crossing on open water. On reaching Raasay we will explore the now deserted island of Fladday (Fladda) while we wait for high tide to allow us to pass through the Caol Fladda (Strait or narrows) and on to Isle Rona from where we make our second open crossing to the remote village of Applecross on the mainland where we will be treated to some fine local seafood and real ales at the inn.
|Day 5||Applecross to Shieldaig|
Leaving the village behind us we travel North along the West side of the Applecross peninsula passing golden beaches, caves and natural rock arches. Today we may also catch sightings of Minke whales, dolphins and otters. As we reach Rubha Na Fearn and enter Loch Torridon savour your final look back to the Crowlin islands, Raasay and Skye. The landscape suddenly changes and we are faced with the steep dramatic mountains of Torridon. Along this coast there are many remnants of the great forest of Caledonia. As we enter Loch Shieldaig the views are simply stunning and as we pass round Shieldaig island, the village and our journeys end come into view. Time to give ourselves a pat on the back for completing a truly adventurous journey and heading back to Inverness.
Depart Craigower Lodge Sat 9am
Pick up at Inverness train station 10am
Drop off in Inverness around 5pm on Wed
Return to Craigower 6pm
We do not recommend booking flights or other public transport for the final evening of the journey. Allow at least 24 hours after the proposed journey finish time when making any arrangements.