It was with mixed feelings that I left home in early May for a week on the Western Isles. I’m always happy to be visiting these Atlantic outposts where the only thing to be relied upon is the unpredictability of the weather. I’m always happy for the opportunity to put money into the local economy and to further the economic case for nature-based tourism. In all likelihood however, this was my last visit – the last of many over the years – certainly leading a tour group.
The selfish gene in me is grateful that for now at least, Harris and Lewis – the top end of a 70-mile Hebridean chain of islands – remains relatively undiscovered. Sure there are increasing visitor numbers but compared to neighbouring Skye, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. My expectations of these islands have become increasingly realistic. The weather is such that successful image making is erratic at best, and although I like to think of myself as an “adaptable” photographer, there were occasions when even I had to wave the white flag and succumb to a few hours off whilst the weather worked its way to the next favourable window.
Here then are just a handful of images captured during those weather windows. Thank you to the group who kindly provided their company and custom and thank you to The Harris Hotel for looking after us as they always do. It’s not easy keeping decent accommodation going on these islands and they do it brilliantly.