The Route


The journey covered the Atlantic coasts of the Northern Isles, Western Isles, mainland Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. I deliberately left the precise itinerary unplanned in order to allow diversions to ocean-bound rocks whenever seas weather permitted (and because I’m mildly allergic to planning).

One or two important places were, in the end, missed: most sadly, Fair Isle (although I made sure to visit there straight afterwards). But, thanks to a year of unusually flat seas, the journey did come much closer to completeness than I’d ever imagined it would.

_DSC8791-5.jpgTo help make sense of Britain’s Atlantic heritage, the journey included several stretches of coast – such as Sutherland and North Wales – that aren’t, strictly speaking, Atlantic. They’re undeniably part of the geophysical, climatic and cultural Atlantic edge and so felt indispensible in trying to comprehend these islands.

Here’s the rough itinerary:

  1. Shetland
  2. Orkney
  3. Lewis, Harris, Uist, Barra
  4. Cape Wrath to Ullapool
  5. Ullapool to Shieldaig (mountain crossings on foot & by packraft)
  6. Skye & the Small Isles
  7. The Islands of Argyll & Ulster
  8. Connacht
  9. Munster
  10. The Welsh Coast
  11. Cornwall

The book includes detailed maps of all these sections, such as this map of the Orkney journey:

Orkney jpeg