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.
To 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:
- Lewis, Harris, Uist, Barra
- Cape Wrath to Ullapool
- Ullapool to Shieldaig (mountain crossings on foot & by packraft)
- Skye & the Small Isles
- The Islands of Argyll & Ulster
- The Welsh Coast
The book includes detailed maps of all these sections, such as this map of the Orkney journey: