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The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides


Postby BoJack_35 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:54 am

Dear all,

Some of you may remember that I introduced myself a couple of months ago. Back then I was in the early stages of planning an expedition through the Hebridean islands. Well, now it is a reality, and I want to share the basics of what I'm doing.

On March 31st 2019 I arrive on the Isle of Barra. A year later I return to the mainland. Initially I will be walking The Hebridean Way, using the Cicerone guide and Peter Clarke's "The Timeless Way" as inspiration. But given I have so much time, I will be taking many of my own routes to discover the islands at my own leisure.

Why? In the early sixties my dad, John Abbott, founded the Schools Hebridean Society, a group of young teachers who led expeditions of twenty or so secondary school children, to various islands, such as Rum, Lewis, Gometra, Jura, etc... The Schools Hebridean Society continued until 1989, and in that time influenced the lives of countless young men and women. I was only six at the time of the final expedition and dad had since gone onto other things, but the legacy he left was profound, and we, as a family, continued our own trips to the islands right up until present day. The baton had been passed.

Just over a year ago dad, eighty this year, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This has had a huge impact on the him and his nearest and dearest. Slowly an idea came to mind that would honour his adventurous spirit and legacy, and eventually I decided to plan my own expedition to the Hebrides. As a writer I wanted to use this project as a way to inspire a book dealing with the themes of memory, landscape, and my relationship with my father - a sort of travel memoir, I suppose. So whilst I explore the islands I will be writing a book. But not only that, I will be fundraising for Alzheimer's Research UK.

A lot of people have expressed interest in the story. The Scotsman published an article of mine last month, a Hebridean radio station wants to interview me throughout the trip and join me for a section of a walk, various journalists and a filmmaker or two have recently contacted me with a view to discussing how they might become involved in it. In short, its starting to blow up, and I'm confident that we will be able to raise a lot of money for a very good cause, one which means a lot to me.

I am still raising money for the expedition itself, so please feel free to contact me if you'd like to support. There are pages to support the expedition, which is over 25% funded now (which means I now have an official departure date, and the expedition will be at least starting) and a page where one can donate to Alzheimer's Research UK.

I will be doing a lot of the walks detailed in various Cicerone guides, as well as a lot of the walks I've found on this website, so I hope to share my experiences of those. In the meantime, get in touch. I'm always keen to make trail friends.

Kindest regards
Tom
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Dad in the early sixties, and me, his son, last year.
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby mynthdd2 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:06 am

I’ve done this in my landrover!!!!!!!!

You are going to have an amazing time and maybe I can share some ideas etc?
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby BoJack_35 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:48 am

Hey, it's really kind of you to respond!! Of course you can share your ideas!
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby Sunset tripper » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:10 pm

If the weathers good when you arrive on the south end of Harris book a trip to St.Kilda - Its one of the most spectacular places I've ever visited. :D

Boreray, St. Kilda 26th May 2014
P1080082.JPG
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:18 pm

Remember the midgie-repellent and Drizzle Juice! Good luck!
p.s. an interesting book on the Shiant Isles is 'Sea Room' by Adam Nicholson, well worth a read.

Clach MacLeod Horgabost.jpg
Clach MacLeod, Harris.
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby John Doh » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:34 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:If the weathers good when you arrive on the south end of Harris book a trip to St.Kilda - Its one of the most spectacular places I've ever visited. :D



He'll have to step up that fund raising game for that, trips don't come cheap. Agree it's a lovely place though.

Caberfeidh wrote:Remember the midgie-repellent and Drizzle Juice! Good luck!
p.s. an interesting book on the Shiant Isles is 'Sea Room' by Adam Nicholson, well worth a read.



He'll have to step up that fund raising game for that, trips don't come cheap. Agree it's a lovely place though.
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:35 pm

John Doh wrote:He'll have to step up that fund raising game for that, trips don't come cheap. Agree it's a lovely place though.


You can just gaze from a distance, unattainable mysterious islands are often better than the hard rocks and windswept lonesome reality.
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby John Doh » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:06 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:
You can just gaze from a distance, unattainable mysterious islands are often better than the hard rocks and windswept lonesome reality.


I‘ve never been disappointed by the ones I visited so far but then I am a hopeless island stan :lol:
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:27 am

John Doh wrote:
Sunset tripper wrote:If the weathers good when you arrive on the south end of Harris book a trip to St.Kilda - Its one of the most spectacular places I've ever visited. :D



He'll have to step up that fund raising game for that, trips don't come cheap. Agree it's a lovely place though.

I know you have been there John but for anyone who hasn't here is some info.
It was 2013 when I visited and it cost £190 for the day trip with Kilda Cruises who were brilliant. It was around a 12 hour day trip if I recall correctly. The price now is £225. Sea Harris who I have heard are very good also, do it for £205. Both companies are run by local guys with fantastic knowledge of the sea.

For many it will be a once in a lifetime trip and I would recommend anyone to put it on their list - near the top :D

For the ultimate hill list you need to try the Marlyns of St. Kilda - only 6 hills (if you can call them that) but apart from the local St. Kilda people, climbed by very few.

Here are the "hills" - The St. Kilda 6 :D

In order of difficulty easiest first, bearing in mind it is only my opinion and I have only managed the easiest one. :roll:

On the slopes of Conachair on Hirta - 430m
P1080072.JPG


Dun - 178m
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Soay - 378m
P1080101 (640x480).jpg


Right to left Boreray - 384m and Stac an Armin - 196m
P1080148 (2).JPG


Last but not least, Stac Lee - 172m :shock: :shock: :shock:
P1080167 (640x478).jpg
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Re: The Hebridean Way And Beyond: A Year In The Hebrides

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:51 am

Caberfeidh wrote:
You can just gaze from a distance, unattainable mysterious islands are often better than the hard rocks and windswept lonesome reality.


Good advice, and to add to that, angry Gannets that have a 6 foot wingspan :shock:

Gannets guarding Stac Lee - May 2014
P1080143 (640x480).jpg
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