A day on the west coast of Scotland is the highlight for many of our guests during their week here at Aigas. I remember experiencing it for the first time during ranger training, which is a comprehensive 6 week training programme set up for us rangers on our arrival to this beautiful place in the wild Highlands. We are taken through absolutely everything there is to know, from geology and history, right through to the best places for wildlife spotting, and within those 6 weeks you start feeling like the Highlands has become your home.
The west coast day is the longest day that we take guests on, but well worth the breath-taking views across the Minch (the water between the mainland and the Outer Hebrides), as well as the rugged scenery and unique wildlife. Witnessing the change in geology throughout the day is magical – from discovering the oldest rocks in Scotland, the Lewisian gneiss which is 3 billion years old, to glimpses of the youngest rocks in Scotland, on the Isle of Skye, which are (only!) 50 million years old.
On my first experience of the west coast, I was lucky enough to see white-tailed eagles and divers (or loons), which were real highlights as I had never seen these in the UK before.
It is now a privilege to take guests to visit the west coast and it is always just as exciting as the first time I went there back in training, because as with all wildlife and nature, you never know what you are going to discover.
By Aigas Ranger Emilie Shuttlewood
PHOTO CREDIT: All photographs taken by Emilie Shuttlewood.