Explore the dramatic west coast of Scotland, home to a fantastic array of wildlife.
- Search for white-tailed eagles and otters along the spectacular Argyll coast.
- Journey through Scotland's Celtic rainforest carpeted in bluebells.
- Watch beavers on an evening safari.
- Explore the stunning Isle of Mull on a full-day excursion.
- Enjoy a private charter and look for island wildlife.
- Learn about the unique rewilding projects in this area of Scotland.
- Receive a complimentary digital copy of our landmark book: SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey.
The west coast of Scotland is a wild and rugged landscape, shaped by weather and ocean. At this time of year, the last remnants of the Celtic rainforest, which once stretched across most of Scotland's western seaboard, are carpeted with vibrant bluebells and lush ferns. Walking amongst these ancient forests, dripping in lichens and mosses, is a humbling insight into what once was and, what could be again.
Over the last few decades, this area has seen the return of white-tailed eagles and more recently, beavers. In the first ever mammal reintroduction project in Britain, this keystone species is now sculpting the forests and wetlands of Argyll for the first time in 400 years.
Rewilding doesn’t stop at the water’s edge and along Argyll's intricate coastline, there are many inspiring projects helping to improve our marine ecosystems. We’ll explore these stories throughout the retreat, whilst searching for the region's special wildlife along the way.
Day 1: After arrival and introductions we enjoy our first meal together before relaxing in our cosy rooms at The Galley of Lorne Inn.
Day 2-6: We’ll spend our days enjoying and exploring a variety of habitats. We visit the magical Celtic rainforest, home to oak, hazel, rowan and willow. We see firsthand how beavers have begun to engineer the landscape and spend an evening vigil hoping to catch a glimpse of these industrious animals. Along the coast we search for otters and and watch a vast array of seabirds that come ashore to breed for the short, frantic months of early summer.
A trip out west wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Isle of Mull, one of the UK's premier wildlife-watching destinations and home to both golden and white-tailed eagles. We explore the marine environment from a privately chartered boat and, weather permitting, we’ll take a walk on a remote private island looking for its special wildlife.
During the retreat, we’ve arranged to meet with several on-the-ground experts involved in a wide range of rewilding initiatives. They will provide a fascinating insight into their work and we’ll hear about the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles and the rewilding of our seas.
This retreat is a wonderful chance to explore the best of the west. We will witness some amazing wildlife, enjoy great food and all against the backdrop of a rewilding narrative special to this part of Scotland.
Day 7: We say our farewells after breakfast on Friday. For those requiring transfers to Oban, we will schedule to arrive there around 10:30am.
|DATES: 16-22 May 2020||GUIDES: Philip Price||STATUS: Fully Booked||JOIN RESERVE LIST|
Single supplement: £0
- 6 nights accommodation in an en-suite room
- All meals
- Transport during the retreat
- Transfers to/from Oban
- Travel to/from the retreat
- Travel/cancellation insurance
- Alcoholic drinks
- Personal expenses
Our first evening meal is normally taken at 7.30pm so you should aim to arrive from 5pm onwards.
By car: Cars can be parked on site. The postcode is PA31 8QN.
By train / bus: Train and bus travel is generally reliable and we can offer free transfers to/from Oban.
By Air: The nearest airport is Glasgow, where you will then have to make your own way to either our accommodation or Oban train station where we can offer a transfer.
Full details of travel options from our accommodation can be found here.
Breakfast and evening meals will be taken within our accommodation offering wholesome food prepared with fresh, local ingredients. In the field, we take a picnic lunch and home-bakes or eat at local cafes. We might also squeeze in coffee and cake stops along the way! We can almost always accommodate specific dietary requirements - just tell us on the booking form and we’ll make sure you get what you want.
Most sites are accessible via a short walk but the terrain can be uneven and sometimes wet and/or slippery. You should generally be able to walk up to 2km, sometimes over uneven ground.
Weather is very changeable in the Highlands and you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to wintry squalls. Temperatures are likely to range from 5c to 15c with the possibility of strong winds.
Midges aren’t usually an issue at this time of year but can be present on calm, mild days. We suggest you bring a suitable repellent.
Philip is a professional wildlife photographer who has focused his career on the rich array of wildlife in Scotland. He has worked for the BBC, National Geographic and many other production companies as a guide, filmmaker and presenter. 10 years ago, he started running wildlife photography workshops in Argyll, and knows this area of Scotland intimately. For the last 5 years Philip has been documenting the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale, with many of his images used to promote this ground-breaking reintroduction.
Join Philip on the following retreats:
16-22 May 2020
Galley of Lorne
The Galley of Lorne is a family run 17th Century Drovers Inn based in Argyll on Scotland's dramatic west coast. Nestled on the lochside in the picturesque village of Ardfern, you’ll enjoy comfortable rooms and great food in a unique setting where you’ll be tucking into locally sourced food with breathtaking views across Loch Craignish.
The inn offers a choice of single, double or twin rooms, all with private facilities, and has free Wi-Fi throughout.
- Loch view dining with panoramic windows
- Cosy bedrooms with en-suite facilities
- Fresh, locally sourced food
- Lounge bar with real ales and malt whiskies
- Beer garden and sundeck
- Great location for exploring Argyll and the Western Isles
- Free WiFi
THE BIG PICTURE
- By booking a retreat you’ll be directly supporting local jobs and services in the Scottish Highlands, demonstrating that wild nature has a tangible economic value.
- All of our food and services are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible.
- Whilst we realise it’s not always possible to travel by public transport, we offer a £25 cashback scheme to anyone travelling by train or bus to help cut down our carbon footprint.
- We supply all our guests with a complimentary reusable water bottle and limit our use of single-use plastic wherever possible.
- A native tree will be planted on behalf of every guest in our woodland grove operated by Trees For Life.