Trips on Lady Anne
Join us aboard Lady Anne to see a side of Uist only accessible by sea. Let us guide you around rugged cliffs, unpopulated shores, hidden bays, and once populated inlets, now home only to the wildest of Uist’s residents on one of our two wildlife cruises. Whether your goal is to capture some breathtaking photography, check rare sea birds off your bucket list, or simply to see a side of Uist only imaginable from land, Lady Anne Wildlife Cruises will take you on a journey around some of the most magnificent and beautiful parts of our islands in safety and comfort.
Lying just off the east coast of Grimsay the uninhabited isle of Ronay offers a fascinating glimpse into the geological and social history of the Outer Hebrides, with its abandoned settlements and Lewisian gneiss landscape.
In the early part of the 19th century as many as 160 people lived on Ronay, but many were moved off the land to make way for sheep, and within a generation only one shepherd’s house remained. Finally abandoned in the 1960s, the island is now uninhabited, leaving the varied wildlife of Uist’s coasts to make their home among the archaeological sites that provide a fascinating insight into the way of life that was once common throughout the islands.
A trip on Lady Anne is the perfect way to see these sites from the water, learning some of Ronay’s history from our tour guides against a backdrop of stunning scenery and spectacular geology, and with the interruptions of the occasional otter, stag, seal or eagle!
The Ford, Rossinish and Minish
The North Ford has always been the highway for fishermen heading out towards the Monach Isles in search of lobster, and on Lady Anne we can explore the western approaches, much loved by the common seal.
Skirting Benbecula, we pass the historic area of Rossinish, from where Bonnie Prince Charlie set out on his epic voyage to Skye with Flora Macdonald in 1746, before heading farther south and entering the beautiful and atmospheric inlets on Benbecula’s remote and uninhabited east coast which are a haven for eagles and otters.
Our Two Hour Trips
All of our trips depart from Kallin Harbour in Grimsay, North Uist. The route we take on any given day depends upon several factors, informed by the recent sightings we’ve made and the weather on the day.
Our first sightseeing and wildlife-watching route circles the island of Ronay and explores some of the many hidden bays at the foot of Eaval, North Uist’s highest hill. This takes us past a pair of resident sea eagles who have lived in the area for almost ten years and who, used to our presence in their waters, allow us to watch them most days, often within meters of the boat.
On other days we will head south, exploring the isolated bays on the east side of Benbecula, a maze of once populated islets and waterways where otters and eagles are undisturbed by man.
These two different routes allow us to take Lady Anne out in a variety of weather conditions, almost always finding a way to enjoy the scenery and wildlife, whatever the wind direction.
What do we see ?
A vast variety of species thrive in Uist’s coastal environments, and our trips are led by guides who know these waters almost as well as the wildlife that makes these shores its home.
From common seals basking on the rocks, to rare black throated divers resting and refuelling after their long migration, our trips will give you a chance to see some of these wonderful animals in their natural habitats.
For bird of prey enthusiasts, white tailed and golden eagles nest along the cliffs of Ronay and peregrine falcons and hen harriers can be spotted flying over the hillsides where herds of wild red deer graze among the heather and bracken.
Elusive Eurasian sea otters can be spotted hunting for crabs along the shorelines and playing in the strong currents between islands, which also provide fertile hunting grounds for hungry gannets and opportunities to witness their characteristic speedy dives into the water.
The waters around these islands also provide an excellent summer habitat for cetaceans, with the Hebrides’ many species dolphins, porpoises and whales spotted with varying degrees of frequency on our trips out to a side of Uist rarely seen.
On the most special of occasions basking sharks, humpback whales and even orca have been seen from the decks of Lady Anne.
Lady Anne is the perfect vessel for a wildlife cruise around Uist’s rugged east coast. Our spacious open deck provides excellent views of the sea and sky with seating on the central engine box and high safety rails all the way around, making Lady Anne suitable for passengers of all ages. A covered cabin provides shelter from inclement weather, and conversation with the captain, as well as seating and an array of books and binoculars to assist with your wildlife spotting. Our trips are slow and steady, providing time for to really take in the spectacular sights on our tours, and to capture photographs in an unhurried and unpressured environment.
In 2023 Lady Anne Boat Trips became Lady Anne Wildlife Cruises.
Steve Duffield www.western-isles-wildlife.co.uk
Rosie Adey www.ottersedge-holidays.co.uk
Eilidh Carr www.coralbox.ecwid.com
Robyn PF www.photozone72.org.uk