This article has been written with the support of CalMac.
Island hopping with Hamish Haswell-Smith
- Robin Hodge
- 27 March 2019
Journeys both old and new to Scotland's fabled islands are waiting to be uncovered
Touring Scotland's west coast by visiting a number of different islands is a delightful adventure which dates back to the 18th century when James Boswell persuaded his London friend, Dr Samuel Johnson, to travel north.
They both wrote accounts of their Tour to the Hebrides, and the most lively is Boswell's who explored, drank, partied and danced on Raasay, Skye, Col and Mull. They provide an informative and entertaining window into the old Highland way of life, one that was in the process of radical change due to the suppression of Gaelic culture after the Jacobite rising, and both forced and voluntary emigration.
The best contemporary guide is The Scottish Islands by Hamish Haswell-Smith which is now in its third edition. Written and beautifully illustrated by the author, it lists each individual island with maps, astonishing population stats, brief histories, and guides to the geology and wildlife. Haswell-Smith has sailed his boats around Scotland for many years and his love for the islands inspires all who read the book to set out and explore them for themselves.
The Scottish Islands by Hamish Haswell-Smith is available on Amazon.