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Travel Guide to the British Isles

Picture yourself in a land of islands, rugged beauty, isolated shores, castles, kilts, clans – and whisky. Get ready for a journey not many have taken and few have sailed.

3 mins read

Explore the British Isles

There are treasures everywhere, from the hidden to the ones in plain sight. Here, you find some of the largest wilderness areas in Europe. The isolated environment creates amazing habitats for an enormous number of birds sailing across endless skyscapes, including goldens eagles. In the ocean, mink whales breach and otters tumble along the shore.

The history of the region is equally exciting. There are hundreds of castles scattered around, from small and plain to elaborate and majestic, from ruins to still occupied by its owners.  And old battlefields that once set the scene for the destiny of a great nation.

Top 4 of the British Isles

This is a side of Britain that’s completely new to many. The many islands offer peace and tranquility combined with the warm hospitability in the many small communities. 

Isle of Mull

The island was inhabited around 6000 BC and a great deal of archaeological evidence support this. It was invaded by Vikings and was a part of the Kingdom of Norway until it was reclaimed by Scotland around 1158. Experience this large island of sweeping moors, tiny hamlets and castles. You will also visit Tobermory which is recognized as the island’s capital. You can stroll through this delightful deep-water fishing harbor with brightly painted Georgian houses. 

St. Kilda Archipelago

This is truly a distant, lonely and wild archipelago with breath-taking sea cliffs and endemic wildlife. The population was evacuated in 1930 at their own request after 5,000 years of continuous habitation. Here, you will experience UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the National Trust for Scotland. The outlying islands provide nesting ledges for thousands of seabirds and you will have a good chance of spotting minke whales around the swirling waters of the archipelago. Any visit here is totally weather-dependent.


Whisky buffs, welcome to heaven! Your visit to this area should include one or more distilleries. Islay was once the seat of the Lords of the Isles, the MacDonalds, and is the ‘whisky island’, world-renowned for its peaty single malt whiskies and many distilleries creating unique, peaty drams redolent of the island’s terrain. On the Isle of Mull, in the pretty tiny fishing port of Tobermory, the distillery dates from the eighteenth century.  You will learn about the fascinating history and the various production methods – and of course sample the result.

Treshnish Isles

Here, you’ll find one of the most accessible seabird colonies in Scotland. In May, it will have teeming colonies of nesting seabirds from puffins and razorbills to kittiwakes and gannets. You can also expect to see other wildlife, whether from the ship’s decks, explorer boat cruising or on foot, ranging from otters and seals to sea eagles and golden eagles.

Get ready for an expedition cruise to the British Isles

Expeditions to the British Isles offer beach landings in places few others go. Head for guided walks on remote islands, explore lonely beaches at your own pace, and be immersed in the wild beauty of the surroundings. 

There will also be plenty of opportunities to hike island peaks for views stretching over the seas, kayak in sheltered lochs, or simply stroll in delightful gardens.  

Penguins perched on the ice of Cuverville Island, Antarctica. Credit: Espen Mills / HX Hurtigruten Expeditions

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