exclusive use of Amhuinnsuidhe Castle
Uig & Hamanavay Estate
If you’re looking to experience the Hebrides’ bountiful wildlife in all its forms, the Uig and Hamanavay Estate is your perfect destination. Its secluded position far from the beaten track, yet close to the sea, means that you’ll find Lewis’s unique combination of flora and fauna right on your doorstep.
Hamanavay House is ideally located for boat trips to St Kilda or round the island, allowing you to experience sea life that can’t be seen from land.
Hamanavay House sits is an untouched wilderness, where dramatic hills meet the sea and an abundance of Hebridean wildlife thrives.
The St Kilda archipelago consists of four islands: Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray. They’re home to many seabirds including large colonies of gannets and puffins. St Kilda is one of Scotland’s few World Heritage Sites and is only one of a handful of such sites in the world to receive its designation for both cultural and natural reasons. It’s steeped in history and covered in rare wildlife, including two early breeds of sheep, the Soay and the Boreray.
A trip to St Kilda requires a calm sea-state and a degree of patience. This is why we think that combining a week in the beautiful surroundings of Hamanavay, waiting for a break in the weather while exploring the abundant wildlife, is the most efficient way to try to achieve this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Guests (by arrangement with Sea Trek www.seatrek.co.uk, with whom the estate works closely) may opt for (depending on availability) a private charter, picking up and dropping off at Hamanavay or (more cheaply) leaving as part of a larger group from Miavaig pier.
In circumstances where the sea is not calm enough for a trip to St Kilda or guests are feeling less adventurous, a trip along the coast of Lewis looking at sea eagles and dolphins, and hopping from one secluded white sand beach to another, is an incredible day.
These inner island trips are conducted using the Sea Trek RIBs, which you can either book for private hire from Hamanavay or (more cheaply) as part of a group from Miavaig peer.
Walking on the hill is the best way to experience the magnificent views and take in the wildlife that inhabits the estate and beyond.
The south-west coast of Lewis offers some of the most dramatic hill and seascape views in the Hebrides. While not high by mainland standards, the hills rise sharply and directly from the sea. The ground is unyielding and flecked with exposed granite and interlinking pockets of water. The hill changes colour from vivid lush green in May to purple in August and to oranges and browns by late September. And the ever-changing weather plays tricks with the light regularly casting spotlights on raised peaks at the same time as plunging the foreground into semi-darkness.
Wild flower paradise
The Outer Hebrides are famous for their machair, the carpet of wild flowers occurring naturally where shell sand is blown over a layer of peat creating a fertile alkaline habitat. The machair on the estate is designated an SSSI owing to its national importance.
The dunes of Uig are covered in this naturally occurring flora every year, peaking in July. Lady’s bedstraw, plantains, harebell, clover, silverweed, thyme, selfheal, meadowsweet, lesser meadow-rue, lousewort, devil’s-bit scabious, field gentian and a wide variety of orchids are all found. The machair is also home to migrating birds such as corn crakes and ringed plover.
The hills above also have an array of wild flowers, including wild bog orchids and the carniverous sundew and butterwort.