It has become apparent in recent years that a small minority of our visitors are unprepared for, or find a little daunting, the terrain which they encounter when visiting the islands. There follows some advice for the doubtful/less physically confident, venturing, perhaps for the first time into wilderness territory.
The Staffa landing and path to Fingal’s Cave are relatively straightforward, there is a safety rail beside the cave pathway and a non-slip surface on the columns. Very occasionally, a visitor with a tendency to vertigo (there are no great heights involved) will decline the walk round to the cave and opt to stay on board, (they are very welcome) – usually for a wee cruise around part of the island , depending on weather conditions on the day. From May to the beginning of August, there will be puffins to see on the water at the North end of Staffa.
While slightly boggy in parts, all of the rest of Staffa can be visited by ascending the stairway above the landing place. Common sense dictates that you should stay well back from cliff edges and following the well trodden paths about the island makes progress a lot easier. The terrain is mostly similar to that which you might encounter on an easy hillwalk.
Landing on Lunga varies depending on the state of the tide. Stepping off the pontoon onto wet boulders ( the worst scenario with a low tide) can sound a bit daunting but is negotiated safely by many thousands each year.
The level of ability required to land and traverse the shore up to the paths can be ascertained by observing others who go before. In the event that any feel it might be unsuitable, they are always welcome to stay on board and can, subject to conditions on the day, be taken on a short cruise to view the birds/seals/etc. from the boat.
While on days of fine dry weather, strong trainers are perfectly adequate, sensible boots as worn for any outdoors walking adventures , are best, especially for those unused to uneven ground. Keep court shoes and high heels for pavements!
We recommend warm waterproof clothing You can always remove items if it turns tropical.
We are happy to have children and dogs. All must be kept under strict control particularly when ashore. Crew will indicate the area where dogs are (currently) permitted. Cliff edges are dangerous. All the birds and their habitat are protected by law so tramping on or close to the burrows – which can result in their collapse – is a definite no-no.
At Turus Mara, we have always promoted freedom to go as you please. Enjoy!