+44 131 476 6500 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleeps - 8
Region - Highlands & Islands
Sporting Mixed sporting · Salmon Fishing · Shooting · Stalking · Trout Fishing · Walked-up grouse
Activities Walking / Hiking
Features Children Friendly · Self-Catered
Hamanavay House is the main house of the Uig and Hamanavay Estate. The House was originally built in 1991 and extended in 2010 to include a large drawing room with seven floor to ceiling windows from which to relax and watch the ever-changing view. The House faces west over Hamanavay sea-loch, a two mile long natural harbour.
The House is reached via a nine mile track road which transports the traveller to a completely peaceful, highly secluded, wild paradise. The journey along the track is a wildlife safari in itself with regular sitings of golden eagles and red deer framed against the dramatic views north towards Uig Sands and the panorama of the North Harris Hills to the south.
ST KILDA The St Kilda archipelago consists of four islands, Hirta, Dun, Soay and Boreray. It is home to many seabirds incuding large colonies of gannets and puffins. It is one of Scotland’s few World Heritage Sites and is only one of a handful of such sites in the world receiving its designation for both cultural and natural reasons. It is steeped in history and covered in rare wildlife, including two early breeds of sheep, the Soay and the Boreray.
Getting to St Kilda is challenging and 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 land wildlife, is the most efficient way to try to achieve this once in a life-time trip.
Guests (by arrangement with Sea Trek, 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.
ISLAND EXPLORATION 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, seals, 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 can either be booked for private hire from Hamanavay or (more cheaply) as part of a group from Miavaig peer.
THE LANDSCAPE The south-west coast of lewis offers some of the most dramatic hill and sea-scape 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.
Walking on the hill is the best way to experience the views and take in the wildlife. Simon Hunt is on hand to accompany you and provide insight and help as required.
THE FAUNA The Outer Hebrides are famous for their Machair, the carpet of wild flowers occuring 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 occuring fauna (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.
To see what plants may be flowering in each month visit the Hebridean Wildflower Website.
The hill itself shows an array of wild flows including wild bog orchids and the carniverous Sundew and Butterwort.
FUR, FIN A scattering of red deer hinds live all over the Estate and large, transient populations of stags are also seen depending on the time of year and weather. The island’s deer are smaller and lighter than their mainland cousins but represent one of the last pure lines of red deer in the British Isles. Sitings are commonplace and a group of hinds and calves are often found directly outside the drawing room window at dawn and dusk.
Seals, basking sharks, minke whales, dolphins and porpoises all inhabit the seas around Hamanavay and are sited regularly on sea-trips. The sea is full of an amazing diversity of fish and crustation.
In some years sea otters are seen in the bay in front of the house.
Extensive wild brown trout fishing is available in season.
AND FEATHER The Estate is reputed to have the highest density of golden eagles anywhere in the British Isles and sightings (given clear weather) are generally a daily occurence. Sea Eagles, the largest birds of prey in the British Isles, were re-introduced in the 1980’s and a number of pairs use the west coast of Lewis as hunting grounds.
There is an abundance of cliff-nesting sea-birds to view in the breeding season. This is best achieved from a boat and it is for this reason that a trip around the islands or to St Kilda is much encouraged.
An ideal location for walking in the hills and wilderness, or for relaxation.
Hamanavay House is set-out over two floors. On the ground floor: a large utility room/drying room bathroom and shower room cook’s bedroom kitchen dining room with an extensive collection of books on the Hebrides drawing room with open fire and 7 floor to ceiling windows
Upstairs over the main section of the house are: two bedrooms, a twin and a double one bathroom
Above the drawing room there is a large master en-suite bedroom with the same dramatic views of the bay
VEHICLES A four wheel drive vehicle is needed to reach Hamanavay. If guests are unable to bring one Simon will be happy to organise one for you. Arrangements for transfers from Stornoway to Hamanavay can also be organised.
FERRIES AND FLIGHTS Ferries (Ullapool to Stornoway or Uig on Skye to Tarbert on Harris) can be booked through Caledonian Macbrayne 0800 066 5000 or on line at www.calmac.co.uk.
British Airways fly to Stornoway via Glasgow or Inverness (www.ba.com) and BMI fly to Stornoway via Edinburgh (www.flybmi.com).
KIT Waterproofs, good binoculars, walking boots, walking sticks, books, camera and waterproof case, hat, warm clothes for the sea.
Hamanavay & Red River Systems The estate has the exclusive fishing rights on the Hamanavay and Red River Systems, both enjoying good runs of sea trout and salmon. With four principal lochs, Craobhaig, Cro Criosdaig, Dibadale and Raonasgail, and two river systems, there is considerable variety available. This includes extensive river fishing (subject to water conditions) consistent loch fishing from boats and estuary fishing at river mouths. The sea trout fishing has been carefully conserved and is of outstanding quality. This is some of the most private and secluded fishing in the British Isles. There is a 9 mile private road which requires the use of a four wheel drive vehicle. The estate applies a strict fly-fishing only policy. The 2007 catch was 175 salmon, 185 sea trout and 644 finnock.
Stalking & Shooting The estate offers stalking and shooting in remarkable scenery. The current stalking target is at least 40 stags and 30 hinds each season. Grouse are shot over pointers or walking up. Excellent snipe and woodcock shooting is available and the estate welcomes parties of guns in November, December and January when good mixed bags may be expected.
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