Outer Hebrides painting holiday in Scotland

Travel Team

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2022: 17 Apr

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

The quality of the natural environment in the Outer Hebrides is unique. A large percentage of land, areas of inland water and marine sites are designated for nature conservation purposes. The islands are also home to a number of Rare Species such as the golden eagle, basking shark, whale, dolphin, otter and corncrake.

It is an environment we will bring visitors up and close to and the week's activities will provide lots of opportunities to learn about and appreciate it. We will walk, draw and paint inspired by the natural environment.

The tutor for this tour, Ellis O'Connor, is a contemporary landscape artist based in North Uist. The dynamic energy to be seen in her paintings are Ellis’ response to observed changes in the landscape; she sees art as a way of connecting people to nature and the effects of climate change.

Ellis loves helping others cultivating a deeper understanding of the natural environment and describes the process of working outdoors in wild weather as almost ‘performative’.

When visiting the Scottish islands we take our Leave No Trace approach very seriously - this includes minimising waste, avoiding use of single use plastic, recycling as much as possible. We do not provide bottled drinking water, but hand out reusable water bottles for guest who didn't bring their own, for filling up using tap water, which is of very good quality everywhere in Scotland. The group size is small with up to 10 guests.

The Impacts of this Trip

Creative travel offers many opportunities for giving something back to local communities and the creative industries in particular. This tour is led by local artist Ellis O’Connor and we will be using community-owned venues as indoor studio spaces – including Talla Na Mara owned by West Harris Trust, the education room at Lews Castle Museum in Lewis and the former Lochmaddy Primary School in North Uist. We’ll be visiting and using the inspiring art centres Taigh Chearsabhagh in Lochmaddy and An Lanntair in Stornoway.

The money spent on this trip on accommodation, transport, catering and personal purchases, also benefits directly the local community and support the fragile island economies.

There will be lots of opportunities for the group to connect with locals. We will visit artists’ and makers’ studios and workshops on the islands and bring in locals to meet our guests and share their knowledge and stories about their history and life in the island communities.


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