Thirty Years of Adventures in Search of the Past - The Outer Hebrides

Marc Calhoun's new book sharing three decades worth of adventures to the fascinating islands of the Outer Hebrides, filled with history and amazing sights. 


"I returned to Mingulay in the Spring of 2022 during my fifth cruise as a guide aboard Hjalmar Bjørge. Everything was as it had been except for the Priest's House. When I saw it in 2003 and 2004, even though many years had passed since a storm took out the roof, the gables and walls still stood. But no more."

This coming May sees the launch of author Marc Calhoun's brand new book that documents his thirty years of adventuring around forty of the many isles, large and small, of the Outer Hebrides. Marc will be well-known to many of you who have sailed on the Hjalmar Bjørge in the past, as he has guided on-board several times, sharing many of his amazing locations and the history of the dwellings and remains of civilisation to be found scattered amongst them. 

The sea gate below Ensay House - 1998

The sea-gate below Ensay House - 1998

If you have a love for adventure yourself, or indeed are a fan of the Hebridean islands, this will be a book you will find hard to put down. The level of detail in his research, and his knack with evocative wordplay for capturing moments in your mind's eye is extremely satisfying, turning each adventure into a rich learning experience and giving you that real sense of 'being there'. The inclusion of many of Marc's photographs (over 150 we are told) also help to complete the picture perfectly.

Joe of Aird Bheag, Uig, Lewis - 2016

Each one of the adventures described comes with its own illustrated map, perfect for visualising the journey undertaken and the approximate location of the highlights visited. The author points out though that these are not intended for navigation, giving instead the correct OS map recommendation along with grid references to help should you wish to undertake your own visits, and like me, I expect you will after, or even while, reading the book.

Illustrated map of Rona

Thirty Years of Adventures in Search of the Past - The Outer Hebrides does great justice to the title. It is one of those books that is both a fascinating read in its own right, but also the perfect travelling companion to dip into during your own journeys, and a brilliant reference guide to help plan future visits and adventures of your own to the Outer Hebrides. I suspect it will grace many a bookshelf over the coming months, but also find its way into backpacks and suitcases of those visiting the islands. This particular review copy will be available in our on-board library for all our guests to enjoy on the Hjalmar Bjørge this 2024 season. We know you'll enjoy it!

Join Marc on a Hjalmar Bjørge cruise this year

You can join Marc Calhoun on his 9-night "Adventures in Search of the Past Cruise" with Hebridean Adventures this 11th-20th September on board the Hjalmar Bjørge and enjoy creating new adventures together around the Hebrides. As of the time of writing there were just two twin cabins left, so please get in touch quickly to reserve your spaces if you'd like to go.

>> Just click this link to find out all the details. <<


Marc Calhoun was born and raised in Seattle. His first exposure to things Scottish was at age 12 when his mother took him to see the movie Ring of Bright Water. The movie was also his first exposure to Gaelic, and the coastal scenery of Scotland.

A trip to Scotland to visit his ancestral homeland led to a stay on Iona. That journey instigated yearly visits to the Hebrides. In 2008 he began to learn Gaelic and was fortunate to find an excellent teacher in Seattle (Richard Hill) who inspired him to keep trying. The biggest obstacle was he’d been using OS Maps for twenty years, and the incorrect pronunciations he’d come up with on his own were deeply ingrained. That said, Richard always stressed that Gàidhlig bhriste nas fheàrr Beurla math—broken Gaelic is better than good English.

"In the years to come, I hope to continue journeying to the islands and share those adventures with others who love them as much as I do."

Pre-order (release expected in May 2024)

Price: £20

Publisher: The Island Book Trust

Type: Paperback - 324 pages