Scotland’s new Hebridean Whale Trail highlights places to spot the mysterious creatures and other sealife, while surrounded by some of the UK’s wildest scenery

Candy-striped Eilean Glas lighthouse stands picture perfect on a rocky outcrop on the eastern tip of Scalpay island in the Outer Hebrides. The path that leads here over peaty ground feels bouncy, crossing grass left luminous by recent rain, with patchwork heather and scattered lochans reflecting a cloud-scudded sky. Wild-looking shaggy sheep graze, undeterred.

My attention though, is not focused on this enchanting landscape, but on the shimmering ocean beyond: turquoise near the shore, a deeper blue-black towards the horizon. I find a spot on the rocks and sit quietly, scanning the waves again and again for signs of life.

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