Hike the staggeringly beautiful trails at Knockan Crag, a series of ancient cliffs that 19th-century geologists studied to formulate the revolutionary theory of thrust tectonics.
Depart from the pier and before long you will be immersed in the beauty of the Highlands. Just north of Ullapool lies Knockan Crag, a rugged, spectacularly scenic line of cliffs with rock formations that reveal how this part of Great Britain was created millions of years ago.
After an enlightening orientation of the crag’s geology in the Rock Room interpretive center, you will venture out for a hike along the trails. It involves quite a bit of single-file walking, some of it over steep rocky terrain. But the views are well worth the effort.
During the hike, you will pass the famed Moine Thrust, which was created by the force of two continents crashing together eons ago. The realization in the 19th century that the darker rocks on top were much older than the lighter-colored ones below set the scientific world ablaze. It provided evidence, revolutionary at the time, that the earth’s crust sometimes moved sideways as a result of enormous thrust from underlying tectonic plates.
This sort of movement is now commonly recognized in rocky areas around the world, including those in the Himalayas and the Alps. However, in the 19th century, the theory of tectonic plates moving the earth and creating mountains was as yet unformulated.
After walking the trails of Knockan Crag, you will rejoin your coach and transfer back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of hiking over natural and uneven surfaces and includes some steep inclines and steps to negotiate. Participants must be in good physical condition and have some agility as at times the hiking path becomes quite narrow and hikers must proceed in single-file. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns and the cruise line and the operator reserve the right to deny participation to any guests they deem the tour will be unsuitable for. Warm, layered clothing and water-proof outerwear; sun cap; sunglasses; and a bottle of water from the ship are recommended. Flat sturdy hiking shoes are required.