Adam Nicolson 2002. Sea Room. London: Harper Collins, 391 pp.

Adam Nicolson’s self-described love letter to his Shiant Islands, 5 miles offshore in The Minch, the strait that separates the Hebrides from the west coast of Scotland. Memorable for being beautifully written, and thoroughly researched. Chapters about the geology, archeology, ornithology, history (Clearances), prehistory, culture and people. Adam Nicolson doesn’t do things by halves, having had specialists in most of the above fields visit and make discoveries on the Isles. Notably archaeology.

The dangers of sailing the Minch in small (and not so small) boats are compellingly told with tales of tragedies over the centuries. The author’s own boat, the 16 foot locally built Freyja would have served her owner better if some traditional boatbuilding was sacrificed for self-righting ability.

A great pleasure to read this wonderful book.

And the rats are gone from the Shiants: Shiant Isles website