If you know a bit about Staffa you probably know that Mendelsohn visited the island and was so inspired by Fingal’s Cave that he wrote his Hebrides Overture.
But did you know that there are some great historic figures who also visited the island over the years? These included no less than Queen Victoria, Keats and Wordsworth as well as Tennyson to name just a few.
In fact, Staffa became an accepted venue on the cultural grand Tour of Europe, commonly undertaken in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century with its marvels first being made know by naturalist Sir Joseph Banks who visited in 1772 who wrote:
“Compared to this what are the cathedrals and palaces built by men! Mere models of playthings, imitations as his works will always be when compared to those of nature.”
Over time excursions to the island became more and more popular, and a piper was employed to play in the depths of Fingal’s Cave to give ‘additional atmosphere’. Scott, Keats and Wordsworth all wrote about their visits in verse.
Queen Victoria also wrote about her visit 1847:
“As we rounded the point, the wonderful basaltic formation came in sight. The appearance it presents is most extraordinary; and when we turned the corner to go into the renowned Fingal’s Cave, the effect was splendid, like a great entrance into a vaulted hall: it looked almost awful as we entered, and the barge heaved up and down on the swell of the sea. The rocks, under water, were all colours – pink, blue and green – which had a most beautiful and varied effect. It was the first time the British standard with a Queen of Great Britain, and her husband and children, had ever entered Fingal’s Cave, and the men gave three cheers, which sounded very impressive there…”
To this day Staffa is a popular destination due to the famous Fingal’s Cave, its amazing views, unique landscape and also the Puffins who next there from April through to early August. To visit Staffa you can join our Three Isles Tour where you can not only visit it but also Iona and Mull – all in one day.