Tour Length: 4-5 hours (Monday to Thursday only)
Departure location can be re-routed to start in the Town of Montague rather than Charlottetown. Pauley Tours offers personalized pick-ups for group bookings or charters. As in all our tours, we can add or remove certain destinations and customize the perfect tour for your group’s needs. All you have to do is ask!
Back in 1803, Thomas Douglas, the 5th Earl of Selkirk used his inheritance to assist displaced highland farmers from Scotland’s Isle of Skye to immigrate to Belfast, Prince Edward Island.
Our journey to Belfast starts by crossing the Hillsborough River Bridge that spans the estuary between Charlottetown and Stratford. The Hillsborough is the largest watershed river on Prince Edward Island, with a deep tidal reach for 75% of its 45-km length, almost dividing our Island in two. Along the way, we pass through the picturesque communities of Keppoch, Tea Hill, Pownal Bay, Cherry Valley, Orwell and Newtown Cross.
Our first stop is Saint John’s Presbyterian Church, PEI’s oldest church, built in 1824 by the Lord Selkirk settlers who immigrated because of the Highland Clearances in Scotland. It’s a well-preserved landmark in the province, and a significant cultural resource valued for its neoclassical architectural style designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built by Robert Jones.
Polly Monument recognizes the Scottish Selkirk settlers with an inscription in both Gaelic and English. This monument was erected in 1903 in remembrance of the Selkirk settlers a 100 years before.
A hop, skip and a jump away is Jacks Heritage Road, a narrow, winding trail where time stands still. This rustic passage is a gentle reminder of simpler times from years gone by. Jack MacPherson owned a large farm in the early 1900’s where locals travelled to get to his place and, consequently, it became known as Jack’s Road.
A few kilometers away, we find ourselves in the coastal community of Pinette, a small fishing village where clam digging, oyster harvesting and lobster fishing take place (in season). You can often see the local fishers bringing in their haul of the tasty crustaceans and maybe even rainbow or brook trout. We’ll also pass by the Pinette Provincial Park, a day use park that is one of Eastern PEI’s small gems.
Enroute to Point Prim we drive through Mount Buchanan to see the Polly Cemetery, a restored ancient Acadian cemetery (1750-1758). It’s the resting place of many original Island settlers from Scotland … a great visiting site for genealogists and history buffs!
At the Point (as the locals call it) keep an eye out for the Buoy Tree and Hannah’s Bottle Village, a fascinating little village of houses created out of colourful bottles.
At the end of the Point stands Prince Edward Island’s oldest lighthouse, the magnificently beautiful Point Prim Lighthouse (National Historic Site). Built in 1845, it towers 60 feet above sea level, with a glorious view of Northumberland Strait and Hillsborough Bay. The lighthouse boasts historic displays, a gift shop, guided tours and a picnic area.
The Kro in the Sky Gift Shop has lots of interesting stained glass, jewelry, photography and other Island gifts to choose from. Cathy Murchison-Krolikowski calls Point Prim her Island home, where her family roots go back many generations to the Selkirk settlers from the Isle of Skye, thus the name of her studio gallery. Kro In The Skye Art Studio overlooks the picturesque Northumberland Strait and is located on ancestral land just a mile from the historical lighthouse where Cathy’s grandfather was the lighthouse keeper for 35 years.
A quick 3-minute walk is a beautiful south shore beach … a must see! If the tide is out we can even search for PEI sea glass.
Then, suddenly it’s time to sit back, relax and take in the rolling farmlands and the beautiful coastline of the Southwestern shores of Prince Edward Island and head back to the capital City of Charlottetown.