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" Scotland - 3 - Achnahaird and Polbain "

Date & start time:     Sunday 14th May 2017.

Location of Start :   The car park at Achnahaird Beach. ( NC 016 140 )

Stayed at :                 The Brochs of Coigach

Places visited :        Achnahaird Beach . . . and the shoreline below Polbain.

Walk details :           Two local walks, one on the beach, one on the cliffs.

Highest point :         58.3 degrees North . . . where the days are longer.

With :                         Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                  Sunshine and blue skies, a warm breeze.

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We're in Scotland and settling back into a relaxed mood at our holiday accommodation.

I hesitate to call it a cottage, a holiday home or house which would fail to do it justice.

It is a fine designer built, grand designs home . . . a really up-market hobbit house with a grass roof.

" Highest point :    58.3 degrees North . . . where the days are longer."

My page introduction implies, but doesn't illustrate the extra hours of daylight we experience this far north.

It is only properly dark approaching midnight and by three in the morning the light is brightening the rooms if you don't pull the curtains !

Dylan looks like he has had a short night . . . are his eyelids drooping ?

I think I forgot to shut the big curtains last night before bed.

Must be after breakfast now . . . the  bed is made.

The house is full of interesting artwork from ancient peat cutting and hay making tools to modern art in its many forms.

Two Tracey Emin prints.

Sorry - a fuzzy picture of the 'Raven and Table' picture above the door.

The owners wanted the inside of the Brochs to be as interesting as the outside.

" You will be surrounded by original works of leading contemporary Scottish artists "

An internal window with more items of interest.

The bathroom . . . with views of the world while you sit in the bath.

"You've forgotten to mention the sauna that you've just come out of Dad " . . . what no pictures ?

- - - o o o - - -

Can't sit about relaxing all day . . . time for a return visit to a beach we stayed at in the caravan nearly 28 years ago.

We turn right for Achnahaird Bay rather than left to Dornie and Fox Point on the road that we drove yesterday.

The village of Atlandhu on the hillside overlooking Isle Ristol.

The local campsite is now based on the shoreline here.  Apparently the one we stayed at Achnahaird closed a few years ago.

Another place that has moved is the Achiltibuie Smokehouse . . . I think it has expanded and outgrown its local Atlandhu origins.

The O.S. map highlights a 'viewpoint' on the road over to Achnahaird . . . they weren't wrong.

This was the view south over the Summer Isles

down towards Skye and across to The Shiant Islands and Outer Hebrides across The Minch.

Around the corner the view was equally good . . . but of landscape rather than seascape.

The hills are Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh, Cul Beag and the Ben Mor Coigach group to the right.

- - - o o o - - -


We parked at the road end (car park)

at the northern end of Achnahaird Beach.


Below us at the start of the headland

was an old winch and landing boards

in the narrow inlet.


However we plan to walk in the opposite direction today,

down onto the beach.


- - - o o o - - -

The small promontory (with the shaded rock) was marked as an old Dun, an ancient protected settlement or fort.

There was evidence of an old ditch and fort on the right hand end of the rock outcrop.

The lovely sandy beach is backed by sand dunes and machair grass . . . too early in the season to be in seriously covered in flowers.

As we walked across we remembered this area as the place

we parked our caravan for a few days, back in both 1981 and 1989.

Down onto the beach . . . beware fast moving traffic !

Dylan is really enjoying the wide open spaces.

Artistic shot of the old man on the rocks !

The wide expanse of Achnahaird Bay . . . looking north towards the distant Point of Stoer.

I left Ann and Harry to walk the beach as Dylan and I crossed the river

and headed up on to the high ground on the other side of the beach.

From the elevated position on the third ring contour . . . a whole 75+ feet above sea level.

Close up of Stac Pollaidh and Cul Beag.

. . . and of Suilven further up the coast.

Surprisingly these are not "Monros" but are famous nevertheless due to their dramatic shapes and locations.

Dylan was looking to see where Harry had got to as he is always keeping an eye out for him.

Down on the beach Harry was doing fine and also enjoying himself.

Ann had ventured to the top of the beach and I returned across the river and met up with her once again.

Back at the promontory fort again . . . it certainly had a commanding view of the bay below it.

One last photo . . . a coat for protection from the warm but appreciable breeze.

. . . bare feet for crossing the river and walking the beautiful sandy bay.

- - - o o o - - -

Back at the broch for a late lunch . . . afterwards I took Dylan for a second walk down by the shoreline.

Unfortunately, due to the fences and ownership of the various croft fields, the only way to the sea shore

was to walk back up to the road and then along a short distance to the track down to Camas Coille Bay.

Yet another fence line makes progress difficult

but the fences stop above the rocks so I did manage to make progress close to the sea . . . which is what I wanted anyway !

The lambs scamper after their mum as we walk along the shoreline.

A view back up to the two brochs . . . despite having close neighbours the houses are not on top of each other in any way.

Hold your cursor over the picture and you may spot Ann waving to us !

As I walked along the shore there was a varied collection of sea birds above me,

including this greater black backed gull.

Look out . . . incoming  . . . duck  (no goose actually !)

One of several Greylag geese circled above me then landed on one of the croft fields.

A short while later I had reached the end of Polbain Village

and the open ground gave me easy access back up onto the main road for the walk back to the house.

Back down to the croft . . .

. . . to find the owner and his sheep dog gathering up their Hebridean sheep

Meanwhile Ann had enjoyed a leisurely time back at the broch.

Perhaps a little stroll around to enjoy the view from above the grass roof.

. . . or from the patio on the side that had two old whale bones by the wall.

Harry enjoying an even more leisurely break by the side exit near the bedroom.

It was turning out to be a sunny and very clear evening now the haze of our first two nights had blown through.

Click here or on the photo above for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.

An unidentified cruise shop sets out to sea from Loch Broom.

The colours and shape were different from the MacBraynes Ullapool to Stornaway Ferry which passed us each day.

Hello Roger and Ann

Have just been looking at the website for 14 May. The ship looks like Fred Olsen's Boudicca which was cruising from Ullapool to Tobermory on 14 May by way of Loch Broom. I recognised the logo on the funnel.
What fabulous photographs!     All the best,  Marilyn Bray.

Thanks Marilyn for the detective work . . . RmH

" Practising the art of relaxation "

. . . who needs television with a wide-screen view like this.

" Cheers "

Time for supper . . . again . . . can we cope ?

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 Compact System Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . time to sit and enjoy life.

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5. Reiff Headland

Previous walk - Next walk - 13th May 2017 - Scotland - 2 - Fox Point

A previous time in the area - 8th to 18th May 2015 - Durness and Northern Scotland

Next walk - 15th/16th May - Scotland - 4 - A Potter across to Lochinver