Far North West of Scotland - April 2016

Planned to camp and do some Corbetts up north - didn't manage either, but had a good week all the same .
April 2016 - A couple of nights in Ullapool and then north as the fancy took us.  On arrival in Ullapool it was blowing a hoolie, and we managed to break three tent poles before I
conceded we weren't camping.  B&B is good too!

Day two - hills.  We decided to ascend Stac Pollaidh, in the distance here.

From the carpark it didn't look too far

A little height, and a view of Beinn an Eoinn and Ben More Coigach

To the East, Cul Beag

To the East and North, Cul Beag, Cul Mhor (apparently these are usually done together), and Suilven off on the left.

The steep bit

Magic.

We didn't venture up that bit.

Coming down

Quick trip to Achiltibuie for soup, then just time to cycle round a nice peninsula

The Summer Isles, looking resplendent.

And looking the other way, those splendid hills.

Achnahaird Bay

And back to Ullapool for tea, and a tranquil view

The next day (3) we headed north, in search of adventure.  This is Ardbreck Castle on the banks of Loch Assynt.

Some other scenic bit

Kylesku - very pretty.

Beach at Polin I think?

Kyle of Durness, with the tide mostly out.

Smoo Cave - impressed.

It was big!

The headlands looking East to Clo Mor cliffs, the highest sheer cliffs on the British mainland (actually on checking these are just ordinary cliffs - Clo Mor cliffs should be later).

And back to above the cave.  Where did these people come from.

John Lennon Memorial Garden - he was a big fan of Durness apparently.

Graveyard where John  Lennon's aunt Elizabeth is buried.

It's next to Balnakeil Beach, which we had a nice walk along.

Grave of the notorious villain Domhnuall MacMhurchadh - a nasty piece of work it seems.

There was a Typhoon bombing party going on (not pictured) over Balnakeil Bay, aiming at Cape Wrath on the left.

Day four - after a nice night in the pub we were early for our ferry to Cape Wrath, so took in the Kyle of Durness again, this time with the tide in

From further up the headland looking back.  Our "ferry" to the Cape Wrath peninsula will take us from the left to the white houses on the right.

And here is our ferry, and the bloke we were talking to in the pub last night.

And the classy transport at the other side.  12 for a one hour bus journey covering 11 miles.  Roads were not great, and neither was the bus!

One of the military guard points, to stop you wandering around when the MOD are bombing.

Famous lighthouse built in 1828 by Robert Louis Stevenson's grandfather.

East to the Clo Mor cliffs, the highest sheer cliffs on the British mainland.  (Knew they were in here somewhere).

Slightly concerned about the number and size of the cliffs to fall over.

Kearvaig Bay.  Very nice, very remote.  Must return some day.

And here is our jolly boat man, one more trip then he can knock off and get a pint.

Cheers John.

Just as we were leaving we spotted an otter, but while it dived and stuff for ages I couldn't get a picture.  Still, it was a lovely spot.

Further along the north coast we visited one of the clearance villages, or the empty fields that are now left.

Poignant, and horrible to think these atrocities happened on our shores.

This may be the entrance to the  Hiding Place  – or ‘An Tigh Fo Thalaidh’  – an apparently meaningless name, which may be for ‘An Tigh Fo Thalaimh’ – the House below the Ground.
It may be a souterrain which was cleared and drained by Buxton between 1927 and 1935.  Of course it might be something completely different, but ...
Apparently no relics were found but, after draining, the floor deposit yielded fragments of bone which were, however, too small for identification.  Every day is a school day!

And the Kyle of Tongue, as we searched for a bed for the night.  Bridge just visible in the foreground, with Ben Hope on the right

And on the last day, past Bettyhill we visited Strathnaver Museum.  

With a nice old stone

And finally, Rosal Settlement, one of the largest pre-clearance townships, now all empty.

On the way back home we passed Loch Naver and had a quick look at this broch

And a fine view of Ben Klibreck

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