Scotland autumn 2016, dunes and a blackhouse

I had to get up at dawn to see the sun rise over Stoth Inlet. Then we drove back to Butt of Lewis, to see what the light was like there first thing in the morning. We had some breakfast and it was time to start back south, down the one road on the west of the island. We passed an intriguing sign to Europie Dunes and had to stop. The people of Lewis are pretty serious about the Sabbath. On that day no washing may hang out and children must not use the playground. The dunes and beach were quite stunning, and almost deserted.

Further down the road in Arnol there are two houses managed by Historic Scotland. The first, an old blackhouse, was lived in by crofters until 1966. People and animals lived under the same roof and the heating came from a peat fire, which burned perpetually in the centre of the house feeding out through a hole in the thatched roof.  Unfortunately the exterior was under scaffolding when we were there. A new dwelling was built across the road in the 1920's. This …

Scotland autumn 2016, a tiny church and a small cove

On the Butt of Lewis in the little village of Europie is a 13th century church, St Moluag's, a saint associated with healing. It is situated up a track running between low pebble-dashed housing. We paid a visit and found the prayers put up on a notice  board for those with personal problems. We spent the night parked on a piece of hard standing we found next to Stoth Inlet, a tiny cove near the promontory. 

Scotland, autumn 2016, at the tip of Lewis

We took the campervan to the end of the main road at Port of Ness. There was a convenient small parking area next to an old slipway and we had a quick look at the harbour before going to the adjacent beach. The wind was whipping up the waves and it was certainly a bracing walk along the sand. Lewis has a rather nice collection of well designed war memorials which we stopped to look at.

After some lunch we drove to the very tip of Lewis at Butt of Lewis and walked a little way around the coast, not too far as we had the aged dog Hettie with us.

Scotland autumn 2016, north to Ness

Strangely, as soon as we landed on Lewis the rain had stopped, and this Hebridean island seemed to have an entirely different weather system to the mainland.  We had camped on the outskirts of Stornoway and so drove out on the main road, across peat bog until we had reached the coast road which would run north to the Butt of Lewis. We passed a wind farm and a rainbow arcing over the moor. Ever in search of tourist items we found a large standing stone, Clach an Truisell, rising up next to a cottage, occupied by citizens of the USA.

A little further north we found yet some more stones, this time a rough circle, at  a place called Steinacleit. The light was beautiful and the sky covered with scudding clouds. We could see the sea from the slight rise of the hill.