Showing posts from December, 2017

Scotland autumn 2016, Reef Beach and a kayak outing

The campsite at Traigh na Beirghe (Reef Beach) near Kneep was wonderful. So good, that a neighbour confessed that he worked for Calmac in Tarbert, and he came here to "get away from it all"! I woke up at dawn to see what was going on outside. The answer was 'not a lot' but the subtle colours were still worth a snap or two.

Although it was October the weather was very mild. We had brought the inflatable kayak with us and as the sea was clam we took it out for a few hours and toured around the islands. Hettie came with us and dozed in the centre of the boat.

After we had had supper we watched the sun gently go down.

Scotland autumn 2016, ruins and stones

The Carloway area of western Lewis is very rich in archaeological remains. Not far from the blackhouses of Gearrannan is the Dun Carloway Broch. Originating in the Iron Age this circular ruined structure has one low door leading into the interior where there are three lower chambers and a stone staircase to the upper levels, The lower chambers have been excavated to a degree and Iron Age pottery and quern stones have been found. The broch stands sentinel on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside. 

Close to the broch is Lewis's most famous landmark, the Callanish stones. We arrived there in mid afternoon when the shadows were beginning to lengthen. I was to return later in the holiday when, on a photographic workshop, it was a sunset jaunt.

Our stop for the night was to be on a campsite at Kneep, further south than Callanish but still on the western side of the island. We arrived at this isolated spot to get the full Hebridean beach experience as the sun went down and we s…

Scotland autumn 2016, mills and blackhouses

Still following the road south from Butt of Lewis we found more tourist opportunities. First, in Shawbost, we came across the reconstruction of a Norse iron age mill and kiln. There has always been a mill on this rather pretty site, and it was last in use in 1930. A stream flows past the building, down to a little loch which was a smooth as glass.

Not far from the mill is  Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. Based on a crofting settlement which subsisted  here until the 1970's, some of the houses are opened to view. while some are used as holiday houses. I hope the holiday homes have better chimney arrangements than the house we looked at. A weaver works here sometimes and he must have pickled lungs!