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Skye and Lochalsh February 2008

Skye & Lochalsh: 31 January - 2 February 2009

Click on the image to open a larger version. Unless stated otherwise all images are Copyright © Mike Hume.



Skye and Lochalsh February 2008

A hastily-arranged jaunt up to Skye & Lochalsh, somewhere I have long thought about visiting but never seemed to get around to. Situated on the northwest coast of mainland Scotland I was expecting harsh weather, however it was 9C (49F) and sunny up there whilst much of the UK was nearing freezing with snow just around the corner.

The route I took from Glasgow Airport runs up the west side of Loch Lomond, through Bridge of Orchy, Ballachulish and Glencoe to Fort William. From there a short detour to Glenfinnan (by Loch Shiel), more famous these days for the railway viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films. Back to Fort William to head north again before taking a left at Invergarry and eventually making it to Dornie, at the elbow where Loch Duich meets Loch Alsh. This is where the famous Eilean Donan Castle is located and also the location of the Loch Duich Hotel, my base for the trip.

Beinn Dorain - north of Tyndrum
Beinn Dorain - north of Tyndrum
Glencoe - Rannoch Moor
Glencoe - Rannoch Moor


Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle)

Bealach na Ba (Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle) rises 2,053 feet on its ascent over the hill to Applecross. It has tight hairpin bends and gradients of as much as 1 in 5.

Applecross Bay
Applecross Bay
Bay at Applecross
Bay at Applecross
Cliffs on the Pass
Cliffs on the Pass
Clouds and Sunlight
Clouds and Sunlight
Hillside
Hillside
Ice-covered Grass
Ice-covered Grass
Ice on Rocks
Ice on Rocks
Icicles
Icicles
Rassay and Skye from Applecross
Rassay and Skye from Applecross
Road
Road
Snow
Snow
The snowy peak
The snowy peak
Top of the Pass
Top of the Pass
View down the Pass
View down the Pass
Water and Ice
Water and Ice


Carr Brae viewpoint

The Carra Brae viewpoint overlooks Loch Duich and affords fantastic views as the sun rises on a winter morning. The view extends to the elbow where Loch Duich meets Loch Alsh, where Eilean Donan Castle is located.

CARR BRAE PANORAMA (QTVR)
Carr Brae Panorama (QTVR)
Early Morning 1
Early Morning 1
Early Morning 2
Early Morning 2
Early Morning 3
Early Morning 3
Loch Duich afternoon
Loch Duich afternoon
Loch Duich morning
Loch Duich morning
Loch Duich to Loch Alsh
Loch Duich to Loch Alsh


Commando Memorial

Located in Spean Bridge.

Commando Memorial
Commando Memorial
Commando Memorial outlook
Commando Memorial outlook
Outlook
Outlook


Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle is located in Dornie, at the elbow where Loch Duich meets Loch Alsh. My hotel (Loch Duich Hotel) looked-out over the bay to the Castle. You'll recognise the Castle from films such as Highlander, The World Is Not Enough and Loch Ness. Although a castle has stood on the site since 1220, the present building is a restoration dating from the 1920s (just don't tell the tourists).

Before sunrise
Before sunrise
Boat
Boat
Closeup at Dusk
Closeup at Dusk
Eilean Donan
Eilean Donan
Night
Night
Night from above
Night from above
Overcast morning
Overcast morning
Sunrise
Sunrise
Sunrise closeup
Sunrise closeup
Tide's Out
Tide's Out


Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan (by Loch Shiel) lies 15 miles west of Fort William.

Loch Shiel
Loch Shiel
Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument
Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument


Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye has some stunning scenery so it was a shame there wasn't much time other than to do a quick trip around the island (much further than I thought!) after climbing to The Storr. Definitely worth a trip back although I can't see me climbing up The Cuillins quite yet...

Kilt Rick
Kilt Rick
Light through Trees
Light through Trees
Mountain Reflection
Mountain Reflection
Puzzled Sheep
Puzzled Sheep
Sgurr Mhairi
Sgurr Mhairi
Sgurr Mhairi from the Sligachan Bridge
Sgurr Mhairi from the Sligachan Bridge
Sunset 1
Sunset 1
Sunset 2
Sunset 2
Sunset 3
Sunset 3
Sunset 4
Sunset 4
The Cuillins from afar
The Cuillins from afar
Uig
Uig


Strome Ferry

Strome Ferry ran a ferry service across the Loch until 1970 however the replacement road meant there was an easier route to get to North Strome. Still, the roadsign is amusing.

Strome Ferry
Strome Ferry
Strome Ferry (no ferry)
Strome Ferry (no ferry)


The Storr (Isle of Skye)

I have always been fascinated by photographs of The Old Man of Storr, so a trip to the Isle of Skye would not be complete without an ascent up to the base of The Storr to see the rock pinnacles forming the area called The Sanctuary, including The Old Man of Storr. The Sanctuary is a deathly quiet place and on the day I visited there were no sounds bar the occasional bird call and the wind. Quite an amazing place, and the outlook back to the mainland just went on forever.

Behind Needle Rock
Behind Needle Rock
Behind the Old Man of Storr 1
Behind the Old Man of Storr 1
Behind the Old Man of Storr 2
Behind the Old Man of Storr 2
First view of The Old Man
First view of The Old Man
Hillside
Hillside
Hillside Pool
Hillside Pool
In the shadow of The Old Man
In the shadow of The Old Man
Loch Fada
Loch Fada
Looking back to Loch Fada
Looking back to Loch Fada
Needle Rock
Needle Rock
Needle Rock outlook
Needle Rock outlook
Old Man of Storr 1
Old Man of Storr 1
Old Man of Storr 2
Old Man of Storr 2
PANORAMA FROM THE OLD MAN (QTVR)
Panorama from The Old Man (QTVR)
Reflective Pool
Reflective Pool
Silhouette 1
Silhouette 1
Silhouette 2
Silhouette 2
Silhouette 3
Silhouette 3
Silhouette 4
Silhouette 4
Storr Rocks 1
Storr Rocks 1
Storr Rocks 2
Storr Rocks 2
Sunny Outlook
Sunny Outlook
The Storr
The Storr
The Storr cliffs
The Storr cliffs
The Storr from Loch Fada 1
The Storr from Loch Fada 1
The Storr from Loch Fada 2
The Storr from Loch Fada 2
The Storr from Woods
The Storr from Woods
View from The Sanctuary
View from The Sanctuary
View from The Storr ascent 1
View from The Storr ascent 1
View from The Storr ascent 2
View from The Storr ascent 2
View of The Storr
View of The Storr