South Uist is a really magical island. It’s famous for the almost-continuous machair and sand on the west coast, but it’s the east coast that I find really enticing. With the exception of a few clusters and occasional lone houses, few people now live in this area. Infrastructure and expansion around the 1960s meant that those households still living on the coast* were faced with the reality that the services and facilities being afforded to communities in the west would not be extended to those in the east.
There is an abundance of excellent walks to be had in South Uist. When you start exploring a bit you begin to understand the difficulties in supplying services to this area. Walking overland is arduous, long and pretty impractical. On paper it seems to make much more sense to travel by sea, though what the waters around the east coast are like I don’t know. Perhaps going by horse, as many likely would have, is easier than just on foot. These photos are from a walk around the headland at the end of the Loch Aineort road last month. We followed a route – roughly- recommended in the Cicerone guide to walks in Uist. It’s excellent and much recommended.
*population movement anywhere is a complicated business – there are many and varied additional reasons why people had been moving away from this area.
A few weeks ago I took a trip home to the mainland for a much overdue visit to see my family. I was lucky enough to grow up on the Black Isle. A verdant peninsula right at the foot of some of the Highland’s most incredible scenery. It’s a great place to be, and the weather was in our favour all weekend.
My partner was also up visiting so we took the chance of having the car (new car owners and drivers – the novelty of getting places under our own steam is still very exciting) and headed north and west to Wester Ross. Stac Pollaidh was calling, and we answered. It was a glorious day.
Stac in Gaelic means a steep cliff, a precipice. Pronounched stach-k with the -ch as in ‘loch’ – nice and gentle. A stack, as it is in English. And Stac Pollaidh is quite a stac, too, standing proud of the surrounding landscape. It was fantastic walk to the top, steep but with views which opened out step by step. We followed the route recommended by Walk Highlands – a fantastic resource if you’ve not used it before. After the walk you’ll have earnt yourself some tasty treats from the West Coast Deli – our new favourite place in Ullapool. The best hot drinks either of us have had in a long time.
Please note these photos were not taken my me but my partner. Please do not use them without his permission – get in touch if you’d like to do so.