Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Day 23 - Scotland North West Coast - Scourie - The forgotten corner of Scotland...

Richard Flannery from Eddrachilles Hotel told me that only 4 000 people live in the area from Lochinver to Tongue, an area of about 2 500 square kilometres. It's probably the least populated area of mainland Britain. It incorporates the dramatic Cape Wrath (click to see on Google Map), the most north westerly point, which also has the highest cliffs in the UK. There's no road to the point, so you have to take a ferry across the Kyle of Durness, and then there's a minibus service to the point. Find out more about the transport options at this website...

Near Scourie is Handa Island, an important bird sanctuary. It hosts some 200 000 birds, including arctic skuas and puffins. It's managed by Scottish Wildlife Trust, so get in touch with them to organise a trip out to the island.

Also nearby is Eas-coul-Aulin, the highest waterfall in Britain at about 200 metres. It's not really a true waterfall, more of a very high cascade! Check out some photos here.

Don't forget to just drive...the roads around these parts offer mindblowing views. The photo below is of Loch Glencoul. There's a memorial to 39 submariners who during 1943 were trained here to bomb German war frigates.

Typically, two divers in full scuba gear would sit astride a 500 pound bomb, called somewhat euphemistically a "chariot". They guided their propella-powered "chariot" underneath the Nazi ship, and attached the bomb to the hull. Then they swam away, and detonated it soon after. The memorial reads: "The silent hills remember the young men who were trained in these wild and beautiful waters."

Loch Glencoul on the way to Scourie, where submariners were trained during the Second World War.

This is a small bay near Scourie...I walked into a random sheep field, headed for the coast, and twenty minutes later found this pretty place.

The view from the bottom of Eddrachilles Hotel's garden.

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