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Craig Youth Hostel
I've never stayed but I have been all round it several times. Fabulous sunsets and coastal views.
Ancient stones in the shape of a Celtic cross, usually reckoned the UK's second stone monument to Stonehenge.
With the possible exception of Orkney, this is the best example of a broch in the UK.
Simply a wonderful beach with great scenery.
Beautiful clean beach.
A long sandy beach with a craft village nearby using old army huts. See Faraid Head.
An excellent beach.
Large beach and start of fine coastal walk to Craig Youth Hostel and Diabaig [qv]
If you find the walk from near the end of the unclassified road west of Kinlochbervie to Sandwood Bay in the least interesting, then I feel for you. You must have spent your life in some boring places.
An area of fine beaches and excellent coastal scenery.
Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
One of the last lighthouse stations in Scotland to have resident keepers, it switched to remote control in 1998.
In English, this is the site of 'The Barley Port.' It's beautiful but you wouldn't guess there had been a port with 25 houses!
This picturesque castle, said to be the longest inhabited in Scotland, is the ancestral seat of the Head of the Clan Macleod.
Eilean Donan Castle
This is the ancient site of a castle and what looks from a distance like a medieval castle only dates, as far as the present building is concerned, back to the 20th century - but, standing proudly on its island, it still looks the part!
A 16th century church of this quality is rare throughout the Highlands and Islands.
A cathedral city sometimes called 'Capital of the Highlands' - although it's just out of any highland scenery!
It's almost impossible to give a straight description of this garden, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, without being accused of hype so I just make the factual statement that the Gulf Stream allows for tropical plants to be found here.
At or near here are a forest garden and arboretum and the start of a path up to a group of mountains that are not much sung but which give a great walk. These lie on a line from Beinn Dearg to Eididh nan Clach Geala.
Long and narrow Loch Shiel begins its route south from here, where Bonnie Prince Charlie is commemorated by a huge monument. It's where he first raised his standard in 1745.
Along with Aonach Eagach above Glencoe, this is one of my favourite mainland ridges.
A great nature reserve but look out for yourself. Terns aren't big but a mob of them came for me. They won! I backed off.
The first time I went to the Western Isles, I missed Barra. That was a terrible error!
Beinn Alligin, with its cleft visible from the south and its 'horns' [sharp pinnacles] presenting one route of ascent is a fine mountain.
A lovely mountain somewhat eclipsed by the Torridon Giants on the other side of the glen.
The highest of a fairly unsung but eminently pleasing group of Munros [mountains over 3000 feet.]
A massive Torridonian sandstone range with some quarzite at the very top. The side overlooking Loch Maree has a well marked mountain trail but many consider the best to be a corrie [Coire Mhich Fhearchair] reached by starting up the path from the Torridon road between this mountain and Liathach.
A pleasant and not difficult ascent but its main virtue is the woderful view it gives of Liathach
The highest point in the Cairngorm Mountains. These mountains are individually less exciting than those of the west and northwest but their great height and views of the high plateau punctuated by tops give them an appeal all their own.
At a height below 2500 feet, this mountain is fairly free from the erosion caused by peak 'baggers.'
A smaller island between South and North Uist, connected to the former by causeway and the latter by a series of bridges connecting even smaller islands.
One of the high mountains above the Lairig Ghru. [qv]
The most accessible top in Scotland, although one of the highest. There is a mountain railway to very near the top.
Most northwesterly point on the mainland. The road travelled by the minibus to get there connects with a passenger ferry only.
The cliffs at Clo Mor are the highest in Britain and support fabulous sea bird colonies, including puffins.
What you can see from near the entrance without any head for heights is impressive.
I've not put individual markers for peaks in the ridge. They could only be approximate and close together, even on the higher zooms.
A Torridonian sandstone peak near two roads - easy to ascend and descend by different routes.
Eas a Chual Aluinn
Eas a Chual Aluinn is the highest waterfall in the UK but I have to admit that it is far too small a flow of water for it to be impressive [except possibly after heavy rain. I doubt it but I've not seen it except in a dry season.]
Faraid Head is a terrific place. I've watched families of eider ducks swiming in after coming all the way from Scandinavia and watched seals from above, playing in the rock pools in fine weather and, sadly, taking a battering there in a storm.
A fine mountain range.
Fort Augustus Locks
Why label this as a sight rather than a town when it's at Fort Augustus? Because one thing on its own more than justifies a stop here and that's the sight of boats going through the five flight locks of the Caledonian Canal.
An experiment with anthrax was carried out on this island in 1942.
An almost unbelievable gem for bird life; wear something on your head - seriously! - those skuas can be quite fierce.
A mountain with glorious views - quite a major walk.
There's no way up that doesn't mean a hard slog but it's worth it every time.
Lin of Dee
The southern end of the spectacular Lairig Ghru walk. [qv]
This is somewhere to exhaust your supply of superlatives quite quickly. It is simply amazingly beautiful, a loch surrounded by Coulin Peaks.
Loch Garten RSPB
Although primarily known for the Osprey Centre [they migrate in winter!] this is a great spot for a variety of wildlife.
A beautiful sealoch with a heronry. There are boat trips in the summer from the slipway of the Kylesku Hotel
This loch is often compared to a fjord and is possibly the most scenic sea loch in the UK.
A guidebook once drew a sort of analogy between lochs and composers. He reckoned this to be Beethoven, a mighty accolade and from my viewpoint a well deserved one.
The most northerly of the mountains composed [largely in this case] of Torridonian sandstone.
Not a high mountain but with a number of interesting features: 'The Needle,' 'The Prison' and 'The Table' are all aptly named.
An impressive headland with huge boulders of Torridonian sandstone.
A splendid sight across Loch Maree.
This is about the lowest of the Torridonian sandstone peaks and one of the most spectacular, on account of its very sharp ridge.
This mountain achieves magnificence not by its height [it's under 2,500 feet] but by its shape and remoteness. It's an expedition and WELL worth it!
The Old Man of Storr
Very rough marker for a spectacular volcanic formation.
The Saddle presents some good ridge walking possibilities from Shiel Bridge and gives great views, particularly to the south over the 'Rough Bounds of Knoydart.'
A significant sized town and transport junction and the start of the Caledonian Canal that links the east and west coasts.
I love this little town [it feels like that in spite of only having about 1000 inhabitants.]
Capital of the Isle of Lewis.
It's a long way from Durness, the most northwesterly village on the mainland, but it's the northernmost town on the west coast.
Barra -Eriskay Ferry
I've never used it but it looks really handy.
Contrary to what the map shows on high zoom levels, the airport is on the eastern side of Barra near the top. When I was there it was possible to be dropped by the bus and walk from the west, opposite the airport to the northern tip and back down to the airport beach in time to be picked up - easy and delightful.
Bealach na Ba
In English the Pass of the Cattle. The top point on a long, narrow, fantastically winding road that used to be the only vehicular access to Applecross until the road to Shieldaig was built in the 1960s.
Castlebay - Lochboisdale
Ferry from Castlebay on Barra to Lochboisdale [South Uist]
Glenelg car ferry
Summer only and there can be long queues. i have often caught the first ferry of the day - great fun and it really does feel you are going to a rather magical island.
Harris - N. Uist Ferry
From Lochmaddy in North Uist to Tarbert in Harris.
One of Scotland's most scenic rail lines, which is saying something. It's worth travelling this part if only to discover how the Tower of Babel must have sounded - with exclamations of wonder ringing out in countless languages.
A far cheaper alternative to booking separate ferries if you are touring more than one of the islands off the west coast. Operated by Calmac. You should have no trouble finding it on their website.
There is a rare mistake on the map here. The road shown across the water DOES NOT EXIST!
Leverburgh - N. Uist Fer
This ferry runs from Leverburgh, Harris to Otternish, North Uist. So said the Leverburgh website, no longer available at the time of writing - but the Calmac timetable has it to Berneray, which is a small island just north of North Uist. They run it so they should know!
A pleasant way over the sea to Skye but not cheap!
This ferry runs regularly to Inverie. Some boats go further up Loch Nevis. for once it's not Calmac but Bruce Watt Cruisers that you need.
Oban - S. Uist Car Ferry
Thin timetable in winter - more plentiful [not very] in summer
Oban to Castlebay Ferry
This is the only ferry from the mainland to Barra. The one shown on the map from Mallaig no longer runs - worse luck!
Skye - Harris Ferry
From Tarbert [Harris] to Uig [Skye]
It's quick and now it's free. Here endeth the list of its virtues.
Skye to N. Uist Ferry
Uig [Skye] to Lochmaddy [North Uist]
Stornoway Car Ferry
Fabulous views, particularly looking back to the mainland over the Summer Islands.
The very best?
I hate superlatives but I used some about Inverkirkaig and here's another!
Its position between Ben More Coigach, a mountain of Torridonian sandstone and the coast, justifies a visit but it's the proximity to and view of the Summer Islands that make it outstanding.
Some fine redwood trees just near the station; the start of some splendid mountain walks, including one real beauty to Torridon. Long but not technically difficult.
A surprisingly peaceful place, though if you've followed the old road from Tornapress, you'll feel you've earned your drink at the inn.
Arisaig is noted for its silver sand. In the summer there are boats to Eigg.
Scotland's 'winter sports capital.'
A particularly lovely cove with a small inn at the top.
Skye's second largest village. It's a bit of a straggle but it makes an important transport junction.
This is a good place to stop on your way north. It's hard to avoid advertising a particular place here so I'll only suggest you do your own search!
Capital of Barra Island, one of the most beautiful, where the film 'Whisky Galore' was made.
Capital of 'Nessie Country.' Not one Monster Centre but two!!
Road point for a walk round the wonderful ridge of An Teallach - and a drink at the end in the Dundonell Hotel.
The most northwesterly village on the Scottish mainland, from which the Orkneys can be seen when it's going to rain - unless it's already raining!
You get here from Broadford past the one isolated Black Coolin peak of Blaven and the village of Torrin.
The 'wrong' side of Loch Ness? That's a matter of opinion. I far prefer the southeast side.
Rather straggly but quite interesting village with a fine beach.
The campsite at Glenbrittle usually contains masses of walkers and climbers. It is the only gateway other than Loch Coruisk [qv] to the southern mountains of the Coolin Ridge and, in spite of wildly eroded paths, it's worth going up, even if you only get to see Coire Lagan.
Near this delightful little village are some of the best brochs on the mainland.
Small and delightful village by Loch Torridon with an easy scenic walk through Torridon House grounds to Torridon village.
Connected by boat to Mallaig, the only alternative without a very specialised vehicle is a long walk. Its roads are local only and only residents have cars.
'Can that be a bookshop that I see before my eyes?' It may be a slight misquote but this surely must be the most bizarre situation for any bookshop in the UK - as well as the most picturesque. It's really good as well!
A fascinating village, far more lively still than a lot of places whose existence was based on fishing.
Kinlochewe is the biggest village in the Loch Maree/Torridon area - although nobody would think it large.
Once called Obbe - 1920 enter Lord Leverhume - name changed and many buildings for handling herring erected: more intended - 1925 Lord Leverhume died and the firm sold Leverburgh for a trivial sum.
Island capital of South Uist. Click on 'read more' for information about the whole island.
Lochinver is the largest village north of Ullapool, with several shops and a range of services.
Island capital. Click on 'read more' for information about North Uist.
I have stayed here often and for me it's a foretaste [the only taste I expect to get!] of Paradise.
A lovely bay and a delightful village; a favourite of many, including me!
The capital of Skye.
Capital of Harris and main ferry port other than Stornoway for the two islands of Harris and Lewis, combined in a single land mass.
It's scarcely big enough to be a village but it's where the ferry runs to Handa so it gets a good few visitors.
Previously known as Fasaig, this village with a splendid youth hostel lies [apparently precariously!] under the sea end of Liathack [qv]
Pleasant village with incredible sunsets.
Walking Route 1
Probably the finest hill pass in Britain, joining the Spey and Dee rivers. It runs from Coylumbridge to Lin of Dee with forest at each end and a glorious stretch through a huge V leading up to 4000 foot peaks to the sides.
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