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Report 1371: Coigach and the Summer Isles, Scotland

By davidx from England, Fall 2007

Trip Description: 2007-09-07 for just over a week. Scotland has so many lesser islands that many of them never get a mention but the Summer Isles, in Torridonuan Sandstone are easily seen and Tanera Mor even has places to let. We had a self-catering property on the Coigach peninsula overlooking Tanera Mor.

Destinations: Countries - United Kingdom; Regions/Cities - Scotland

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Beach; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 9: Some Basic Geography

photo by davidx

Summer Isles from Coigach

In putting this page, I'm not simply aiming at those outside the UK. I meet numerous people who can't place Ullapool - let alone the Summer Islands.

Let's start at Kyle of Lochalsh, which is where the bridge to the Isle of Skye is to be found. Some way north of here is the beautiful (Sea) Loch Torridon. I find the mountains of Torridonian sandstone first equal with the Coolin of Skye for UK scenery. (I'm a Sassenach by the way!)

Around here the mountains form major (by UK standards) mountain chains with fine ridges. Yet further north the rock persists but forms separate small mountains (you might call them by a ruder name on account of their minor height - but not when you have been there!) It is also found in Islands near the coast, such as the Summer Isles, where it shows fabulous cliff scenery, as good as any I've seen even in Norway or Peru.

Going from the south, Ullapool is the 'capital' of the whole area - which is far from making it any sort of Metropolis but it does have shops and bars, a bank and a Post Office; even an information centre. Going north again towards Durness and Cape Wrath, you reach a single road with passing places to the left that leads out along the Coigach peninsula to Achiltibuie. This name is often used as a form of shorthand for the whole sweep of Coigach coast but in fact there are numerous villages, all of them tiny. Off part of the more northward part of the coast lie the Summer Islands.

They can be reached during the season in two ways, other than any private sea transport you might be able to command. There is a boat from Ullapool that can accommodate about 130 people and a small local boat that comes to Badentarbet Pier at Polbain, the only village other than Achiltibuie in the whole bay to have a general store.

I shall cover the islands and the Coigach penissula more fully in separate pages.

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