Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Camp, Islands, Landscape | One Comment

Campsite at Balephetrish Back in May 2011 I set off with family and friends for a cycling tour to the islands of Col and Tiree. Our visit to Col coincided with severe storms that caused devastation across Scotland, as featured in the recent BBC series ‘Hebrides: Islands on the Edge’. I watched the programme with […]

Journeying on the Isle of Islay

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in Camp, Islands, Walk | 2 Comments

‘The act of journeying contributes to a sense of physical and mental well-being, while the monotony of prolonged settlement or regular work weaves patterns in the brain that engender fatigue and a sense of personal inadequacy.’  Bruce Chatwin, Nomad Invasions, 1972 The Sound of Jura from Rhuba Bachlaig Those of us who live in Scotland […]

Isle of Jura: Corryvreckan Whirlpool; Breacan’s Cave and Glengarrisdale Bothy

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Bothy, Camp, Islands | 10 Comments

The northern tip of Jura has eluded me on two recent visits to the island. This inaccessibility has only deepened my urge to visit, and over time a specific plan developed, to time the trip to take advantage of the large tides that accompany a full moon, to camp on the headland and to observe the Corryvreckan […]

Isle of Jura backpacking and snake charming

Posted by on Jul 13, 2011 in Camp, Islands, Walk | 7 Comments

The wild, uninhabited west coast of Jura captured my imagination when I glimpsed it between fleeting clouds from the summit of Beinn Shanntaidh two years ago. We returned at the weekend and made two traverses from the road on the east coast to the west. The first skirted the northern flanks of the Paps to Glanbatrick […]

Plan A: Coll and Tiree by bike. Plan B: Coll by bike and Mull by van.

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Bike, Camp, Islands, Run, West Highlands | 6 Comments

Traigh Feall at the western end of Col   The Isle of Bute is, as the tourist board have long maintained, a beautiful island. But is not Hebridean. It lacks that Hebridean magic, the great luminosity which Murray attributed to light reflected from the surrounding sea. That Bute belongs to the B list of islands became clear […]

Great Toilets of the World Part 3: Victorian Toilets, Rothesay Pier

Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Islands, Lavatorial Prose | 4 Comments

The Victorian Toilets on Rothesay Pier, Isle of Bute I spent last week ‘doon the watter’ on the Isle of Bute, celebrating my granny’s 90th birthday with a host of relations, some drawn from the other side of the world for the occasion. I go to Bute at least twice a year, but my visits […]

West Coast Kayak Challenge starts today

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Islands | One Comment

Bruce Jolliffe set out from Largs today to start the West Coast Kayak Challenge, a solo, self-supported and self-funded kayak journey round the Mull of Kintyre and up the west coast, culminating in a  crossing of the Minch to Stornoway. His fabulously aesthetic route will take him from Scotland’s densely populated central belt to the outer reaches […]

Rum Perspectives

Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in Islands | 3 Comments

I’m always interested in analysing exactly why I love the landscape of Scotland and in reading other people’s views on this topic. For W. H. Murray it was the unusual combination of water and mountain that made it so enchanting. Murray would no doubt approve of the subject of the photos I have selected from my […]

Uig Sands, Lewis

Posted by on Aug 24, 2010 in Camp, Islands | 3 Comments

It’s great to watch the mainland receding from the deck of the Ullapool – Stornoway ferry, although I have to admit that such journeys are much more relaxing when sitting in the bar scooping beer rather than refereeing in the children’s soft play area.  We were headed for Uig Sands on the west coast of […]

Jonathan Meades: Off Kilter in the Outer Hebrides

Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Islands, TV and Film | 7 Comments

Jonathan Meades has been a favourite commentator of mine for some years. Despite his predilection for the tackling of esoteric and often unfamiliar subject matter, a combination of insightful criticism and beautiful cinematography make his television programmes a joy to watch. It was a delight to see the great man bring his rose-tinted spectacles and […]