Bleak, beautiful and desolate – I first visited the Outer Hebrides more than 50 years ago. I had been travelling around the north coast and then down the west coast of Scotland with my brother attempting to find the home featured in one of my favourite books, Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell, to this day still one of my favourites. The home of Gavin Maxwell was a cottage at Sandaig Bay called Camusfearna, a remote location 4 miles from the village of Knoydart, Inerie reached by a ferry from Mallaig, The peninsula of Knoydart is considered the last real wilderness in the British Isles. It’s several years since I last visited and doubtless tourism has reached even that remote location, maybe by others seeking out the home of Gavin Maxwell, where Maxwell lived with several otters as pets.
We camped by the coastline on the west coast of the Isle of Skye and watched as the sun set over the Outer Hebrides outlining the hills of the Isles of Lewis and Harris. They may sound like two islands but in reality are just two parts of one island, with the largest town Stornoway on the east coast. Anyway, the sight was too much to resist and the next morning we drove down to Uig and took the car ferry to Tarbert, Harris. Caledonian MacBrayne ferries run a service several times per week.
The Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye 3,254 ft (991 m)
Sad to say that there is now a road bridge from the mainland of Scotland to the Isle of Skye, but progress helps with the economy of the island but it does take some of the romance away from the trip “Over the Sea to Skye”
Tarbert Harbour on Isle of Harris
Ruins of Tarbert Castle
Caledonian MacBraynes Ferry plying between the Hebridean Islands