Scotland 2017

The Land of the Rings & Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan, The West Coast of Scotland

Last year, 2017, we visited Sanna Bay, in Ardnamurchan, Scotland, to get there, you drive through a ring of hills which form a world famous geological structure, a classic example of a ring complex.  From space the ring of hills looks rather like a crater on the moon, but it was formed in a very different way.  They are quite amazing to drive through when you realise they are ancient volcanoes.  I have added a few details about them.  We then arrived at, Senna Bay, truly beautiful, we were blessed with stunning weather, the first we had for over a week.  This is a photo tour of the rings and the wonderful walk we had along the beach.

The rocks of the ring of hills were called the Great Eucrite, by JE Ritchie of the British Geological Survey, when he made the first geological map of Ardnamurchan in the 1920’s.  The rocks of the Great Eucrite form a ring of hills because they were resistant to the glaciers that carved this only 20,000 years ago.  Eucrite, is a variety of gobbro, the coarsely crystallise quiver of basalt.  Large crystals form when igneous rocks crystallise slowly beneath the surface of the Earth in magma chambers.

Four ancient volcanoes on the west coast of Scotland…….When the American and Eurasian tectonic plates began to drift apart 55 – 60 million years ago, and the North Atlantic began to open, what are now north islands of, Mull, Rum and Skye, together with the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, formed a chain of volcanoes.







Isle of Skye, Scotland, Road Trip – Part 2


Oh dear, a little late with this post, only about a year, so not too bad for me.  This is part 2 of our road trip around the Isle of Skye, Scotland in 2017, and finishing on the main land, which we do each year.  As we are going again at the start of May, I thought I had better finish this trip before we embark on the next one.  Each year we find something different and it’s really just a visual trip to enjoy the beautiful Isle of Skye.  

In Search of a Lighthouse, Ardnamurchan, Scotland

This year 2017, we explored a part of Scotland that was new to us, Ardnamurchan, which is a peninsula, on the west coast of the Highlands of Scotland.  We did the trip twice, once in fog and the second in sunshine, this turned out to be quite normal on this holiday.   On the first trip we were looking for a new whisky distillery, which we found and the second a lighthouse, which we climbed.  The first photo is of the caravan site which we were staying at, just outside of Onich, opposite Corran on the map, and we had the most wonderful views across Loch Linnhe.  The rest are of our road trip searching for the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan Point and on the last photo you can just see the top poking out of the landscape.  Next stop is the lighthouse…..

May 2017

Duntulm Castle, Skye, Scotland

Duntulm Castle with spectacular views of the Outer Hebrides, you can understand the reason they built it there, and no, not just for the view, although I would have done.  The castle, with sheer cliffs on three sides, stands ruined on the north coast of Trotternish, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, near the hamlet of Duntulm.  We were on our round the ‘Island Road Trip’ a week ago on holiday and I suddenly noticed the ruins, not sure how I missed them in pervious years…..most probably busy looking at the view.  We didn’t have time to stop, as we had a ferry to catch and we still had a long way to go, so the photos were taken out of the car window….. again.


A little history…..Duntulm is believed to have been first fortified in the Iron Age, and the site continues to be associated with the name Dùn Dhaibhidh or “David’s Fort”.  Later in life it was fortified by the Norse, and subsequently by their successors, the MacLeods of Skye. It would have been while it was under the MacLeod’s tenure that James V visited the castle in 1540, where he was impressed by its strength and the quality of the hospitality on offer.  In the 17th century it was the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacDonald of Sleat.  The MacDonalds abandoned the castle in about 1730 in favour of nearby Monkstadt House and then Armadale Castle in Sleat.  We did visit Armadale Castle, which has a lovely garden, and I will post about it later.  

 A little haunting for you…. a nursemaid accidentally dropped the baby son of the clan chief from a castle window above the cliffs.  The ghost of the nursemaid, killed in retribution, is still said to wander the ruins. She is apparently kept company by the ghost of Hugh MacDonald, who plotted against the rightful clan chief in the 1600s, and who was starved to death in the dungeon at Duntulm.   

There were quite substantial ruins left in the 1880, a large keep several stories high, which would have looked quite impressive on the cliff top.  But, as with many of theses castle ruins, the stone work was removed for building projects and other parts eroded away, or just fell into the sea.  

May 2017


Isle of Skye, Scotland, Road Trip – Part 1

Just to show that we did have some nice weather on our holiday in Scotland last week, May 2017.  We went to Skye on one of the sunny days and we always do a round the island road trip.  Each year I always manage to see different views, and the weather can also change everything within a few seconds.  This is a two part post and please forgive any blobs, as quite a few photos, well nearly all of them, were taken through the front windscreen……and no matter how many times you clean the screen, those pesky flies are back again, leaving their imprint, the blob.  So here are few of my impressions of Skye, with a few more to follow.

May 2017