Previously we'd been as far north on the mainland as Inverness, through the famous Glencoe, honeymooned on Skye, I'd been to the Cairngorms as a child, and had spent many holidays in Fife. However, photos of the north Highlands looked, to me, as the more dramatic extreme and the "real" Scotland. Teamed with the wilderness of the Outer Hebrides, this trip to the north this trip promised to be one to be remembered.
It took some planning. It involved long drives, camping, a B&B, 2 hotels, a camping pod, a hostel and several ferry trips. But it was worth it. Inspiring, exhilarating, and tiring - but in a good way.
Luskentyre is on the south coast of Harris, Outer Hebrides. As with most places on the islands it can be found at the end of a long drive down single track road, which in this case offered glimpses of the golden sands ahead. There was a small car park at the beach access point, and a short walk took us through the sand dunes.
Luskentyre beach did not disappoint. I wasn't actually ready for what it actually was. Miles and miles of white sand tinged with golden hues - you couldn't actually see where the far end of the sand stopped. The sea graduated from blue to aqua marine to perfectly clear when it met our feet. With a few spots of seaweed here and there, and the rocks, the only thing to be seen on the smooth sand was our footprints. Not even the dull day and eventual rain could take away this amazing spectacle.
The Outer Hebrides were amazing. Each island with different characteristics, whether it is the beaches of each island, the wild flowers of Barra, the almost out of character flatness of Benbecula, the dramatic landscapes of Harris and the history of Lewis. We would definitely return again, hopefully for longer next time.
The next morning, before driving to our next destination, we took a leisurely breakfast in the hotel (I tried Clootie Dumpling) and then a stroll around the town after stopping for a few photos of the picturesque harbour.
Ullapool has a lovely collection of little shops and galleries, in particular a well-known bakery that supplies local markets which we tried, and a smokehouse. I understand that the bakery offers courses in the summer months and you can buy their products direct from the door of the factory. I say factory - it's not really, just that it is slightly out of the town on an industrial estate, and next door to the smokehouse. The smokehouse was closed on this occasion but the butcher near the ferry terminal stocked their products so we had a lovely lunch of hot smoked salmon, smoked cheese and garlic focaccia.
|Scottish road trip food|
So yes, two items/images have now been ticked off The List but doing so has created the urge to go further and to discover more of what the stunning wilderness of Scotland has to offer. I'm not sure whether this will result in additional items on The List but we will return to the area at some point, hopefully soon.