Dreaming of a quiet place
Updated: Feb 23, 2019
When it comes to finding a place apart you know you have achieved it when you discover the Western Isles of Scotland. Otherwise known as The Outer Hebrides, a string of islands that form part of the archipelago of the Hebrides.
Having been fortunate enough to have once lived here I want to share their perfect peace with you.
To show you in words and pictures just how tranquil they can be.
If you need a place to recharge your batteries; discover the pleasures of our amazing natural heritage; learn about wildlife you will only ever encounter here then North Uist is a great starting point. On a journey of discovery to a far away place you will learn to appreciate the simple things in life. Journey over the causeways connecting North Uist to South Uist via Benbecula and beyond. Stretch your legs at one of the very many beauty spots. Enjoy beach combing and walks on the dunes. Journey over the machair land on foot where the hummocks of marram grass cling to the land and afford protection to all sorts of birds and wildlife.
Travel up onto one of the Bens (small mountains) whilst visiting the Uists. The Golden Eagle is at home here on the islands gracefully gliding the uplifting thermals. The Snowy owl, which I have seen at Balranald, are magnificent in their full winter plumage. Waders and coastal birds galore adorn the beaches at low tide. If you are extremely lucky you could even glimpse or have a closer encounter with a Sea Eagle, but sightings are not a common occurrence.
These Isles are a lovely destination to beachcombe as the Western Isles lie in the path of the Gulf Stream, which helps maintain winter sea temperatures above those on the mainland, and washes up small colourful cowrie shells among other russett, yellow and green flat winkle type shells. I loved walking along the beach at Cula Bay on Benbecula where we lived. I had a small jam jar collection full of these tiny cowries less than a cm small in most cases. Palest pink 'Trivia arctica' cowries which are plain they are never bigger than about 1cm long. They are found mainly on the west coast of Britain and Ireland, but once again not everyone will find them. At the age of ten these were one of my most treasured possessions.
Find your happy place and go there one day soon.
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