Thursday, 10 July 2014

NW Sutherland: Journey To The Top of Scotland (almost!)

Saturday, 28th June 2014

Imagine planning a holiday to the far north west of Scotland in June!  I had never been north of the Kylesku Bridge before - and that was just a quick photo stop. There was still so much more to explore northwards. All I could think was that we would probably be in for a week of rain, wind and midges!  I was to be proved wrong.

As we travelled further north, leaving the joys of the A9 road far behind us, we came upon a familiar peak rising up: Stac Pollaidh, a hill we had hiked a few years ago on a glorious summer's day.

Stac Pollaidh
After our lunch stop at Knockan Crag - a walk worth doing - we continued north. Next appeared the familiar outline of Scotland's 'sugar loaf' mountain, Suilven.

The Assynt scenery is incredible, boasting some of the oldest rocks on the planet, remnants of a once vast plateau, shaped and moulded by millions of years of exposure, ice ages and volcanic activity.  Anyone interested in geology should make an effort to visit this part of Scotland.

Differing layers in the rock strata
Ruins of Ardvrack Castle, Loch Assynt
Looking to the mass of Quinag
Looking across Loch Glencoul to the geological wonder, the Moine Thrust
As we neared the Kylesku Bridge, we stopped in a parking area with information boards detailing the discovery that was the Moine Thrust - where older rocks had thrust themselves above newer rocks. The Lewisian Gneiss visible is Britain's oldest rock type, formed 3 billion years ago!

Kylesku Bridge
Next stop was the Kylesku Bridge. Opened in 1984, it spans Loch a' Chàirn Bhàin.

We continued our way north, enjoying the scenery, to our destination, Sheigra.  Sheigra is situated at the end of the road, literally.  There is a beautiful beach, which was enjoyed by our Labrador, one of many he tried and tested during the week!

Corbie enjoying the beach at Sheigra 
Black sand patterns visible
Well, it certainly looked a beautiful spot to spend the week!  Day Two to follow...

© Karen Hartnell - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way.

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