Images taken north of Ullapool

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Coigach and Assynt

The further north you go on on the West Coast of Scotland, the more remote it gets. The area north of Ullapool, comprising the Coigach Peninsula and Assynt, is a long way to the north! Roads (even footpaths!) are few and far between, while the nature of the scenery changes - large blocks of high ground traversed by narrow glens, seen further south, are replaced by an uneven but much more low-lying landscape sprinkled with imposing, often mis-shapen, mountains often standing in isolation.


Stac Pollaidh
Stac Pollaidh above Loch Lurgainn
River Garvie
River Garvie below Loch Oscaig
Achnahaird Bay Sand
Sand Pattern, Achnahaird Bay
Achnahaird Sand and Seaweed
Sand & Seaweed, Achnahaird Bay

Stac Pollaidh is arguably the best known of all the peaks in the region. Others may be equally deserving of our attention, but Stac Pollaidh (pronouned 'Stack Polly') is topped by an eccentric ridge that is quite distinctive.

 The River Garvie snakes its way picturesquely in its short journey from Loch Osgaig to the sea. Nearby, Achnahaird Bay offers many opportunities for photography, with views of Suilven (Sula Bheinn in Gaelic) ad other distinctive peaks; here, however, I have concentrated on abstract patterns in the sand.

Coigach Sunsets


Ardmair Sunset
Sunset at Ardmair Bay
Summer Isles Evening
Evening Light over the Summer Isles
Summer Isles Afterglow
Afterglow over the Summer Isles
Moorland above Altandhu
Moorland above Altandhu

The Coigach Peninsula offers several opportunities to view the setting sun - here the high cirrus clouds are seen above a few scattered boats at Ardmair Bay, while the view over the Summer Isles from the moorland above Altandhu is magnificent in the evening light. In the first moorland image, the awaited sunset never materialised, but the scene is suffused with a lovely soft, silvery light; in the second on a subsequent evening, the clouds are illuminated by a striking afterglow. I then turned my camera across the moorland towards the distant mountains.


Cam Loch at Elphin
Cam Loch at Elphin
Cloud over Suilven
Cloud over Suilven

The road north from Ullapool passes through the tiny hamlet of Elphin, bordering on the area of complete wilderness surrounding Loch Sionasgaig. Here, the view from near the graveyard sets deer grass in the foreground against Cam Loch and the relatively lowly peak of Cnoc an Leathaid Bhig in the distance. On our visit, passing clouds periodically enshrouded the higher peaks, including the mighty humpback of Suilven as seen here.

Loch Assynt

Ardvreck Castle 1
Ardvreck Castle (1)
Ardvreck castle 2
Ardvreck Castle (2)
Ardvreck castle 2
Falls near Ardvreck Castle
Islands in Assynt
Islets in Loch Assynt

The main road north from Ullapool follows the northern side of Loch Assynt, where Ardvreck Castle makes a striking landmark. The nearby waterfall is pleasingly surrounded by autumn trees, while in the fourth image the islets that are so often a feature of lochs in this area are set against the approaching storm stormy weather.


Stoer Peninsula


Clachtoll: Rocks and Sand
Clachtoll Bay: Rocks & Sand
Clachtoll Evening Sun
Clachtoll Bay: Evening Sun

Clachtoll Bay is to be found on the west coast of the Stoer Peninsula, in the north-west corner of Assynt. More sand patterns here, created as the tide recedes, and illuminated by the late afternoon sun.