The west coast and particularly the northern part.

Sadly, my images from the Welsh coast are rather sparse. I have boxes and boxes of prints from Pembroke, Anglesey and Llandudno, but little that can be shown here digitally. Sorry, Wales!

 Two shots taken while passing Mumbles Head and entering Swansea Bay, very early in the morning, on the overnight ferry from Ringaskiddy, Cork

There is a wonderful railway line that runs from Shrewsbury via Dovey Junction (where the line continues to Aberystyyth) along the coast of Cardigan Bay as far as Pwlhelli. Dr Beeching had it in his sights, but somehow it survived. This is the trestle viaduct across the Mawddach Estuary at Barmouth.

Further north the line continues along the sand dune coastline and round into the Lleyn Peninsula seen disappearing into the haze behind.

A view from the hills above the Mawddach Estuary.

The harbour at Porthmadoc.


Looking north from Southport across the bleak expanse of the Ribble Estuary. Certain structures in Blackpool can be seen in the distance.

An incoming tide stirs up the mud off Southport. "too thick to swim in, too thin to plough...!"

Morecambe Bay, with the tide sweeping in, viewed from Arnside. Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 nuclear power stations can be seen on the opposite shore.

From near the same spot but looking north toward the Lake District. The railway line that follows the Cumbrian coast crosses the Leven Estuary towards Grange over Sands.

This is the quiet and beautiful coast of Dumfries and Galloway - a view across Wigtown Bay towards Whithorn.

Following the path on the east side of Wigtown Bay.

Near Carrick on a perfect day...

Carrick sunset.

Looking down from the slopes of Goatfell to Brodick, the main settlement on Arran.

The Ardrossan to Brodick ferry crossing the Firth of Clyde....

...and setting off back.

Brodick and Arran's mountainous interior.

An older sort of ferry, still carrying trippers on the Clyde.

Three views of the Crinan Canal, at Crinan, the western end of this 217 year old, nine mile shortcut. It connects the Clyde and the Hebrides avoiding a long sail around the Mull of Kintyre.

 This is in the south of Mull looking across Loch Scribain to Beine na Sreine.

Three views around Fionnphort, western Mull, and the Iona Ferry. The island and its abbey can be seen in this view.

A lovely empty beach on the west shore of Iona.

From Fionphort it is possible to visit Staffa with its extraordinary columnar basalt rock and famous cave. We also observed many seabirds during our short visit including puffins

Inside Fingall's Cave.

Staffa's landing jetty.

Looking west from Staffa toward the Treshnish Islands.

One the Treshnish Islands, called Bac Mor or Dutchman's Cap.

There is more than one way to get to Staffa!

A view south from the island of Ulva across Loch na Keal to Mull. The high peak is Ben More.

Coastal footpath near Carsaig, Mull

Still on Mull with Ben More dominating the scene..

Tobermory, the largest settlement on Mull. This view might be strangely familiar to anyone who was required to watch a certain children's television program some years ago...

Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point on the British mainland and provides some stunning views. Rhum, Eigg, Muck and a distant Skye seen across Sanna beach.

A flat calm morning, with the merest breaths of wind touching the surface of the water. In the very far distance is the outline of Skye, while the clouds building up over the coast warn of the snow showers to come later in the day - view looking west down Loch Torridon..

Sheildaig is the largest of the small scattered settlements around Loch Torridon. It depends mainly on fish and tourism and the smoke drifting out to sea is due to the preparation of smoked salmon which is sold to visitors.

 Raasay and Rhona, with Skye behind, from the Applecross Peninsula. The Inner Sound and Sound of Raasay are calm enough to reflect the clouds.

Rhona, Raasay, Scalpay and Skye and the Cuillins from near Applecross.

A recently built road follows the south shore of Loch Torridon to the open sea and turns south along the coast of the Applecross Peninsula. There are breathtaking views across the Inner Sound to Rhona, Raasay, Scalpay and Skye itself, with the Cuillin always catching the eye.

The view is also quite lovely...

Looking down from the top of Bealach na Ba. Before the road was built from Loch Torridon to Applecross, this was the only route into the peninsula. The head of the pass is at two thousand feet and in winter is frequently blocked by snow. In the past there were weeks at a time when the only access to Applecross was by sea. In the distance is Loch Kishorn.

I have wanted to climb this mountain, ever since it was featured on TV in the Munro Show by writer and broadcaster Muriel Gray. In her book, "The First Fifty" (a very good read by the way) she writes

"We found a cottage in Torridon that was idyllic. It nestled on the southern shore of Loch Torridon, with a view that would make a bouncer turn poet, since the living room windows were filled with Beinn Alligin and the western tail of Liathach, both reflected breathtakingly across the water."

Like this? (Well...nearly, pity about the low tide...)

The path up the corrie of Bein Alligin is unremittingly steep and bouldery, but this gives plenty of excuses to stop, turn round and admire the view. Upper Loch Torridon is framed between the western end of Liathach and the side of the corrie. Behind are other Torridon peaks, including Beinn Liath Mhor and Maol Chean-dearg.

Liathach is one of the Torridon giants: a great mass of the characteristic, layered, red sandstone, which dominates the eastern end of Loch Torridon and towers above the village. It is a mountain for the serious hill walker and the dangers and difficulties to be found along its ridges, must not be underestimated.

Looking up Loch Torridon, this view shows the "back" of Beinn Alligin, with Beinn Dearg (centre) and Liathach (right) hiding among the snow showers.


Quinag is a long ridge running from north to south with several individual summits and subsidiary ridges. This is the most southerly and accessible summit called Spidean Coinich, which can be reached in an easy walk, directly from the road. Other routes along the ridge have steeper sections and are more demanding.

In the middle foreground, on the edge of Loch Assynt, is the ruin of Ardvreck Castle. It was built at the end of the sixteenth century by the Macleods, but later seized by the Mackenzies.

The whole of the hummocky Quinag ridge can be seen from Stoer, with its highest summit on Sail Gharbh in the centre. The Spidean Coinich summit, shown on the previous shot, is on the extreme right of the ridge. From the west, Quinag is a far more formidable challenge.

This view is looking back to where the previous shot was taken, on the Stoer Peninsula, from the Spidean Coinich summit. Loch Assynt, looking like a sheet of blue glass, lies to the left. Beside it, the road to the fishing port of Lochinver, winds away into the distance. Many other lochans, hollows left by the scouring action of an ice sheet, dot the landscape.

This panorama, which only comes into view when the summit is reached, is a just reward for completing the last steep scramble.

If climbing mountains is not quite to your taste, a gentler but equally rewarding walk can be had on the Stoer peninsula itself. From the car park at the lighthouse, a pleasant path winds northwards along the clifftops to the point, with spectacular seascapes all the way.

The most impressive feature is this sea stack, the Old Man of Stoer. Sometimes climbers can be seen testing their skills on its 200ft of near vertical rock.

The lighthouse at Neist Point Isle of Skye

Handa Island also has some impressive stacks.

Reaching them requires crossing the island on a board path.

The path ends on the edge of sheer cliffs, where many seabirds find a safe nesting site

...not quite as safe for people!

The first time we walked to Sandwood Bay, several years ago, we were able to drive up a rough track for a couple of miles, before beginning the walk. We did not see a soul all day and really enjoyed the isolation and solitude.

There is now a carpark back at Blairmore, and rather more visitors making the easy walk up the most direct track. An alternative route is to walk from the carpark to the end of the road at Sheigra and follow another track which ends at some old peat cuttings. A bit of rough walking brings one out to the coast south of Sandwood Bay with a more interesting route along the top of the cliffs. On a clear day the Cape Wrath Lighthouse is visible to the north, a hard nine miles beyond Sandwood Bay.

The bay gradually opens into view as the path follows the clifftop. Facing out into the open Atlantic the bay is almost always full of the roar of the surf, which can be heard long before it can be seen. The sand is a smooth golden brown, piled up into dunes inland, with a lagoon trapped behind them. At this point, however tired you may be feeling, you will be glad to have come.