Summer in the Western Isles
Hushinish beach is the end point of the B887, and I can’t think of a reason why you’d turn back. The now customary golden sands of the outer hebrides washed out into the glittering ocean, the odd rocky island poking out. The coastline kept this cove secluded from the powerful Atlantic, but a slow circular walk around the headland showed us the waves battering against the cliffs.
Thousands of wildflowers carpeted the rolling land, a land many others also saw the beauty in. The multicoloured hues of buttercups, daisies, clovers and the like drew in a crowd – we weren’t the only people staying there – add in public toilets and this place only got better.
The following day we hiked the 2km to the North Harris Eagle Observatory, unfortunately not spotting any as they’d just departed (we were informed by the people leaving). Rain arrived as we hurriedly walked back to the van – avoiding downpours had become customary. Being in a small space that you can’t even stand up in, without a heater really makes you relish dry weather.
We drove into Stornoway for £2 showers at the Bayhead Bridge Centre and fish and chips, or actually to sample battered pizza (best to just leave that memory behind).
One area still awaited our exploration: The Butt of Lewis. The potential for seals and other marine mammals had us staring out to sea whilst the strong winds whipped around us. No sightings for us but the landscape was still worth the drive, especially the jagged cliffs leading straight into churning white waves. Belthy was buffeted by winds throughout the night, popping out for the toilet in the darkest of night was a surreal experience akin to a horror movie as large swathes of light swung across the area courtesy of the lighthouse – I was just waiting for some otherworldly being to lunge out from under the van or behind the rocks.
Our time in the Western Isles was drawing to a close, the mainland was calling…