Scottish islands: Mull

Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull 66

Is this one of the best beaches in Scotland?  I think so, but then I’m biased!   As you come round a corner on Mull’s wild and rocky north-west coast, Calgary Bay opens up before your eyes in all its white and turquoise beauty. Photo © Jo Woolf

Ellen’s Isle

Ellen's Isle Crop

This small wooded island in Loch Katrine was the refuge of Scott’s heroine in ‘The Lady of the Lake’

Dryburgh Abbey

Dryburgh Crop

The pink sandstone ruins of Dryburgh Abbey stand in their own little pool of time, listening for the gentle chant of prayers

Scottish islands: Harris

Luskentyre beach 30

Time for another in my Scottish islands series, and this time I’m visiting Harris in the Western Isles.   Harris has a dazzling beach at Luskentyre, and on the day we visited there was a brisk wind which kept us moving in an effort to stay warm.   Just a few inches above the surface of the beach, grains of […]

The Devil’s Arrows: shafts of darkness

Devil's Arrows composite

The people who put up these standing stones in North Yorkshire were obviously thinking big – but what on earth are those grooves all about?

Scottish islands: Lewis

Callanish BW

No apology required for re-visiting this astonishing place, for my post on the Isle of Lewis! Callanish takes you back to the elements – it’s raw and cold, like bones of the earth, and it has a strong magic, too.   We went there on a windy day in September, with a strangely ethereal sky and quite challenging lighting. […]

Scottish islands: Kerrera

Gylen Castle, Kerrera

Kerrera is the long, low island that sits like a natural storm barrier between Oban Bay and the Firth of Lorn.  It has a marina on its eastern side, and the CalMac ferries are constantly coming and going around its northernmost point, on their way to the outer islands.   Taking your car to Kerrera isn’t really an […]

Scottish islands: Islay

Portnahaven, Islay

The third in my photo-series on Scottish islands focuses on Islay, with a winter sunset seen from Portnahaven.   This little village of white-washed houses sits on the westernmost tip of the Rinns, a long peninsula of rough grassland with rocky outcrops and hidden coves.   On the far horizon is the coast of Ireland – by my reckoning it […]

Scottish islands: Skye

Kilt Rock waterfall crop

The Mealt falls on the Isle of Skye:   from Loch Mealt on the north-east coast, an outflow (it’s too short to be called a river!) takes a dramatic plunge of about 180 feet into the sea below.  You can see the basalt columns of Kilt Rock in the distance. Photo copyright © Jo Woolf

The Birnam Oak: in the presence of greatness

Birnam Oak Crop

Did this majestic tree – or the forest in which it stood – inspire Shakespeare with an idea for ‘Macbeth’?