Exploring the coastline around Gruinard Bay

The bright blue skies of an early February day drew us out to the shoreline

Red sands, sparkling waters, waders & eagles await

The beaches along the coastline of Gruinard Bay are some of the best in Wester Ross. Mungasdale has a wonderful red tinged sandy beach surrounding by  crofters fields, moorland and sand dunes where what look to be Kerry Hill sheep happily munch away at the grass.

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The exposed rock of Cam Dearg an Droma were where we wanted to head to see the view over Gruinard Island and the bay

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The view from our house is of the west facing side of Gruinard Island and is mostly cliffs and caves, the waves hammer into those cliffs and rocks but seeing the east side of the island from Mungasdale beach it appears to have a gentler side, with evidence of lazy beds and clusters of trees along the shore it feels completely different. There are a couple of ruined buildings but the only inhabitants of the island now are the birds. At the very peak of the island is a large boulder and whilst exploring the island through our binoculars we spotted a White Tailed Sea Eagle perched on this boulder admiring the view. We had heard that a Sea Eagle was nesting on the island so to see one perched there keeping watch over his or her island was fantastic

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Working our way along the headland and up the hill the eroded hillside provides a quirky peep of the distant Summer Isles

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The view over Little Loch Broom to the settlement of Scoraig is very tranquill with Beinn Ghobhlach ‘the forked mountain’ nestled between Little Loch Broom and Loch Broom.

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Sail Mhor ‘The Big Hill’ with the An Teallach ridge circling behind, An Teallach means ‘The Forge’ and there are 2 peaks, Bidein a Ghlas Thuill meaning ‘The peak of the grey hollow’ and Sgurr Fiona meaning ‘The fair peak’.

The snow on the tops has been a little lighter of late, that will most likely change by this weekend

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Looking down over the crofters fields and Mungasdale beach

The glass like water looks like it could be an ice rink………..if only.

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Creeping down over the moorland, this snoozy stag was oblivious to our fairy steps luckily there was barely any wind to give us away (not that we had an unpleasant aroma about us!!)

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Another ruined building with a superb view over the bay & the island

Just the heather making itself at home now

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This stag was immersed in champing as much of the lush grass as he could manage. The sheep are exceptionally generous in sharing their field with the deer and the Brent geese, or maybe they’re just wise enough to steer clear of the beastie with sharp antlers.

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As the water retreats the rock pools have their chance to shine and flaunt their own underwater rainbow

 

Throughout our time at Mungasdale the Sea Eagle hadn’t left ‘his’ boulder on the island. At least 3 very patient hours.

As the sun begins to wane the sand takes on a deeper hue. A captivating spot for a picnic

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The following day we wanted to reach a secluded beach Camus a Chruthaich, that we have seen through our binoculars but haven’t yet managed to wander barefoot on.

The secluded spot is along the same stretch of coastline as Gruinard beach but is hidden around an outcrop and is inaccessible from the sands at Gruinard. So the only option for us was to head overland.

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We never knew Heather could grow so large!

It was a tough fight through to say the least. The hillside was fairly steep and the heather dense and waist high in places. Lots of pauses were needed, for view admiring purposes of course!!!

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We survived the battle although the heather did seem determined in preventing our mission.

Once we were over the hill and had dropped down the hillside we joined a footpath which we believe links the beach to Gruinard House.

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A small, quiet little bay, the perfect place to wile away the hours

 

Is there anything more satisfying than walking on pristine untouched sand.

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Gruinard Island viewed from the south has another entirely different aspect

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Reluctantly tearing ourselves away from Camus a Chruthaich beach we climbed Torr Mor and took a few minutes to admire the view.

Gruinard Bay glistening under the sunshine

 

A few deep breaths before we begin the fight through the shrubs & trees to reach the path at the foot of the hill.

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2 wonderful days in the sun by the sea and just a few minutes from home. Wester Ross you have outdone yourself again.

 

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