While I was in Ullapool I took a trips on the "Summer Queen" out to the Summer Isles. The sea was flat calm, it was fairly warm, with the odd shower of rain, but also SUNSHINE! Above is Loch Broom, a sea loch which leads out to the Summer Isles and beyond. I'd definitely recommend a trip on the Summer Queen. The commentary is excellent, giving information on the landscape, history and wild life. We saw porpoises, red-throated divers (we have them in Orkney but I'd never seen them!), gannets diving, as well as seals, gulls of all varieties, fulmars and guillemots and and three specs I was reliably informed were sea eagles! Here are some shots of the landscape - my camera wasn't up to taking photos of the wildlife! (If you click on one then you can see them in a photo-stream a bit bigger).
Right - the ferry on it's way to the Western Isles
A sea arch in Loch Broom
The hamlet of Polbain strung out along the hills
The Summer Isles Cafe & Post Office on the island of Tanera. The last independent post office in the UK! You can buy a stamp here to post a letter to the surrounding mainland, but any further afield you need a regular Royal Mail postage stamp. The boat stops with enough time for tea, coffee and cake here, or a quick walk along the shore or up the hill. Needless to say I opted for tea and cake!
I love the bright colours of these upturned canoes against the heather.
The "Summer Queen" moored in Tanera bay.
Mountains down to the shore
How about this for an isolated house!
The Rhue lighthouse - I seem to end up next to lighthouses...our holiday cottage was in this hamlet.
Coming back into Ullapool now. It's clear to see the effects of crofting on the field boundaries here. During the clearances when the highland crofters were forced to move to the coast, some ended in Ullapool and were given strips of land. First they had to pull the stones and boulders out - these made the fine stone walls bordering the strips. Then they had to work the fairly poor soil. The croft could only sustain one family, the eldest son would inherit and the rest of the family would have to leave and make their own way in the world. Many went overseas to New Zealand, the US and Canada.
Later we took a drive out of Ullapool - you can clearly see the heather and rough terrain. Beautiful to look at - not easy to walk on!!