My favourite place

TNT_Brian By TNT_Brian, 4th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Scotland>The North & Northwest Highlands

What is it about Sandwood Bay that makes we want to walk 5 miles to get there with all the supplies I need for a week or 2 strapped to my back? Well this place is very special, read on to find out why.

Getting there

My favourite place in the whole world is a secluded beach called Sandwood Bay which is hidden away on the far North-West coast of Scotland. It is about as far away from civilization as it’s possible to get in Scotland and it has an almost magical quality to it.

Any journey to Sandwood typically begins early in the morning as it means at least 100 miles driving north of Inverness, and there are certainly no motorways up here! The roads make their way through the most beautiful, rugged terrain in the country and I am reliably informed that these are among some of the oldest rock formations on the planet.

Setting off

On arrival at the car park, it’s a final check that everything is packed correctly and comfortably for the five mile walk ahead then it’s boots and bags on and across the road to start walking. Crossing the gate, you find the path is pretty good at this point and for the first half to three quarters of a mile it is good enough to drive a car along. Thankfully this is no longer permitted however as vehicles erode and pollute this amazing landscape.

The walk

The rest of the path is very well maintained and although it is long and undulating, it is not a particularly tough walk as there are no steep sections to contend with. The way passes lochs and hills with some stunning views of mountains and plenty of photo opportunities.

After about four and a half miles you come over the last rise to get your first glimpse of the bay and what a remarkable view it is. At this point, the walk already seems a lot easier and totally worth the effort and with a renewed energy, the descent to the beach seems like a fairly easy ten minutes.

Camping

There are plenty of camping spots to choose from, I normally opt for somewhere near the river which connects the nearby Sandwood Loch with the sea. This ensures a plentiful supply of clean, fresh drinking water and also allows for fishing. With sea trout, sea bass and salmon to be seen swimming and leaping in the water, it is definitely worth taking a rod with you if it means carrying less food.

Things to do

There is plenty to do here in this most tranquil of places. There is 2 miles of beach and sand dunes, some amazing rock formations, lots of birds and wildlife and much more hill walking and climbing for those with more energy. It is also really peaceful just to lie on the beach, listening to the waves crashing and watching amazing sunsets. It is a great place for surfing as from here there is nothing to break up the waves over 3000 miles of Atlantic Ocean. Sandwood is also a great place for reading and writing as there are absolutely no distractions. Mobile phones don’t work here and that is a real blessing!

Sharing

From where I like to set up camp, I can usually see people arriving and leaving the place all day but most of the visitors don’t stay for more than an hour or two (something I can personally never understand) and given the size of the place, it is entirely possible to never come into contact with another soul unless you actually go looking for them.

Solitude

I guess people come here for lots of reasons, but for me there is something energising about the seclusion of the place, it almost seems to have a life-force of its own and to me it feels like it is sharing something special with me. This is the one place I can totally relax and recharge my batteries and after a week up here I can easily face another year in the real world. Though, to be honest I’d be here six times a year if I could!

The sights

To see more photos of this and other amazing places then please check out my Flickr page at www.flickr.com/travels_and_tribulations

Tags

Beach, Camping, Fishing, Highlands, Inverness, North West Highlands, Sandwood, Sandwood Bay, Scotland, Solitude, Sunset, Tranquility, Walking

Meet the author

author avatar TNT_Brian
I am a gardener at a large private garden in the Highlands of Scotland which is open to the public. My hobbies include camping, fishing,photography and hillwalking. I am also a bit of a geek when it comes to watching pro-wrestling but more of that ...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Greenfaol
4th Jan 2011 (#)

Love this place. it really is a piece of heaven. Anyone ever get the chance to go there, take it. Excellent article :D

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Looks like a very wonderful place. Thanks for sharing, and including the pictures!

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author avatar Denise O
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Looks and sounds just great.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar TNT_Brian
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks all, it really is a must see place if you ever get the chance :)

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author avatar mountainside
10th Jan 2011 (#)

This sounds very serene. You are good, five miles of walking. Very impressive. Thanks, I felt as if I were there.

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author avatar TNT_Brian
10th Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you Mountainside. The walk is forgotten almost as soon as you arrive :)

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st Jun 2011 (#)

Sounds beautiful. You reallly bring it alive. Thanks for the share.

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