Thoughts and musings of an old codger.

Thurso to Ullapool   - Friday 7-7-23

Leaving Thurso, we drove along the North coast, amid some glorious scenery.
The beaches along this coast are stunning, and largely unpopulated. We stopped for a while at Strathy Beach, and were the only people in sight.

Back on the road we went through Bettyhill and the Kyle of Tongue, stopping at a vantage point above Loch Eribol for a cup of tea and to take in the view.
Loch Eriboll is a 9.9 mile long sea loch used for centuries as a deep water anchorage, providing safety from the often stormy seas of Cape Wrath and the Pentland Firth.
A small scale lime industry developed here in the 19th century and Ard Neakie, a promontory on the eastern shore of the loch, had four large lime kilns developed in around 1870.

The Royal Navy used the loch during World War II and there are stones arranged by sailors into the names of their warships, including HMS Hood and Amethyst, on the hillside above the hamlet of Laid. The largest island in the loch, Eilean Choraidh, to the left of Ard Neakie in the photo, was used as a representation of the German battleship Tirpitz for aerial bombing practice by the Fleet Air Arm prior to the successful Operation Tungsten in April 1944. The surviving 33 German U-boats formally surrendered here in 1945, ending the Battle of the Atlantic.

Loch Craggie near Tongue

We stayed that night in Durness, and the next day headed south down the west coast toward Ullapool, our destination for the night. The weather was a little overcast, but at least it was not raining yet. Passing The Kyle of Durness we stopped to take some photographs of the impressive beach, the low tide emphasising the extent of the sands.

Halfway to Ullapool The Kylesku Bridge takes the road across a pair of Lochs, Chairn Bhain to seaward, and Glean Dubh to the East.

Arriving at Ullapool early afternoon, the sun was once again shining. We booked into a campsite and got a pitch right beside Loch Broom. After setting up the van for the night, we went for a few drinks at the nearest pub, a meal at The Seafood Shack followed by a few more drinks at a different pub. Returning to Gulliver we sat outside chatting to our neighbors, and watched a beautiful sunset.