Category Archives: West Highlands and Islands

Loch Achtriochtan


Loch Achtriochtan or Loch Trychardan is a Scottish loch located to the east of Glencoe village in the Scottish Highlands.
During the 18th century the loch flooded and nearby inhabitants had to abandon the area.
Now under the care of the National Trust for Scotland, Loch Achtriochtan is a small fresh water lochan in Glencoe, fed by the River Coe, which eventually flows into Loch Leven at Invercoe.
To the south of the Loch is Achnambeithach Cottage, accessible from the A82 road.
To the north, there are the mountains Sgorr nam Fiannaidh and Stob Coire Leith and, to the south, the Three Sisters. Loch Actriochtan sits about three miles from Glencoe village.
 

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Scolpaig Tower


Scolpaig Tower (also known as Dùn Scolpaig or MacLeod’s Folly) is a Georgian folly located near the village of Scolpaig on the Isle of North Uist.
The name probably derives from the Old Norse scolpvik, or ‘Scolp Bay’ (a scolp being a large Hebridean vessel, probably relating to the nearby bay where such boats may have landed).

It was built in about 1830 by Dr Alexander MacLeod, who was the factor of the North Uist estate.
It was erected to provide employment for the purpose of famine relief.
Built over an Iron Age dun on a small islet in Loch Scolpaig, the Gothic-style folly has an octagonal footprint and appears as a two-storey structure surmounted by a crenellated parapet.
The tower is surrounded by a low stone wall that was probably constructed at the same time.
The original dun has disappeared entirely. Today the tower is open to the elements and serves as a nesting place for birds.

It was included in the Ninth Report and Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles (1928) of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland,
and Historic Scotland approved it as a Category B listed building in 1971.

When the water level is sufficiently low, it can be reached via a stone causeway in Loch Scolpaig.
The tower is a prominent feature on otherwise flat ground and is among the most photographed sites on the island.

A group organised by the Council for Scottish Archaeology under its Adopt-a-Monument scheme was in 2008 attempting to raise funds to stabilise and conserve the structure.
 

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Barra


Barra is an island in the Outer Hebrides and the second southernmost inhabited island there, after the adjacent island of Vatersay to which it is connected by a short causeway.
In 2011, the population was 1,174.
The area of Barra is roughly 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi). The main village is Castlebay (Bàgh a’ Chaisteil).

The west of the island has white sandy beaches backed by shell-sand, machair and the east has numerous rocky inlets.

Kisimul Castle at Castlebay is on a rock in the bay, giving the village its name.
A smaller medieval tower house, Dun Mhic Leoid, can be found in the middle of Loch St Clare on the west side of the island at Tangasdale.

The highest elevation on the island is Heaval, halfway up which is a prominent white marble statue of the Madonna and Child, called “Our Lady of the Sea”, which was erected during the Marian year of 1954.
The predominant faith on the island is Catholicism and the Catholic church dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea is immediately apparent to all who arrive at Castlebay.

Other places of interest on the island include a ruined church and museum at Cille Bharra, a number of Iron Age brochs such as those at Dùn Chuidhir and An Dùn Bàn, and a range of other Iron Age and later structures which have recently been excavated and recorded.
 

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Isle of Mull


Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute.

With an area of 875.35 square kilometres (337.97 sq mi) Mull is the fourth largest Scottish island and the fourth largest island surrounding Great Britain.
In the 2011 census the usual resident population of Mull was 2,800 a slight increase on the 2001 figure of 2,667; in the summer this is supplemented by many tourists.
Much of the population lives in Tobermory, the only burgh on the island until 1973, and its capital.

Tobermory is also home to Mull’s only single malt Scotch whisky distillery.
 

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Neist Point


Neist Point is the most westerly point on the Duirinish peninsula on the Isle of Skye.
It projects into The Minch and provides a walk and viewpoint.
 
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Machrie Moor Stone Circles


Machrie Moor Stone Circles is the collective name for six stone circles visible on Machrie Moor near the settlement of Machrie on the Isle of Arran.
Around 1 kilometer to the west is the remains of the Moss Farm Road Stone Circle, (Machrie Moor 10).
 
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Torren Lochan


Torren Lochan is the place where Hagrid’s Hut was built for the film Prisoner of Azkaban.

 
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Fairy Pools


The Fairy Pools are a natural waterfall phenomenon in Glen Brittle on the Isle of Skye.
The Fairy Pools are a popular location for walkers.
It is about a 20-minute walk to the Fairy Pools from the Glen Brittle car park.
 
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Kyleakin


Kyleakin is a village situated on the east coast of the Isle of Skye.
The village is along the strait of Kyle Akin opposite the northwest Scottish mainland town of Kyle of Lochalsh.
Kyleakin is within the parish of Strath.
 
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Loch Quoich


Loch Quoich is a loch and reservoir situated west of Loch Garry approximately 40 km northwest of Fort William, Lochaber, Scotland.
The name means “loch of the cup/quaich”.

Both lochs form part of the Glen Garry hydroelectricity project commissioned by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board in the 1950s.

The scheme was completed in 1962.
 

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