Scourie and Handa Island

Leave Sango Sands bay and Durness with the sun shining again.

Our first stop is at Balnakeil Bay where we enjoy a bit of stone skimming. Tony wins by a mile, 6/7 to my 2/3!

We are travelling south on a single track winding and at times steep road  through a rocky dramatic landscape with mountains called Foinaven and Arkle on our left. Bright yellow gorse is everywhere as are lochans, the Gaelic term for ponds. Enjoy great views down Loch Inchard and Laxford finally arriving at Scourie at lunchtime, bagging a great pitch overlooking the bay.

We make a picnic which we take with us and drive to Tarbet for the ferry to Handa island. The single track road is the narrowest, windiest and steepest so far. It’s a beautiful spot. We arrive in time for a drink before taking the very small ferry at 1:15pm.

It’s only a 15minute journey in a boat that seats about max 14 people. We land on the beach, the boat pulled onto a small ramp by the island wardens. It’s a short walk through the dunes to the tiny visitor centre, basically a wooden shed with some composting toilets, and an introductory talk.

The island is a wildlife reserve with one of the biggest seabird colonies in Europe. We see lots and lots of guillemots and beautiful greater skewers, gliding around us. Hard to get decent photos! No puffins though, too early. The island is absolutely beautiful. We take the 6k circular footpath around the island and it’s glorious in the sunshine. Have a lovely picnic lunch on the cliff edge overlooking puffin bay.

There are fabulous birds, bays, beaches, cliffs and rabbits, rabbits everywhere. We even see a seal on the distance in one of the bays.  Enjoy a of whale spotting too but no sightings. A wonderful afternoon.

Ferry back to Tarbet and then drive to Scourie where we enjoy enchiladas and a G&T in the sunshine. Another fab day on the NC500.


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