Greenhill, The Maze and Kilkenneth Chapel.

Start. Greenhill. (Traigh Ghrianal).

Route. Greenhill - Traigh Thodhrasdail (The Maze) - Dun Hanais - Creagan House - Kilkenneth Chapel - Greenhill.

Notes. An easy circular walk from Greenhill taking in some spectacular scenery, we wandered over the sands of yet another dune backed beach, The Maze, or if you're a gaelic speaker Traigh Thodhresdail. Our return was made over tarmac, a quiet narrow lane guided us back via a ruinous chapel. A friend asked me which was my favourite beach on Tiree, I lied telling him The Maze because that's the one I refer to in English, truth is they're all fabulous depending on the height of the tide at the time of visiting.

In this case the tide was just rolling up the sands as we left the Greenhill car park, the path followed a stoney burn onto Traigh Ghrianal, once on the beach stunning as it was we turned right, forded the burn, our destination was the better. North we wandered dunes to our right the turquoise Atlantic our left, on reaching a finger of rock reaching across the sands we stopped, if the tide had been any higher a hands on scramble would have been required, lucky for us we just had time to squeeze round the end before Neptune slammed the door behind us, and what a door, it allowed access to The Maze a staggeringly beautiful dune backed strand arching to the horizon.

Slowly we traversed this stunning beach, stopped to talk to two other walkers, the first we'd met all week, at the far end of the beach we turned our backs on the sea, entered the large dune system. Faint paths now guided us in land, after passing through a gate we stepped onto vast tracts of fertile machair, the path continued passed Creagan House before depositing us on a minor road. We turned south, the tarmac surface guided us towards Kilkenneth, the village was a few yards up a minor road to the left, on the right the remains of Kilkenneth Chapel. Partly buried in shifting sand, covered in a liberal helping of cow pats not a lot remained of this holy site, not even the fence that once guarded the ancient structure against an onslaught of bovine waste. We continued along the minor road ignoring Kilkenneth to reach a cattle grid, just after the cattle grid crossing the machair the track we drove in on, this we followed back to the parked car.

view route map.


About to step onto Traigh Ghrianal.

Abhainn Cille the crystal clear stoney burn that guided us onto the beach.

Looking to An Snoig across Traigh Ghrianal.

Stunning beach, azure blue skies and the headland of Rubha Chraiginis reaching across the skyline.

From the white sands of Traigh Ghriaanl, views to the craggy headland of Ceann a' Mhara.

Rearing up above dune backed beaches Beinn Hough walked earlier in the week.

Smooth sea washed rocks mark the end of Traigh Ghrianal and the beginning of The Maze.

The door is about to close, round the point one of the best beaches on Tiree, a dune backed arch of sweeping sand, and not another human being in sight.

Wandering along the tide line of the whispering ocean.

The Maze a lovely silent place, apart from the surf, not another sound.

Who could wish for a nicer place, the wet sand captures the spirit of land and sky.

Two of the three high places of Tiree, seen across The Maze, to the left adorned with a giant golf ball, Ben Hynish, to the right Ceann a' Mhara.

A lonely farm rises from the vast field of machair grassland.

The sad remains of Kilkenneth Chapel, probably dates from the middle ages, dedicated to St Kenneth a colleague of St Columba, it is thought St Kenneth lived on Tiree in the 6th century. The last burials on this site took place in the 18th century, unfortunately Atlantic storms have shifted vast amounts of sand in the past revealing coffins and human remains, all I found was cow pats.

Abhainn Cille looking to Greenhill car park.

Traditional island houses at Kilkenneth.

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