Aird a Mhorain Peninsula

Start. Claggon Sollas (Grenitote road end).

Route. Claggan Sollas - Traigh Ear - Corran Aird a' Mhorain - Aird a' Mhorain - Traigh Udal - Deilish - Udal - Machair Leathann - Claggan Sollas.

Notes. The stretch of land containing Udal and Aird a’ Mhorain is a tombolo, a sand spit which has been extended by coastal deposits creating a bridge to a former island. This walk included beaches on either side of the island, machair grassland and a small slice of pre-history.

We parked at the end of the Grenitote Road, a small car park accommodated several cars, our route was simple, follow the coastline as much as possible. North we walked after fording a small burn via a set of stepping stones we joined the sands of Traigh Ear a large bay, home to sea birds and a number of waders. The sand under foot was solid, the walking easy, we soon reached then crossed Corran Aird a' Mhorain a large spit of land closing the mouth of the bay, this allowed access to the outer beach. Another massive arch of pristine sand backed by dunes, our guide book promised otters on this beach, there was plenty of tracks, five toes and a defined pad depression, amidst those of our canine friends, but what we did hear was the mournful call of seals reverberating around the many skerries offshore. When we ran out of beach we ascended into the dunes, to our right partial hidden a cemetery, the burial ground for the McLeans of Boreray.

It was time to ascend to the summit of Aird a’ Mhorain, we picked our way through machair, over dunes to reach a trig point, it may only be but a pimple at 125ft above sea level but the views are astounding. Apart from the many islands, islets and sandy bays the eye was drawn to a wonderful white arch of sand, dune backed only occupied by sea birds, this was Traigh Udal, we eagerly descended to the lovely strand. Apart from the prints left by Oyster Catchers no animal had set foot on this pristine beach today, it was ours to enjoy alone, we hung around ages. This was easily the best beach we’d set foot on all week, and that's a hell of a statement to make on an island full of wonderful beaches.

Eventually and reluctantly we traversed the beach to join a green trod cutting across the machair, this guided us to a sandy track which in turn lead through Deilish the remains of a Neolithic-Medieval settlement, we came upon a fenced area atop a dune, the remains of an Iron Age wheelhouse, our guide book claimed it was an excellent example. After a quick look round we continued following the sandy track to Udal, high dunes rose to our right cutting us off from Traigh Iar another stunner of a beach, the cultivated land of the crofters our left. Suddenly the track swung left, we continued over its sandy surface to join our outward route on the shore of Traigh Ear, all that remained to re-trace our steps of earlier.

When the kids were little, we used to take them walking because it cost nothing, the Thatcher government was taking all our money in interest rate payments.. But one thing I learned, moan they might about the walking if you had something interesting or exciting near or at the end of the walk that was what they remembered and always wanted to go back. This walk was a bit like that, unintentional we'd saved the very best till last, we will be back.

view route map.


Across the divide of Traigh Ear.

Crogearraidh Mor rising on the western horizon.

A wonderful play of light, wet sand reflects the spirit of the sky.

Looking across Traigh Ear to the scattered crofting community of Grenitote.

We stop to look for seals, their mournful cries emanate from those skerries out in the bay.

Letting the outer beach work it's magic on us.

Ascending Aird a' Mhorain looking back across Traigh Ear to the Grenitote shoreline.

What a wonderful view to the south, the beach Traigh Udal, we'll be there soon enough.

Under a dark cloud Traigh Ear with views to Crogearraidh Mor and Marri with Eabhal grey on the far horizon.

The summit Aird a' Mhorain looking to Traigh Udal.

Wandering along the tide line of the whispering ocean.

Traigh Udal just the two of us and a few Oyster Catchers.

Closing the northern end of the beach, the rocky finger of Rubha Caol.

Strolling over the pristene sands of Traigh Udal looking back to Aird a' Mhorain.

Views over Udal from the Neolithic wheelhouse at Deilish.

Deilish, this unassuming ruin is the remains of a Neolithic wheelhouse, there are a number of such structures on the dunes around us.

Another beach on an island of many, backed by dunes of coarse.

Rambling through the croft's of Udal.

Almost back the houses of Grenitote can be seen to the right.

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