Since I last posted, the weather here on the north coast of Scotland has been truly glorious. Warm sunny day has followed warm sunny day and it’s been a joy to be outside. Weather like this is too rare to waste, so on Saturday DH and I headed to Wick on the east coast and then meandered back, stopping again and again to capture yet another view of this very different landscape.
The countryside of Caithness is very similar to that of Orkney, which those of you with longer memories may remember I visited a year ago. In stark contrast to the wild, rugged mountains of the north-west Highlands, the north-east corner of the Scottish mainland boasts wide, gently-sloping and treeless vistas – far views indeed. The Orkneys lie only a few miles off the north-east coast and can be clearly seen, though getting there takes time.
|Dunnett Head - the most northerly point in mainland Britain|
This is a remote agricultural landscape, which has in the past suffered severe economic depression and hardship and marked depopulation, as can be seen from the many ruined croft houses dotted across the landscape.
|This was once a family home|
|This too - a long time ago|
|A drift of cotton grass|
As one travels back towards the centre of the north coast, the mountains begin to appear again in the distance. Once the familiar outlines of Ben Hope and Ben Loyal can be distinguished, DH and I know that we are getting close to the wonderful landscape where we feel so at home. It’s good to see something different, but only for a day….
|A lochan - a very small loch - with the Sutherland hills in the background|
|The Kyle of Tongue with the Rabbit Islands and the Melness peninsula|
|The cottages of Coldbackie, looking out over the Rabbit Islands|
|The end of a beautiful day|