Saturday, 20 February 2010

My Top Ten Viewpoints: 7 - 5

My Top Ten Viewpoints: 10 - 8

7: Arran from unnamed point N of Helensburgh

For years I wandered around the Firth of Clyde, looking for the best view. Hill of Stake, Dunrod, Bishops Hill, the Free French memorial at Gourock, on and on it went, none quite doing the job. It turned out that the best view of the Firth of Clyde wasn't from the top of any hills: the Quadrocks, looking over Arran, Bute and Cumbrae, was probably top. Until I walked from Glen Fruin over the hills between the Glen and Helensburgh, and stumbled on the view above near the treeline of Highlandman's Wood. I love the interlocking green peninsulas and the snowy Arran peaks, though the poor-quality scan doesn't do the pic justice. One day I'll go back and take it again, but the memory of the boggyness of the surrounding slopes puts me off a bit.

6: Rum and Eigg from Arisaig

Rum and Eigg look good from a large swathe of mainland coast. From the summit of Rois Bheinn,

Ben Hiant, or from Sanna Bay:

Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan

But I think my favourite view of them is from the beaches between Arisaig and Morar, and the best of these is probably Bunacaimb beach. The sand is pale, the water shallow and full of sand-coloured flatfish. It is a great place for a long weekend camping, especially in May or early June. People who holiday in this area come back again and again, drawn by the beauty of the scenery, but also by the peace: for compared to Fort William, Inverness, Glencoe and Skye on the tourist trade routes, Arisaig is practically deserted. A mystery, when you look at it.

5: The Drongs from Eshaness

I was tempted, very tempted, to put this picture of the Cairngorms in my top ten, magnificent in its Arctic desolation (note the deerherd in the bottom left of the picture):

or even Traigh Scarista on Harris, one of the most beautiful stretches of sand around:

And there were others: Inner Sound from Bidean a Coire Sheasgaich, or the Five Sisters of Kintail from the hill road on the north side of Loch Duich, but I realise this is a top 10, not a top 20 or 30, and so reluctantly have to chose one viewpoint. And for this I'm going way up north to Shetland, home of much of the best coastal scenery in the country.

The area around Eshaness is especially notable: low seacliffs with a blowhole behind, and the unusual seastacks of Dore Holm (with a hole through the middle) and the Drongs. The Drongs really are unusual, looking like the superstructure of a sunken battleship, wave battered and a focal point for the eye.

As I made my way back from a walk along the cliffs north of Eshaness, sunlight briefly shafted out of the cloud to illuminate the Drongs. I stopped and grabbed the camera and took this picture. Seconds later, the light was gone.

My Top Ten Viewpoints: 4 - 2
My Top Ten Viewpoints: 1


blueskyscotland said...

Can`t argue with any of them..!

I have never been to Shetland yet.It seems to be one of those places that I keep putting off "until next year".

Billy said...

Rois Bheinn for me, followed by Beinn a' Chrulaistie, then the in pinn from sgurr a' Greadaidh, then Elgol, then Pinnacle ridge on SNG from Blaven. Last munro up glen strathfarrar was cool too, then rum from Arisaig, then Sgurr na Ciche from Sgurr Mor - I'll probably change tomorrow