Photo essay: A walk from Dalbeag beach to Shawbost, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

A walk from Dalbeag beach to Shawbost, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Dalmor beach

Instead of a single daily photo, today I have uploaded a number from a short walk along the coast on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. There is a waymarked trail. Just look up the information boards and follow the waymark posts. It is possible to walk from Gearannan to Bragar (10 miles in all). That’s enough writing for now. I hope you enjoy the photos.

DalbeagCoast walk, Isle of LewisCoast walk, Isle of LewisCoast walk, Isle of LewisOf course as we were walking on an August weekend the beaches were busier than usual as you can see from the first photo. I enjoyed watching the sea birds and discovering the numerous natural arches.




Daily Photo: Powis Castle

Powis Castle, Welshpool, Wales

Powis Castle, Mid Wales
Now under the care of the National Trust, this property started life as a castle belonging to the Princes of Powis. It has an eventful history. The family holding an allegiance to Rome and the Stuarts, a marriage to the eldest son of Clive of India and Prince Charles’ base while staying in Wales all playing their part.
But on a visit, just enjoy the visit to the castle, Clive of India exhibition and the magnificent garden and perhaps enjoy tea and scones at one of the cafés run by the National Trust.

Daily Photo: Wissant, Northern France

Wissant, Northern France

Follow the Coast South West from Calais and you pass Cap Blanc-Nez and arrive at Wissant. The names comes from the Dutch “Wit zand” or white sand in English. Mostly ignored by the British as they head South, it is popular with Parisians, Belgians and the Dutch. The latter probably because it is the nearest resort with cliffs as well as a sandy beach. The Parisians because they can get to the TGV station at Frethun, near Calais with relative ease. This photo was taken on a walk from Wissant to Cap Blanc-Nez.

Daily photo: Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln, Lewis, Scotland

Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln, Lewis, Scotland

Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln
This site was walking distance from the cottage I stayed at for a week on the Isle of Lewis. There were hundreds of these in existence in earlier times but now only a few remain. This one was restored by the local schoolchildren. It enabled corn to be milled, using only a small stream as the power source.
Another amazing example of living sustainably, using the sparse energy resources available, in an efficient manner. They knew a lot about practical eco living over a hundred years ago!

Lews Castle at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Lews Castle at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Lews Castle at Stornoway
Lews Castle and the tree filled park is pretty unique on the Isle of Lewis. If was built by James Matheson who built a fortune in the Chinese Opium Trade. The Mathesons also planted the trees around the castle, even going so far as to import soil from the mainland. The castle was sold with the Isle of Lewis to Lord Leverhume, who gave it to Stornaway Parish in 1923. It is the most imposing sight from the ferry as it arrives from Ullapool.

Daily Photo: Electric Mountain, Llanberis, North Wales

Electric Mountain, Llanberis, North Wales

Electric mountain, Llyn Peris
Dinorwig Pump Storage Power Station is hidden, not behind the low Welsh clouds, but inside the mountain itself. This project is a vital part of the United Kingdom’s electricity supply infrastructure. The last time I visited, it was a construction project. Now the power station takes visitors on bus tours into the mountain to see the massive valves, turbines and generators deep below the old quarry. It is the largest power station of its type in Britain and Europe.

Daily Photo: Welsh Highland Railway

Welsh Highland Railway, North Wales

West Highland railway
The Welsh Highland Railway is North Wales’ newest railway, even though it is a reopening of a line closed to passenger traffic in 1936. This section graphically illustrates why the railway was built in the first place, as the Beyer Garratt locomotive hauls the train from Caernafon towards a slate quarry before Rhyd Ddu. The locomotives were made in Manchester and spent most of their working life in South Africa. They are the world’s most powerful 2 foot gauge locomotives.

Daily Photo: The Cannon, Tryfan, Snowdonia, Wales

The cannon, Tryfan, Snowdonia, Wales

The cannon, Tryfan, Snowdonia, Wales

Photo by Joelle Dubois.
I chose a poor day to attempt Tryfan with Joelle. Setting off in sunshine, the weather changed as soon as we reached “The Cannon”. Although only part of the way up, low clouds started to drop their load of water making the mountain a slightly hazardous place. Having read of numerous fatalities on Tryfan we decided to abort out visit to Adam and Eve, the two columns of rock on the summit and make our way back down. The OS Explorer map and compass we had with us would have been of little use if the visibility dropped to zero. Also the rain was now making the rocks slippery and since all routes up and down involve scrambling the chance of slipping, tripping or falling was increasing as the rain continued to fall. At least I could console myself with the fact that I had previously climbed Tryfan. The mountain will still be there for another day.

Daily photo: Tryfan, Snowdonia, Wales

Tryfan, Snowdonia, Wales


I am currently in quiet mode on Twitter, Facebook and Google plus as I am travelling around Wales. Today I was on the West Highland Railway. On my way I passed Tryfan. Tryfan is my favourite mountain in the United Kingdom. At only 3010 feet high, it is not a huge height to scale, especially as the base of the mountain is quite high above sea level. It is apparently the only mountain on the British mainland that requires the use of hands as well as feet, the easiest route being classified as a Grade 1 scramble. Other notable features of the Tryfan are the cannon, a rock jutting out at a forty five degree angle a third of the way up and Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve are two natural standing stones on the summit. The climbers step across the 1.2 metre gap between them to gain the ‘Freedom of Tryfan’.

Daily Photo: Porth Dinllaen, Llyn, North Wales

Porth Dinllaen, Llyn, North Wales

Porth Dinllaen

Owned by the National Trust since 1994. The only access without a vehicle permit, is across the beach from Morfa Nefyn or across the golf course. The most important building is the Ty Coch (red House) Pub. The views from the headland above the small port on a clear day are magnificent. The port had ambitions of becoming the main port on in Wales. This role was taken by Holyhead, in large part due to Telford’s Trunk Road from London.

Not a breakfast cereal.