Backpacking to Sandwood Bay

Sandwood Bay is said to be the best beach in the UK …or is it Europe? Either way, despite this accolade it will always remain fairly quiet because it is in a very remote location. To get there involves a long drive to the end of the road in north-west Scotland (along miles of single-track road with passing places) and a five mile trek across rough, boggy, windswept moorland.

Sandwood Bay

The track starts off deceptively easy – even with all the rain we’d had on Monday


but we were soon crossing the edge of lochs,


and hopping across stepping stones


and wondering “Where now?”


After 4.5 miles, we got our first glimpse of the bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond


and as we got to the sand we saw the 65m high sea stack of Am Buachaillie, which was first climbed in 1968.


To the north is the northernmost tip of the west coast of Scotland, Cape Wrath. The name of the headland derives, not from the stormy waters of the area but from the Norse word for a turning point, for here the Norsemen turned their ships to head for home.


When we arrived the midges were bad – really bad – so we put the tent towards the front of one of the sand dunes to try to catch a little sea breeze.


Close by was a small river flowing from Sandwood Loch and which we used to collect drinking water and to wash dishes.


More photos on Flickr and more ramblings to follow

Part Two

7 comments on “Backpacking to Sandwood Bay

  1. Oh sheila. No words really. At all turns you grab onto life’s treasures and push yourself into discovery. What an inspiration although I suspect the joy your imprint on yourself is accolades enogh.
    Go forth, brave traveller.

  2. WHY have I never realized that you have a blog????? I always try to keep up with your gorgeous photos on Flickr and FB, but it completely escaped me that you have a blog too! This is such a treat, finding it all together, and, yes, the black does show off photos better. I’ve been thinking the same myself, but since I’m set to change the whole thing around sometime soon I’m waiting. I’m tickled pink to find you here, and this is absolutely superb. Now to surf back and catch up with it all!

  3. Thanks all for the comments. Having managed this short backpacking trip I’m now really keen to get out there again. Neil is particularly busy in September, and we have a few weekend commitments so I may have to go alone or wait and hope for good weather in October.

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