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