Naked Munros
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Sandwood Bay

(Written by Stuart)

A candidate for Britain’s most beautiful beach, Sandwood Bay is said to get about as many visitors a year as the beaches at Bournemouth or Brighton get on a summer’s day. Its become more popular in recent years, but we knew it would probably be deserted in the evening. The warm, evening sun and Gulf Stream water would make it a perfect spot for naturism and although there were a couple of other tents hidden in the dunes, it’s a big place and we found a nice quiet corner where I got some great late evening photos of Karla as the rock glowed red in the sunset.

It’s the rocks that keep bringing me back here. I studied them when I was a geology student during a field trip that I look back on as two of the best weeks of my life. In the coastal strip that extends from the Kyle of Lochalsh in the south to Durness in the north you can see a variety of beautiful geological features at almost every turn. Sandwood Bay itself is surrounded by a rock called Torridonian Sandstone, the eroded remains of a one billion year old mountain range in Greenland. They’re great for photography as they radiate a striking red colour in the sunset and flood the whole area with a beautiful warm glow.

Walking out the next day, we saw the mountains in the distance covered with cloud. It seems that the whole of the UK was under thick cloud and rain apart from the very far north-west where we were basking in sunshine! For the next week this continued – as the BBC forecaster got gloomier, the weather where we were just got hotter. There were flood warnings, storm warnings and even a warning about tornadoes across the country, but we just bought more sun block. One day we even heard complaints from the owner of a hotel that caters for fisherman. It turns out that it had been so dry that the water was getting too warm for the fish to move around in and they were just sitting at the bottom of the lochs ignoring the fisherman’s bait.

We knew this weather would make climbing Munros a challenge, so we decided to abandon any attempts at them and instead chose to remain in the northwest corner of Scotland, a largely Munro free part of the country, and just enjoy the barren, beautiful landscape.

Photographic details