1.       Glenelg
2.       The Uists & Barra
3.       Kilmartin
4.       The Road North
5.       Orkney: Mainland
6.       Orkney: Heart of Neolithic Orkney
7.       Orkney: Rousay
8.       Orkney: Hoy
9.       Orkney: Sanday
10.     Orkney: Westray
11.      Orkney: Papa Westray
12.      Orkney: South Ronaldsay
13.      Northwest Highlands
14.      Inverness
15.      Edinburgh

September 5

I met Roddie at the airport in Glasgow and the two of us headed north up Lomondside, through Glencoe to Fort William then on to Glenelg on the coast opposite Skye. Its a road I have driven many times before but never in the late summer. The scenery was spectacular, as you can imagine, but time was of the essence and it took the better part of the day to get to our destination.

September 6


Roddie at the War Memorial in Glenelg with Skye in the background

Glenelg is a nice jumping off point for Skye and the Western Isles—there is a small, privately-owned ferry that runs from Bernera to Kylerhea. The main attraction for Roddie and I was the presence of a pair of well-preserved brochs, Dun Telve and Dun Trodden, in Glen Beag. Brochs are circular stone towers that were built during the Iron Age (c. 400 BC- 200 AD). Although they have a pronounced military aspect, they were more symbols of power and prestige than fortified strongholds.

Dun Telve

Like most brochs those at Glenelg had double walls. The general opinion is that the space was designed to reduce the weight of the superstructure and make it less likely to collapse, but it may well be that they were used to conduct warm air to the upper levels.

Dun Telve. Gallery and staircase

Dun Telve. Entrance passage looking out

Dun Trodden is less than a mile away, set on a hillside rather than the valley floor.

Dun Trodden, viewed from Dun Telve


Dun Trodden from below


Dun Trodden. View of the rear of the broch

It is a short drive to the ferry, one of a handful that is privately owned and operated. From there, it was over the seas to Skye.

Kylerhea. Waiting for the ferry

For centuries the crossing was used by cattlemen who had to swim their herds over every year to begin the long drive to the markets of the Lowlands. The ferry service began in the 17th century and for many years was the only regular means of getting to and from Skye. Such was its importance that, after the 1715 uprising, the government built Bernera Barracks to guard it. Seals are regularly sighted and otters are common—there is a haven on the Skye shore.

Broadford, Skye. View of the bay from Glen Arroch

We took the old drovers' road over the hills to Broadford and then headed north to Uig. We had time for a couple of pints of Black Cuillin at the Ilse of Skye Brewery before taking the ferry to Lochmaddy on the island of North Uist.





































Brochs of Scotland