On Friday, April 10th, I travelled from Glasgow to the Isle of Scalpay, off the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. I left home at 9 am, and took the train from Glasgow to Inverness.
There was still quite a lot of snow on the mountains between Perth and Inverness:
From Inverness I took the bus to Ullapool, and then the ferry across the Minch to Stornoway. Because the new ferry’s gangplank is still being built, we foot passengers had to board via the car deck:
I will do a separate post about the new ferry, the Loch Seaforth. The crossing time is down to two and a half hours rather than three. Because of the Easter holidays there were a lot of people, cars and lorries to load and unload, and we arrived in Stornoway a bit late. The car hire man was waiting uncomplainingly, and soon I was off again, driving down to Scalpay. I was glad that I know the road well, as it was dark, misty going over the Clisham, and there were a few places where the sheep were sleeping in the road. I got to my destination just after 10 pm.
If you read my posts from my trip to Harris last April, you’ll know that I have friends on Scalpay. But, although I have visited Harris almost every year since 1996, I had never before stayed on Scalpay. I was so very glad that I did!
I had booked a room at the newly-opened Two Harbours Guest House, which takes its name from the fact that you can see both the North and South harbours from its windows.
The breakfasts were delicious, and they cater for vegetarians and gluten-free diets. This is fairly unusual out in the islands. I also have a real affection for the Portmeiron china, which an old family friend once had:
The house was once a manse, and I was told that the room I stayed in, which had views out to both the harbours, was where Communion used to be served!
The house has been beautifully done up and was warm and comfortable:
The owners of the guest house were incredibly welcoming. I had a key to my room and was able to come and go as I pleased, which was great.
On the first morning of my stay, they invited me to have a look at the garden. There were all sorts of birds in the trees. Redwings were plentiful, and sparrows and wrens. I didn’t hear the call of the cuckoo, but was told that it was heard just a few days after I was there.
This is the view from the wall at the end of the garden:
Outside the wall, presumably escapees from a former garden, are raspberry canes! In my next post I will take you along my morning walk on Scalpay.