Hopeman Bay, Moray

Easter 2017 started with a trip to Hopeman to pick up a VW camper from Moray Firth Campers to head off to do a bit of the NC500.  I never need an excuse to visit this beach as its one of my favourites on the Moray Firth Coast.  These beautifully decorated beach huts are one of the reasons this beach is so special.  Each one is lovingly decorated and personalised and adds a pop of colour to the golden sands and dunes. This beach reminds me of summer holidays to my Aunties house in Eastbourne which was a stones throw from a pebble covered beach just like this but without the dunes.  Maybe this is why I love the beach so much, happy times!1R5A8532-Edit-Edit1R5A8534-Edit1R5A8536-Edit1R5A8527-Edit1R5A8530-Edit-Edit1R5A8524-Edit1R5A8525-Edit1R5A8544-Edit

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Beautiful Deeside

A day out of the office today to stretch the legs and get the 10,000 steps in, which can be a challenge some days.  Great company and a picnic packed from a take out from spider on a bicycle in Aboyne and we were all set.  There a few walking routes in the Glen Tanar Estate so off we set.  Such a beautiful tranquil location and such a stunning reflective pool.  Here are a few pictures of the day and hooray! 10075 steps

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Loch Ewe, Wester Ross

A glorious day for exploring round  Loch Ewe and Poolewe and Aultbea and  Rua Reidh Lighthouse.  I have a thing about red rusty buildings and these look beautiful nestled into the landscape contrasting with the blue skies

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Drawing Saltires in the sky

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Built in 1912 by David A Stevenson, Rua Reidh Lighthouse, stands at the entrance to Loch Ewe

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Rubha Nan Sasan, Wester Ross

I am always fascinated to find these desolate places with crumbling pill boxes and WW2 defences.  This was originally built in 1941 and used until 1944 by the Royal Artillery. Its was used a departure point for convoys to Russia. Cove Battery

 

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Aultbea also has a NATO base and large ships and submarines often come inshore to refuel here.

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Mellon Udrigle, Wester Ross

Mellon Udrigle So far, my favourite beach in this corner of the earth.  Crystal clear water and sparking white sand. Astounding views across the Minch to Coigach, the Summer Isles and Assynt. In some ways I am glad we have the climate we do in Scotland otherwise these beaches would be packed and over-run with tourists which would spoil their natural beauty.  I will definitely be back…

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Sunsets over Sands at Gairloch

I have never been much of a happy camper.  I like my comforts too much.  Caravanning and sleeping in the back of a van on a futon is about as low as I go.  I was mentally scarred by a trip to the lake district in a meagre excuse for a tent which has meant the experience has never been repeated.  Each to their own and you never know, with the right arm twisting and a sleeping bag of about 40 tog and you might get me sleeping under the stars once again.  However my static caravan at Sands caravan and camping site in Gairloch is a thing of camping dreams.  Sands camping

Whats not to love, the window frames the view which is pretty spectacular of honey coloured dunes and purple and pink skies.  The perfect view of the Torridon Mountain Range and the Isle of Skye are quite special too.

Nothing like sitting on the deck of the caravan with a glass of wine to unwind, daughter running wild in the dunes, family holiday heaven.

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This sunset is definitely a spectators sport

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Last fleeting rays of the day

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North Red Point Beach, Wester Ross

I always draw great inspiration from the sea, something about the coast soothe my soul. This beach reminds me of Balmedie beach in Aberdeenshire. After parking in the small car park, its a stroll over the dunes which opens up to the sweeping vista of pebble dotted red sand.

I have an immense sense of wonder when it comes to sand dunes.  They way the wind sculpts them from sand thats is freely blown and deposited creating great pyramids which double as fantastic vantage points to observe the view of Skye.  The rose coloured sand is a real contrast to the green and yellow grasses and azure sky and sea. There is a real feeling of isolation and seclusion here which is one of its main draws for me.  Just stunning!

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Little Gruinard Beach Wester Ross

The spectacular Sail Mhor (767m) and Sgurr Fiona  1060m (An Teallach)  on route to  Gruinard Bay.  Today I am bagging Monroes through my camera only!

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I love a beach and this is a belter.  Glorious pink sand as far as the eye can see.  These steps  are welcoming me down.

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Gruinard Island opposite the bay where scientists experimented with anthrax in 1942 as they were worried about an impeding biological attack from the Germans.  Despite attempts to disinfect Gruinard Island, the spores left by the experiments kept the island in quarantine for 48 years. In 1990, the Defence Minister, Michael Neubert, declared there was no longer a risk to health and removed the warning sign.  Think I might just admire the view rather than visit

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Road bridge over the Inverianvie River

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Little Gruinard River flows from Fionn Loch to Gruinard Bay. This is the boundary point between Gairloch and Loch Broom parishes. This area has been granted a special area of conservation because of the great Atlantic Salmon found here

 

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Just a glorious viewpoint of one of my new favourite beaches

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Badachro, Wester Ross

Such an Idyllic place for a spot of lunch just three miles south of Gairloch.  The Badachro Inn complete with own jetty and sun deck in this sheltered cove was todays refuel stop. Think we’ll make use of the deck. The local haul here tends to be lobsters, crabs and prawns.  Yum!

http://www.badachroinn.com

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Love these majestic craggy trees looking over the headland

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What is the fascination for collecting old telephone boxes in your garden?

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Slioch best viewed from Loch Maree

https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/torridon/Slioch.shtml

Unfortunately no time today for a 9 mile hike and the daughter might protest, another time…

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The view from Glen Docherty to Loch Maree

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