Tag Archives: Luing

This time last year…..

This time last year I was getting excited about spending 3 weeks on an isolated Scottish island. Little did I know that my ‘holiday’ this year would be spending 6 weeks (or more) in isolation at home.

The reason we went to Luing was to find out what it was like to live on a small island, and hopefully to see otters.  I loved my time there very much. Here are some photos.

The village

LuingBlackmill bay, used to be a busy port .
UntitledOur garden.
UntitledMull in the distance.
Luing
Luing
IMG_4243I got my wish we saw the otters on several occasions, also sea eagles, deer, seals , hares and dolphins.
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Otters
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IMG_4836Being in lockdown just now has it’s similarities, I’m enjoying watching wildlife in my garden, watching the trees coming into leaf and blossom, appreciating the view from my window, and spending time in the garden relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. Planning meals and thinking about where the next lot of food will come from, no pub  to go to. Also I intended being creative while I was there but I just couldn’t muster up.  That’s just how I feel at the moment, although I have found something I’m enjoying but more on that in my next post.

Stay safe and well.

3 Weeks On An Island

I’m heading off to a tiny Scottish island for 3 weeks. To get to the island you have to take what is known as the ‘Bridge Over The Atlantic’ to Seil Island, then a small ferry takes you across to Luing (pronounced Ling).

Cuan Ferry to Luing
Luing is part of the Inner Hebrides archipelago; it’s one of the ‘Slate Islands’.
Map of LuingI have visited a few times as a day tripper but I want to find out what it’s like to live there for a little while. There is another reason too, but that’s for another post with a bit of luck.

The island is only 6 miles by 1.5 miles, it has the Atlantic Islands visitors centre which serves amazing seafood and cakes made by women from the island. It also has some information about the area.
Atlantic Islands Centre, Luing
Seafood chowder from Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing
There’s one shop on the island which sells a bit of everything.
Luing storesLuing one of my favourite places, I  have been before for a days walking but never stayed there. There are such lovely inspirational views everywhere, and there is THE other reason I mentioned too.

I have packed clothes, food, wine, midge repellent, more midge repellent, insect bite cream, midge nets, and Skin So Soft, I’m not taking any chances with those pesky midges. I go to Scotland regularly and I’ve never had any real problems with them in the past so fingers crossed. Also, I have my walking boots, waterproofs, pop up hide, camera and everything I think I might need including art and craft supplies.

I know most people take minimal art supplies on holiday but that won’t be enough should it rain for 3 weeks so I have stuffed as much as I can into a box and a bag. I bought a small sewing machine as I have a bit of a plan of what I want to do while I am on the island should it rain a lot. I have a basic eco printing kit with me, and as I still had a bit of space in the box so my lino printing stuff went in at the last minute.

Here it is all is nicely packed up ready for the off.
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UntitledHopefully I can share my walks, wildlife spotting, and art making with you over the next 3 weeks.

So this slate miners cottage will be our cosy little home for 3 weeks.
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This is the view from the back garden.
UntitledEdited to say……..

I  intended posting whilst on the island but couldn’t  upload my photos.  I have just got home and I will tell you all about my little adventure in my next few posts.

Oban and the Inner Hebrides

We had a lovely break in Oban at the start of the month, the sun shone all week and fortunately there weren’t many midges about.

We stay in Oban quite often, then island hop, taking ferries of all shapes and sizes to different isles.

As you know I love wildlife, every time I come to this area I hope that I will see otters in the wild, but alas once again they evaded me. I did see quite a lot of wildlife though, including these very comical black guillemot, they were fun to watch in the harbour right outside our apartment.

black guillemotWhile we were having our picnic on a deserted beach this roe deer yearling came strolling right past us

IMG_1182As I said we go island hopping, the first trip was to Tobermory on Mull, which is the setting for the childrens TV show Balamory.
IMG_1259The next day was my 60th birthday, we didn’t go island hopping as I was gifted a trip on the Jacobite scenic railway. Unfortunately due to fire risk the steam engine was replaced with a diesel train, and sadly we didn’t have very good seats so I didn’t take any photos on the way there.

The journey starts at Fort William, which is famous as being the home of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Great Britain. When we’ve been here in the past it’s usually capped in cloud but not today.

IMG_1349The train winds its way through the mountains and along the coast to Arisaig, the line ends at Mallaig. They say it’s one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world.

We had our picnic at Mallaig gazing across to Rum and Eigg. 


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IMG_1431On the return journey we had better seats, so I got some photos. You might recognise the viaduct from the Harry Potter films. We saw Dumbledore’s burial place but I didn’t have my camera ready. I’m not a HP fan but I was pleased to see Ben’s beach from the film Local Hero.

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The next island hop was to Iona, this involved getting the ferry to Mull again, then a bus took us along the Ross of Mull, then another ferry to Iona.

This is the main road on Mull.

IMG_1578The cinema had come to the island.

IMG_1599Our ferry to Iona.

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The mobile bank was on the island.
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Iona is an important Christian site, the Abbey is built where St Columba’s monastery stood. People come here on pilgrimages from all over the world, we only had an hour before heading back to catch our ferry.IMG_1631One of my favourite, but probably less known islands in the Inner Hebrides is Luing. We went by car over the ‘bridge over the Atlantic’ to Seil island, then the very small 5 car ferry as foot passengers, to spend our day walking on my favourite isle.

I was hoping to see otters on the rocks here as a gamekeeper told me it was a good place to see them.

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This walk involved a lot of rocky scrambles but we have done it before. My eyes were peeled scanning for otters all the way.

IMG_1811I love these little cottages in Cullipool.
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This place always inspires me, I can see these scenes being used in my work soon.

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Our observation did pay off as we had several seal sightings.

.Oyster catchers and herons.

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As well as buzzards, golden eagle, male hen harrier and this truly wonderful white tailed sea eagle.
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Happy days!