|Falls of Measach, Corrieshalloch Gorge|
I think this was one of our favourite days in the summer. We can't quite believe that we can visit such special places as Ullapool so easily - less than an hour in the car. John has been planning for us to make a day trip since we first knew we would be moving!
|The suspension bridge|
I have visited in the past, the last time around 20 years ago when I was on a student hillwalking trip (I wasn't a cool and trendy student!)....but I think I found it far more impressive this time. Perhaps having children to keep an eye on had something to do with my sense of perspective!
|Looking from the viewing platform to the suspension bridge|
Ullapool itself. It is a real picture perfect little highland town, it couldn't really be in a more beautiful spot. It was designed in 1788 by Thomas Telford for the British Fisheries Society when fishing became an organised industry at the height of the herring boom*. It still operates as a small fishing harbour, and the main ferry point for Stornaway in the Outer Hebrides, but nowadays tourism is very important.
|Cul Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor|
Knockan Crag. This National Nature Reserve has some of the oldest rocks in Europe and the excellent interpretation tells the story of the role this site played in our understanding of key geological points - such as how rocks move from where they were formed and how older rocks can lie above younger ones.
The Moine Thrust is internationally famous - at Knockan Crag you can clearly see the much older and darker Moine schist lying above the lighter and younger Durness limestone. Peach and Horne were the two mappers for the Geological Survey of Scotland who, in the early 1900s, worked out that tectonic movement explained the conundrum.
|Yellow mountain saxifrage at home on a patch of limestone|
|Big steps for small legs|
North West Highland Geopark and the hills are some of the most dramatic you could hope to see and walk. The main hills shown in the photos above are Cul Beag, Cul Mor and Stac Pollaidh.
I hadn't intended to write so much but I truly loved this trip and the places we visited and I found myself sharing lots more than planned. I would most definitely urge you to visit if you ever get the chance!
* I don't know nearly as much as I should about the story of the herring industry in Scotland. The boom in the early 1800s was fuelled by a government bounty of £3 per tonne to every owner of a boat of more than 60 tonnes and a further bounty for fish sold overseas. Much of the industry was based in east coast towns and further north it offered hope for those suffering from the Highland Clearances. I'm planning to re-read Neil Gunn's The Silver Darlings - a novel set in a north east fishing village and told through Finn and his mother Catriona.