Yesterday evening I had a short walk on the beach at Laide
Where a seal was sitting on one of the rocks.
The next morning was another quiet day.
After picking up supplies in Aultbea we walked to the pier
where there are views over to the Isle of Ewe.
Back on the A832 we passed Drumchork. Loch Ewe distillery was the smallest legally operated distillery in Scotland founded in November 2005 by John Clotworthy, the hotelier of the Drumchork Lodge Hotel in Aultbea and started its business in 2006. It lasted until 2015 when it was put up for sale, closing in 2017. On a hillside further on was a viewpoint looking over Loch Ewe and an MOD pier and associated property. After the Soviet Union was invaded by the Nazis in 1941, Loch Ewe was one of the Arctic Convoy shipping points to send supplies to the Soviet Union for the next four years.
The next viewpoint overlooked Loch Thurnaig.
We then entered Inverewe and visited the Gardens. Despite lying on the same latitude as Moscow and Hudson’s Bay, the Gulf Stream enables an amazing variety of plants from all over the world to grow.
Inverewe Garden was created by Osgood Mackenzie. His forbears were the lairds of Gairloch. It is said that he saw the barren peninsula and decided to build a garden there after acquiring the property in 1862. His first job was to plant a shelter belt of trees against the west and south-westerly winds. 15-20 years later other trees, including non-natives were planted. He had to import soil from Ireland. The first rhododendrons were acquired around 1890. Osgood died in 1922 and is buried in Strath churchyard. His daughter took over the estate. His and her plant inspiration came from their many worldwide travels. Eventually the garden was given to the National Trust for Scotland. We began by exploring the walled garden.
Although in September many of the flowers, shrubs and trees have gone to seed, some were still in bloom.
There was a sculpture entitled Sheltered Existence by James Parker in 2014.
The house was built in 1937.
Some of the rooms are left as they would have been in Osgood’s daughter’s time.
Also on the ground floor is The Sawyer Gallery. The exhibition when we visited was by Pamela Tait and Erland Tait who are visual artists from The Black Isle and the Highlands respectively. Pamela’s work is in watercolour and monoprints.
We then walked around the forest and saw many different trees including eucalyptus
tree ferns from Tasmania
and Californian Redwoods.
On 30 January 2022, Storm Corrie with 90mph winds, felled 60 trees and destroyed 90 large shrubs. Work is still going on to deal with this. There is a jetty from which boat trips are run.
It had begun to rain so we walked back to the café to top up the caffeine levels and then it was time to check into our campsite which was just down the road. Before we had some quite torrential rain, I looked at the view across Loch Ewe.