Big Strand North - Islay

The Big Strand on Islay - Click to enlargeThe sun doesn't always shine on Islay and sometimes, when it's clouded and raining, a walk can be just as rewarding as when the sun shines. With the low hanging clouds and poor light you sometimes suddenly get these perfect conditions for a nice picture. This is what happened to me early October at the north-end of the Big Strand. How to get there? There's an entrance to the north side of this magnificent beach just south of Bowmore on the (low) road to Port Ellen. A track on your right heads across the Laggan Estate towards the dunes, which is approx. 1 mile from the main road. The dunes by the way are a designated site of special scientific interest and worth a visit as well. At the end of the track is a parking place, newly created by the Islay Access Group, and from there it's only a few hundred metres to the beach.

On that Sunday in October we were the only ones walking there; alone, remote, stunningly beautiful, feeling alone in the world and so very peaceful. We walked for miles and never saw another soul, just sand, sea, dramatic views towards the Oa peninsula and lots of (wading) birds. This was a very rewarding and enjoyable walk despite the weather. When we climbed up the dunes on our way back the sun came out and we were welcomed by dozens of rabbits in the dunes!

The Big Strand on Islay seen from the top of the dunes - Click to enlarge

Click on the pictures for a full size image.

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