Flights of fancy…

You know how it is, nothing happens for weeks on end, then suddenly everything is going mad and you’re racing to keep up.

It’s been like that here for the last few days – but in a fabulous way.

A friend of ours loves to fly, and last weekend he decided the weather was perfect for a trip around the Scottish Islands and Highlands. The Highlands are my favourite place – and so I leapt at the chance to go hopping around.

We went up the West coast, stopping first at Gigha – the airstrip is a field – you can just about see it in the picture…

Not exactly Heathrow...
Not exactly Heathrow…
The Gigha Hotel - gorgeous.
The Gigha Hotel – gorgeous.
Iona abbey
Iona abbey

Next day and a view of Iona and Staffa

Not the most dramatic view of Fingal's Cave
Not the most dramatic view of Fingal’s Cave

Then we were off to land at the airstrip at Barra – yes, it’s a beach.IMAG1993

The view of Barra airstrip from the air traffic control tower – that’s our plane on the sand

The islands going out towards Stornoway are unlike anything I’d seen before.DSCN3703 DSCN3715 IMAG2034

And then we stopped for fuel at Stornoway


And then off around the coast of the mainland….

my favourite beach at Sandwood Bay, Sutherland
my favourite beach at Sandwood Bay, Sutherland

Then the lighthouse at Cape Wrath


And Balnakiel Beach



We spent the night near Forres and then off again from Inverness down the Great Glen – I kept looking, but no sign of Nessie…

DSCN4012 DSCN4027 IMAG2139 IMAG2166 IMAG2213Watching the mountains of Aran come out of the clouds.


Before flying back through the Lake District and home.

Now I’m back it all feels rather like a dream and I have to keep pinching myself to remember that it really happened. An amazing experience I’m sure I’ll never forget.

Getting back into the swing of things at home again now and looking forward to the girls breaking up for summer. Hope you’re enjoying the weather and staying cool.



Theresa, do you happen to know what this is? He was flying about on the sand dunes at Barra – so pretty and strikingly vivid.





Author: Anny

English countryside, old places, making art.

23 thoughts on “Flights of fancy…”

    1. You really could have thought you were in the Caribbean – the colour of the water was just wonderful and some of the beaches we saw were sublime.

  1. My goodness! What beautiful places and what a special trip! I can imagine it would be hard to come back down to earth after that.

  2. I’m sooo jealous! What an amazing trip! One of those you have to have photographs of so you can relive it and make it real! PS – answer to query about insect is, coincidentally, in my latest post (it’s a Burnet Moth).

    1. What incredible timing that was – obviously great minds and all that…

      I took over 1000 photos on two cameras – just to be sure we got plenty – now I’m slowly going through them, noting where each was taken. We’re going to be able to bore the pants off friends for months to come.

  3. Wow…..that was some special week-end, what an amazing chance to be able to do that, you lucky girl. I love seeing the places we went to this year from the air, love the Staffa photo, just realised how high we climbed to the top after seeing the cave and the one of the Iona with the Abbey is really interesting, showing how the building sits in the landscape, more so than from ground level. Great photos, thanks for sharing your wonderful week-end.

    1. I’m still coming back down to earth – it was tremendous. The sea was very calm, so Fingal’s Cave didn’t have quite the drama you expect from Mendelssohn. We also met a lot of incredibly nice people at the various airports/strips. The best bit for me was seeing the places I’ve known at ground level for years, from the air, just amazing.

    1. Did I go? I’m turning purple with all the pinches – lucky I took 1000+ pics or I might not believe it! – Woe betide any unsuspecting visitors to our house for a month or two!

  4. Oh, fantastic, Anny! What an unmissable opportunity. 🙂 We’ve driven right round the coast of Scotland and walked along Balnakiel beach, but never seen it all from this angle. Gosh, you’re lucky. 🙂

    1. Balnakiel and Sandwood have to be the best beaches I know – if the Scottish climate warmed a few degrees, people from all over the world would flock there – as it is, we get to enjoy them almost exclusively!

  5. Just phenomenal! We were on the uists a few weeks. I love the Scottish islands but have never ever seen them from above. Totally amazing.

    1. I was incredibly lucky – it was a trip that we’d talked about in that loose way one does for years – and then all of a sudden the conditions were right and off we went. Carpe diem!

    1. Yes I think so – I’d never seen one before. I was astonished by the variety and weirdness of the Hebridean landscapes, I would love to go back and explore further.

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