I decided on Tuesday this week to book a day off work and head to Lewis and Harris for a long weekend. I love unplanned adventures! My initial thinking was to drive to Ullapool early Thursday morning, however, thanks to Booking.com I ended up with a good deal for Wednesday evening staying at the Dundonnell Hotel.

I arrived in Dundonnell circa twenty minutes before sunset. I wanted to watch the sun set over the sea so continued on along the road to Gruinard to watch the sunset. I parked up just off the road and had a wee wander down to the beach. I am glad I did .

Sunset at Gruinard Bay:

Sunset at Gruinard:

I enjoyed my stay at the hotel although singing Irish Rover with a number of other singers/musicians was not my normal kind of singing. It was highly unlikely they would know any Robbie Williams .

After a nice breakfast this morning, I left the Dundonnell Hotel with plenty time to spare. I therefore decided to visit Corrieshalloch Gorge, a place I have passed countless times but never actually ventured down for a look. The gorge is seriously impressive, much more so than I expected!

I then set sail with Calmac from Ullapool to Stornoway, arriving in Stornoway just after 13:00.

After a quick visit to Tesco, to get some supplies, I drove round to Shiaboist (Shawbost) for an ascent of Beinn Bhragair.

Hill: Beinn Bhragair
Date: Thursday 14th April 2016
Company: Just myself
Distance: 8.4km, Ascent: 275m
Time: 2Hrs 20Mins

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

After getting suited and booted, literally within two minutes of starting walking, I passed a small flock of Redwing. A couple stayed still long enough for me to get fairly close and take photos. They are beautiful birds.



I walked to the public road end, where parking is not permitted, before continuing on along a private tarmac road.

Looking towards Beinn Bhragair from track just beyond road end:

I passed numerous different birds during the walk in and out including Raven, Hooded Crow, Meadow Pipit and Wren.

Looking back to Loch Tuamister and Shiaboist:

On many hills in Scotland it is possible to find plane wreckage. On many hills in Lewis/Harris, it is possible to find car wreckage!

I passed two car wrecks en-route to the hill. I suspect the first to be some kind of Citreon or Renault as the only clue I could find to its make/model was a petrol cap flap which was in French.

Car wreck next to track:

The second wreck had a Vauxhall badge although the engine had bits with Opel marked on them. Possibly an old Corsa?

Another car wreck next to track:

Beinn Bhragair:

I was a bit surprised to find a couple of sizeable buildings at the road end. Beyond the road end, there is a rough landrover track.

Derelict buildings at end of tarmac track:

I followed the rough track for circa 50m before abandoning it as it wasn't heading in the direction I wanted to go. I therefore took to the hillside following a grassy line up the hill.

Ascent of Beinn Bhragair:

Instead of taking the easy way up, I opted to ascend a steep gully. This was fine in its lower half but not so good higher up as it was very wet and slippery.

Looking back down steep gully:

View towards Beinn na Cloich:

Loch Rathacleit with South Lewis and North Harris hills beyond:

From the top of the gully, it didn't take long to reach the summit cairn and the trig point circa 50m beyond.

Looking towards the trig point from the summit cairn of Beinn Bhragair:

Shiaboist from the trig point:

View from the trig point:

View from the trig point:

After taking a few photos at the summit and at the trig point, I took an easier route back down the hill, avoiding the steep gully. On reaching the derelict buildings, I walked the tarmac track back to the car.

I then drove to my accommodation for the night at Kershader.

After having a meal in the Loch Erisort Inn, I spent some time at Loch Erisort watching various birds and hoping to spot otters. As usual, I had no luck spotting otters.

Loch Erisort:

Common Guillemot (thanks to Wylie Horn on Twitter for ID):

At sunset, I ventured back down to the lochside to take some more photos.

Sunset at Loch Erisort:

Sunset at Loch Erisort:

An enjoyable first day in the Hebrides. Hoping to use my tent tomorrow .