Too wet, too wet, too wet….

Luskentyre, Harris
Luskentyre, Harris

By dodging the showers and intense activity when its been too windy we’ve managed to finish the rebuilding of the fruit cage and some of the more pressing maintenance work. The propagators and cold frames are full of seeds and seedlings, the benches in the polytunnel overflowing with young plants and the growing bed full of early spring vegetables leaving just room for the tomatoes and cucumbers, so now it is time to garden. Except it is

Too wet, too wet, to wet plant onions, finish the muck spreading, hoe off the carpet of sprouting weeds, remove docks and dandelions from the “lawn”, plant the herbaceous plants that survived the winter deluge and………………………………

We have had some very fine days in late March, but also some very heavy showers and persistent rain, and after another very wet winter, even our very sandy soils remain saturated. It is very much a case of “start of play delayed by rain”. So rather than sit and watch the weeds grow, we’ve been exploring some of the magnificent beaches of the Outer Hebrides.

Charlie's Beach Eriskay
Charlie’s Beach Eriskay
Traigh Iar, North Uist
Traigh Iar, North Uist

Some of you have walked with us along our home beach and you might even have accompanied us to Eriskay and North Uist. This time we are going a little further north, taking the Sound of Harris ferry and driving up the west coast to Luskentyre. With a reputation as one of the best beaches in the islands we thought that we might check it’s claim to fame. A long sandy beach backed by dunes and looking out towards the island of Taransay it is a true desert island beach, even if it lacks the palm trees. However, it was not deserted, there were people with children and dogs.

Harris is the “holiday” island of the Outer Hebrides, and very popular for family holidays. Fortunately, although it was the Easter holidays, it was still very quiet as negotiating the very narrow single track road down to Luskentyre is not for the faint hearted or those without professional reversing skills.

The main difference, apart from the bucket and spade brigade, between the beaches of Harris and those of the southern islands (the Uists, Benbecula, Eriskay and Barra) is the colour of the sand. Harris beaches are always described as golden, whilst further south the sand is white or silver. Do I have a preference? They are both beautiful, Bahamian without the tropical climate, but very different on character. As a restless soul who prefers to walk on beaches rather than sit on them, and an inveterate beachcomber, the great attraction of the southern beaches are the shells and seaweeds which get washed upon the shore by the strong Atlantic currents.

Tide wrack on Eriskay beach
Tide wrack on Eriskay beach

14 thoughts on “Too wet, too wet, too wet….

  1. Liz Morton

    I loved this blog about the beaches & the photographs of them. Next time we come we will take a trip to Harris. I brought back from our visit last year 4 beautiful white shells from your local beach & look at them often. Hope you get drier weather soon.

    • The northern islands are very different from those in the south and each has it’s own character – they all have good beaches too. The ferry across the Sound of Harris is one of the best boat trips in Scotland and you get get a day return (without car) for £13!
      Certainly March and April are much better than last year and we’ve had some glorious sunny days and also plenty of rain. However, I never turn down an excuse to visit a new beach!

      • Liz Morton

        Maybe next year – if not, definitely the year after.

  2. Those beaches are gorgeous! 👌🏻😊

    • Definitely one of the reasons why we chose to live here – as for the weather it’s just Hebridean and wonderful in it’s variety.
      Oh dear do I have to declare than I’m not paid by the Outer Hebrides Tourism Authority?

      • Have friends who return home to the islands when ever they can…

        • The islands have an enchantment that not only draws their sons and daughters homeward but seduces some of the newer arrivals to put down very deep roots. I’m always reluctant to leave and when I do I can’t get back fast enough.

  3. The Traigh Iar beach at North Uist looks lovely with the long stretches of white sand…and the cloud formations are wonderful too. Enjoy your spring days!

    • A wonderful beach which is often deserted and fringed with dunes and machair – a wonderful place for a long walk in the summer because you have to walk across the machair in full flower to get to it.

  4. Fabulous beaches. How lovely to have such beautiful places to explore. I love beachcombing too, what fun.

    • You never know quite what you’ll find – everything from a “by-the-wind-sailor” to a sperm whale!

  5. I still have shells from Charlie’s beach in my coat pockets… 😉

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