North West

Separated from the mainland by only a tiny stretch of water, over which is built the charming humpback Clachan Bridge, or “Bridge over the Atlantic” as it is also known (turns out the stretch of water is in fact the Atlantic Sea – albeit a mere dribble of it), lies Seil Island, an amazing landmark I had the pleasure of visiting a couple of weeks ago. seilisland

Covered in lush greenery, rocky crags and – as you may imagine, it being an island and all – surrounded by water, the views are absolutely incredible. The weekend we visited, the days were long and sunny and the light transformed the island into a vision of incomparable beauty. The landscapes there are ones that could only ever be seen in Scotland.

Although really quite a poor Scottish traveller – I have only been to one other island (Arran) before this little adventure – I was struck by the same feeling upon visiting both peninsulas. I have climbed Macchu Picchu at sunrise, visited the Bolivian floating Islands, observed medieval ruins in the Tuscan hills, walked through Venice at night and skied at sunrise in the Austrian Alps, yet the Scottish Islands have been the only place whose beauty can move me to tears. Raw and defiant, beautiful in its roughness, the Scottish islands are where I believe the heart of Scotland and its people truly lie. They don’t need to be anything other than what they are, and what they are nobody can take away from. The beauty of these islands lies as much in their spirit as in their scenery.

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