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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Christmas 2020 issue

The Happy Wanderer in Scotland


Once everything interesting had been visited it was on to Harris, this is the southerly part of the island joined by a small causeway. It is extraordinary as the east side is all rocks and boulders looking like a lunar landscape and the west like a different island altogether all grass and beaches, the main thing to see on this island, were the various sea birds including Eider ducks, and the beaches. The next move involved taking a small ferry over to North Uist then over the causeway to Benbecular, once again the interesting things were the bird reserves, it’s the first time I have been dive bombed by skewers, they are big birds and if they hit it hurts!

Then it was on down the islands to South Uist. Although the roads on these islands are single track there are stopping places within sight of each other, so when I did meet a car coming the other way it always pulled over for me, cannot imagine why?, just because I completely blocked the road, I am glad they did as when towing I cannot reverse.


On South Uist I came across the remains of an old village built on the edge of a high very steep cliff, the story behind it was so sad as it came about because of the land clearances by land owners to make way for sheep and these type of places were the only ones left for them to settle. Life must have been so hard for them, I spent many hours sat there trying to imagine how life would have been there and how on earth they survived under such harsh conditions, “we have it so easy these days.”

Viking Water Mills

There were also restored Viking water mills, using diverted fast flowing streams which are a run off from the peat which covers the island many feet thick. There must be many Neolithic settlements still covered by this peat, many things are found during peat digging, stone circles hut bases etc. On reaching Lock Baghasdail it was time to leave the islands by ferry back to Oban on the mainland, that trip was something else, the sea was like glass and it was a three hour trip through the Islands and Mulls with so many seabirds on and skimming the sea, plus fish on the surface including Dolphins, a boat trip not to be missed.

Then it was in to the delightful port of Oban where I spent several days before heading for Stirling to see the town and the William Wallace Monument. Then back down south to Waterlooville and home.

Christine Culley

Having thoroughly enjoyed the north coast of Scotland, it was time to head for Ullapool and the ferry out to the Outer Hebrides. While waiting overnight for the ferry the local youth pipe band were practising, so I then spent many hours watching and enjoying the performance. It was not unusual to find bands like this all over Scotland, Skye and in many other towns, always most enjoyable.


The trip to Stornoway on Lewis was not a long one, but the ferries are very much smaller than the ones we use to cross to France. I remember one of the ferry crew who lived on the islands saying to me, “I would not drive your van on our roads yet alone tow a car behind it”. I am glad to say that I did not have any major problems, a couple of times I had to disconnect the car to turn both vehicles around then reconnect, but then that is all just part of the challenge in motor caravanning. Setting up base on a camp site in Stornoway I set out to explore Lewis by car and there were many interesting things to see on such a small island, from the Black houses in Arnol and Gearrannon villages, some were lived in to the mid 50s, to the Brock near Loch Charlabhaigh which was a defensive multi storey house from about 4000 years ago, plus the stone circle at Calanais from the same period, all most interesting and well worth visiting if you are ever there. I must mention the nature from the scenery to the birds, eagles and corncrakes to the ubiquitous oystercatchers.