We recently returned from a ten day trip up to the West Coast of Scotland, three of which were spent on the small isle of Eigg, an hour’s ferry ride from Mallaig and part of the Inner Hebrides. The island is tiny, only about 4 miles long. The small community of permanent residents are allowed to use cars on the island but all visitors have to leave their cars on the mainland and hire bikes, walk or make use of the island’s minibus service.
In good weather there are spectacular panoramic views of Rum, Skye, and the mountains of Lochaber on the mainland.
View of Rum from Eigg, wth the Bay of Laig on the left.
Although small in size, Eigg has arguably two of the most dramatic and photogenic beaches in Scotland – the Bay of Laig and Singing Sands. With the island of Rum forming a perfect backdrop and amazing rock formations on both beaches, it is a dream location for any landscape photographer!
If you can drag yourself away from the mesmerising sight of the Rum Cuillins, there’s plenty of abstract images to be found amongst the geology of both beaches.
As well as its magnificent view of Rum, the beach at Laig Bay is renowned for its fabulous sand patterns which form as the tide washes over it. The sand is a mixture of quartz/black basalt and white, crushed shells, which combine to create an ever-changing visual effect.
Be prepared for all types of weather – after all, this is the West Coast of Scotland, where you can experience all the seasons in one day! We had a mixture of blue skies, an overnight storm, hailstones and two rather good sunsets.
For any photographers considering a visit, www.isleofeigg.net is a great resource and lists all the accommodation options. The Bay of Laig and Singing Sands are in the northern part of the island, in Cleadale, and there are several B&B’s and self-catering cottages in that area. I would really recommend staying in the Cleadale area, unless you are prepared for a long, and dark, walk back to your accommodation after the inevitable sunset and twilight photography sessions! We stayed in small self-catering log cabin, run by Jackie and Mike, who couldn’t have given us a warmer welcome and were even on hand with a first aid kit when I fell off my bike!
We could happily have stayed on the island for longer than the three days we had booked – photographically there is at least enough material for several years worth of image-making! A truly special place.