Scotland Day Twelve: Castle Stalker and Cuil Bay

Birds sighted: Oystercatcher, Ringed plover, Redshank, Eider Duck, skylark
Mammals: Sheep
Plants: Thrift, Heath Spotted Orchid

Drove south toward Portacroish on the A828 to Castle Stalker.

Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker is a four story tower house set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhe. The name 'Stalker' comes from the Gaelic Stalcaire, meaning 'hunter' or 'falconer', and should therefore be pronounced 'stal-ker', with the 'l' sounded, not as in the pronunciation of the English word 'stalker'. Castle Stalker came to fame in recent times thanks to the Monty Python team. Castle Stalker is Castle Arrrrrrrrrgghhh in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Castle also appears in the film Highlander: Endgame.

A Scottish Thistle

Today Castle Stalker is privately owned and access is only gained through previous appointment and subject to advanced notice, weather and tides. There is a café and parking area that provides access to good vantage points from which to observe the Castle and the scones aren't bad either.

Cuil Bay

Driving north again we threaded our way on a one track road to Cuil Bay. Cuil Bay is a small bay in Loch Linnhe. It lies in between the settlements of Duror and Keils. Given the right conditions it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Please note that the photos taken at Cuil Bay shown above and below were not in anyway retouched in Photoshop. The water really was the perfect mirror. There are many paths worth hiking that lead out across sheep fields to various headlands and other points along the coast of Loch Linnhe.

Cuil Bay

Cuil Bay to the left, the rest of Loch Linnhe to the right. Click on photo for a larger version.

Oystercatchers reflected

Cuil Bay

Oystercatcher

Looking north toward the bay from the headland south and west of the beach.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Sea Campion

The "ladies." These sheep shared a nice spot near the water with us while we ate lunch (and they did too).

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