The village of Cleadale in the Bay of Laig on the Isle of Eigg, the Small Isles, the Inner Hebrides, the West Coast of Scotland
After the unforgettable rigours of my crossing from Ardnamurchan to Muck, the relatively short passage to the next island of the Small Isles, Eigg, was relatively comfortable. It is the second largest of the four islands with an area of 31 km2 (12 sq mi), 9 km (5.6 mi) long from north to south, and 5 km (3.1 mi), with a population of about 50. The main settlement on Eigg is Cleasdale, a fertile coastal plain in the north west. It is known for its quartz beach, called the “singing sands” because of the squeaking noise it makes if walked on when dry. The centre of the island is a moorland plateau, rising to 393 metres (1,289 ft) at An Sgurr, a dramatic stump of pitchstone, sheer on three sides.
I landed on the south of the island on a beach near the ferry jetty at Galmisdale where there is a sheltered anchorage for boats, and a new building near the jetty, housing the post office, shop, craft shop, café, restaurant and bar, and of great benefit to me, toilet and shower facilities that are open 24 hrs a day. This modern and welcoming building near the ferry jetty gives a good indication of how important tourism is to the local economy of Eigg, especially during the summer months, and it was a welcome haven for me whenever I was in need of some extra treats during the time that I was camping on the island. At first I camped behind the beach in Galmisdale Bay, and then I paddled around the rugged and steep east coast to find a place to camp with more solitude.
- Duncan Murrell
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- Contained in galleries
- From the Isle of Mull to the Small Isles via Coll and Lunga