Sandaig AKA Camusfearna

This is night 16/2018 staying in my caravan. Second night in Morvich C&MC Site near Inverinate in Kintail.

Got up around 0630 so pretty fair weather, looked like the cloud would burn off, and after a walk down the river with the dogs, it was already improving. The temperature at 0800 was a balmy 10C!

I wanted to revisit Sandaig again. This is the mythical Camusfearna where Gavin Maxwell lived with his menagere, including Otters, and wrote a number of books the most famous being Ring of Bright Water. It really is a great walk, and I've been here a few times in the past.

The start of the walk is on the side of the single track road between Glenelg and Arnisdale. Probably takes about 30mins from Morvich by car. The road to Glenelg takes you over the Ratagan Pass, a very steep winding road up and over the hills by Loch Duich.

Arrived there around 0900. I was the only car there. The cottage next to where you park was the home of the late Terry Nutkins, the wildlife presenter.

The walk starts through a cleared forest. When I first visited here around 10yrs ago, it was dense wood.

First glimpse of the Sandaig Islands. The larger island has an automatic lighthouse.

This is Sandaig. Maxwells House (which burnt down and was cleared completely) sat on the grassy mound in the centre.

Tucked away under the hill is the only building left. Still looks in reasonable order. It was leased by a freind of Maxwells back in the day.

It is a fantastic spot.

The memorial to Gavin Maxwell. All geniuses are born 15th July.

And here's the other one, dedicated to one of his Otters. I think this was the one which perished in the fire.

'Camusfearna' - bay of alders, gets its name from the Alders around the burn.

Stopped for a coffee and a bagel. I was armed with my crocs which I used to wade across to the islands. I had checked the tide tables and the tide was 2hrs away from low tide.

As we sat, a yacht came towards us. The sails were flapping like mad, and the cracking sounds spooked Bonnie! Never seen one of them!

Not seaworthy.

A bay on an island. Crystal clear water.

'Ring of Bright Water' refers to the crescent shape of the burn around Sandaig.

Many photos were taken by Maxwell of these falls, just across the burn from his house.

The weather was lovely throughout the walk. Probably spent around 3 hrs there. On the return, stopped at the top of the Ratagan Pass for a picture of the 5 Sisters of Kintail.


  1. See any otters? Or just a yaught

    1. Didn't see any, but there are some there. Really, anywhere where you have a burn running down through woods, then there's always a chance.


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