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Carn An MacAskill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

About a mile up the road, on the A859 heading north from Kyle's Lodge, is Carn An MacAskill. The morning was still very moody but it didn't rain which ensured truly fantastic views towards the Sound Of Taransay, Ceapabhal (home to Toehead Broch) and the village of Northton could all be seen. Cloudy weather seems to add to the atmosphere especially when it starts to clear so different countryside colours can be seen, including the colour of the sea.

About 200 meters (south) before the road to Northton jump the fence and head to the top of the wee hill to the east. A small walkers cairn will led me to the site.

Some kerbs can be seen in the 6m wide cairn which has a height of about 0.5m. As usual there appears to be some houking damage. An impressive and scenic site.

Time to head to Croft 36 for a tremendous hot pie, a small diversion on the way to Toehead :-)

Visited 4/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th October 2017ce

Kyle's Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Another early start on a dampish morning started at the Kyle's Lodge Cairn just to the north west of Leverburgh. There is a tarred road heading south west from the A859 and I walked until the corner just before the roads end.

The cairn is situated just above the road on a small platform and has several kerbs still standing. It is about 6m wide and 0.6m tall with impressive views over to Ensay, whose standing stone can be seen in the distance.

A fine place to watch various wildlife and ships/boats in the bay. Soon, maybe to soon, I was in full flow heading towards Northton.

Visited 4/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th October 2017ce

The Macleod Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Walking further westwards on the A859 from the Coire Na Feinne Chamber Cairn we jumped the fence at the next cattle grid to head north over the dunes towards the MacLeod Stone. A few days before I'd been looking at several sites in the area but ran out of time but not today. Although we were all tired, even B, we plodded on to be re-invigorated when crossing the ridge to see the massive standing stone.

Not many people mention the possible wee cairn that surrounds the stone. There are at least two kerbs still earthfast in an area that has a scatter of stones almost 6m wide. Canmore says there isn't enough evidence but ever the optimist I'd like to think there had been a cairn at some point. One thing for sure is the fact that the stone can be seen for miles away coming in from the Atlantic.

Fantastic stone, fantastic scenery, fantastic day and some sun burnt legs!

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce

Coire na Feinne (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

We came to this site after a day at the beaches of Luskentyre with its fantastic colour schemes and the reverse walking of the Coffin Road. Normally coffins would come from the east to the west so we walked in the opposite direction to come back via the northern following the old main road, quarries and Laxdale. We spotted no coffins.

The best place to park is near the chippy van at the Horgabost Camp Site and walk west up the A859 until its junction with the minor road heading east to the Horgabost township. With the road passing nearby, indeed one of the stones looks like it is trying to escape, the chamber cairn is situated in a garden looking west into the beautiful bay. Only the capstone and six slabs remain in the well tended garden. At least the cairn is being looked after. All the smaller cairn material was removed long before the house was built.

After asking permission I was allowed to wander about and have a look. Great wee place, very easy to find.

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce

Dun Stuaidh (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

After the stunning day at St Kilda and, for me, life changing events a next day early morning walk was required. The walk to Dun Stuaidh was perfect for the job, so I set of in the drizzle which soon turned into a beautiful Harris morning.

From our chalet I walked south towards St Clements Church taking the first tarred road heading south west. This crosses over a causeway/reservoir with beautiful views looking back north up the Abhainn Thorro Burn and the Rodel Valley.

As the road reaches the west end of the reservoir go onto the track which heads uphill to give glorious early morning views of Loch Roghadail, St Clements Church, Rodelpark Dun and the islands to the south. The track follows the coastline looking down onto the fort. Follow this until a dry stane dyke heads south, follow this downhill to the shore. All sorts of very old fishing boat material, long deserted houses and enclosures can be seen. In the bay can be seen several very expensive yachts.

The fort and its front door is straight south. A short climb through ancient walls leads to the northern end of this spectacular site. Erosion has played a big part in the forts history but there is plenty left to admire. Walls, especially on the eastern side, surround the fort. The western side is greatly eroded whilst to the south the fort is almost completely gone. Only a small finger of land, no more than a foot wide remains, with no one watching it is much easier to take chances so I walked to the end to get pictures looking back north. The northern defences still survive if somewhat crumbled. Near the entrance are a couple of enclosures. It appears to me that the sea doesn't seem to be affecting this area quite so much as grass and weeds appear to be fighting back on the low lying area just to the north of the fort.

A beautiful start to another wonderful day which would include Luskentyre Bay and the walking of 'The Coffin Road'.

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce

H141 - Horgabost (Stone Setting) — Fieldnotes

This is the furthest north of the stone settings and it looks directly north into the bay at Nisabost, the wondrous sands of Luskentyre and the mountains beyond. Also it looks down on to the camp site and the chippy van.

Spread over an area over 12m the stone setting is on top of large green mound. The furthest north part of the site resembles the outer edge/arc of a hut circle.

The underfoot conditions are quite good as the grass is reasonably short thanks to the army of local greenkeepers i.e. the sheep who do a fine job. Some parts are sandy thanks to the dunes.

A great place to spend an hour or two. Nobody bothers you at these barely known about sites, so a great chance to try and emulate these folks from a long time ago.

Visited 1/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th September 2017ce

Horgabost - H10 (Stone Setting) — Fieldnotes

From the standing stone at Horgabost walk about 100 meters to the north west. Yet another unusual site, for me, a stone setting appearing to look north to the Nisabost Bay and the mountains beyond.

The setting is on top of a small grassy hillock being spread over an area of 3m by 2.5m. There also appears to be some very small and pointy standing stones. Yet another site that makes me wonder what is underneath all of these dunes, could be the Forvie of the west.

Visited 1/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th September 2017ce

Horgabost (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

I parked at the cattle grid just to the west of Nisabost or Coire Na Feinne (chamber cairn) on the A859. From the grid it is a short walk over the dunes to the unusual, to me, site.

The actual standing stone is a rock placed on plate rock propped up by chokes. Other stones lay fallen nearby and possibly formed a stone circle. Some of the circle might have consisted of the natural outcrops. To the south is the bay of Traigh Lar and from there McLeod stone can be seen. This area is 'hoaching' (good doric word meaning there are lots of) with small sites an indication of much prehistoric inhabitation. One day the dunes will blow away and I'm sure much more will be discovered.

Just enough time to look for a couple of more sites before going to the Borve Burial Cairn. The McLeod Stone would be visited later in the week.

Visited 1/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th September 2017ce

Borve Burial Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The burial cairn at Borve is a truly beautiful place with spectacular views out to the Atlantic and the stunning Harris scenery in every other direction. Further down the coast, to the south, is Borve's chamber cairn. The warmth encouraged this visitor to take time to locate almost all of the west coast sites.

The other thing that makes this site impressive, in my opinion, is the fact that it is gradually eroding back into the sea as if nature was reclaiming its own. I'd imagine this coastline takes an almighty battering during a storm.

I parked just south of Loch Cisteabhat, on the A859, and headed west. No difficulties on this short walk, the grass was very short and a lot of rock plate covered the distance. The cairn itself is perched on top of a small cliff and is gradually falling away down on to the beach and sea. However it still remains at nearly 10m wide with north side being about 1.5m tall and the south side nearly 3m tall being built with small pebbles. As usual a certain amount of houking has taken place.

A great place to sit and watch the sea which is exactly what I did whilst thinking about all the places visited during the day. Then it was back to the chalet to try some the Isle Of Harris gin.

Visited 1/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th September 2017ce

Clach Na Greine (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

To the north of the Scalpay road on the eastern outskirts of Tarbert stands the Clach Na Greine standing stone. It has superb views of Loch Tarbert and the mountains especially to the west.

How this stands is something of a miracle in itself as most of Harris is rock, except for the strip of land in the south west and surprisingly a lot of Scalpay. Peter May's The Coffin Road was inspired by this as coffins (and their inhabitant) had to carried from the east to the west to be buried.

The stone stands at about 1.75m high, coming to a pointy end, and at it's base is 1.5m. Choke stones can be spotted propping the stone up which sits on a rocky platform.

I parked at a butchers yard and walked about 100 meters back east beyond some blasted rock, then headed north jumping a ditch and followed a fence. Worthwhile if only to see the views of the Loch Tarbert and beyond into The Minch.

Our next stop was the distillery at Tarbert to visit our whisky barrel which had just had it's first birthday. (Their gin is superb as well, much needed after a long evening walk.)

Visited 1/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th September 2017ce
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