Last week we were travelling north having crossed from Mull to Ardnamurchan on the Tobermory to Kilchoan Ferry when I saw the sign for Sanna Sands.  Some years ago I read Alasdair Maclean’s Night Falls on Ardnamurchan, a touching account of the life and death of a crofting community interspersed with extracts from his father’s journal; you cannot read this book and not long to go. Suddenly it was there, just a six mile unplanned detour to the westernmost point of the British mainland across the old roads which leave no scars as they rise and fall with the undulating landscape.  Sanna announces itself with a cinerama wide open space, sand dunes, distant mountains and huge clouds, as though Wilhelm Reich finally succeeded.

When I was a child in Sanna I loved best to lie on my back in the summer hayfield where I could be a secret of the grass, where I could stare at the sky watching the clouds form and re-form over Ardnamurchan – Alasdair Maclean.

On this late May day neither the landscape nor clouds were going to disappoint:

Sanna SandsLook closely at this next picture and there is a small figure standing at the centre of the horizon, like God taking pride in the best of his work:

Sanna Sands

…the clouds whirl and alter still and the mountains thrust up nakedly, shedding their rags of mist on the way, and the waves break and re-break on my beloved beach.  Who will visit the hill lochans now, those remote and reed-fringed sanctuaries whose margins sometimes do not feel a human footfall from one year’s end to another?  How will they know they are beautiful if I do not tell them so? – Alasdair Maclean

Sanna SandsSanna SandsSanna Sands(click on the images to enlarge)


  1. Jo · June 4, 2013

    I cannot resist clouds. These are yummy. Super shots.

  2. Tish Farrell · June 4, 2013

    These are all tremendous shots, but especially the tiny figure in the distance. The immensity of sky and landscape – it gives one quite a lift.

    • northumbrianlight · June 4, 2013

      Thanks Tish, I can only recommend a visit, the real thing is spectacular and even more uplifting.

  3. greenmackenzie · June 4, 2013

    How wonderfully Alasdair Maclean writes, beautiful words about a beautiful country. I love your photos, such drama captured in those magnificent clouds 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · June 4, 2013

      Doesn’t he just – that was just a random dip into the book – makes me want to read it again. Thanks for the kind comments.

  4. mybeautfulthings · June 5, 2013

    Such beautiful cloud shots! I especially love the tiny figure in the dramatic landscape. Brilliant. Was it serendipity that put him there or did you? 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · June 5, 2013

      Many thanks – the figure is genuine, honest :-). The full frame 24mm lens makes him look very distant but actually he was relatively close – another walker who is actually holding up a camera to view the scene on his back screen (not a DSLR).

  5. meticulousmick · June 13, 2013

    Oh the west of Scotland and you have captured it so well. Beautiful, makes me yearn to return. MM

    • northumbrianlight · June 13, 2013

      Thanks Mick – great minds, I am in the middle of writing a short post on that very subject – wishing I was back in the northwest.

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