Sunday, 27 November 2016

Port Kilmory

For no particular reason, it's a very long time since we last visited Kilmory, one of the tiny crofting townships on Ardnamurchan's beautiful north coast - but we made some amends today by walking down through the houses to visit the bay, Port Kilmory, our arrival being perfectly timed to coincide with that of the sun.

It's a deep bay, protected to west and east by the headlands of Ru na Aird and Ru Ghari Lea - or so they are named on Bald's map of 1806 - and backed by a wide sand beach exposed this morning.... a low tide. The beach was deserted except for six ringed plovers, and one felt a certain guilt in walking across the artistically sculpted ripples left by the falling tide.

On the west side there's a gate through the Estate fence onto Achateny land, from where one can look across the mouth of the bay or.... the back of the bay, where the houses of Kilmory are hardly visible amongst the trees, or....

....south across the fields to Achateny House and the heights of Cathair Mhic Dhiarmaid.

We had been told that there were some stone structures out towards the headland, which we found easily enough, a dozen or so of them - walls and buildings like the one in the foreground of this photo, which might have been a sheep pen or, more likely, some sort of roofed building. Whoever built it tucked it in against the rocks to reduce its exposure but, even so, it wouldn't have been a good place to be in a northerly gale.


  1. Oh, my, your photos here are stunning. I think I can almost smell the fresh air, and it's thrilling! I'll have to come back soon.

  2. Thank you! Some of the happiest times of my childhood in the 70's were spent on this beach. We stayed in Mrs McNabs caravan, think it was £13/week! We have never had better holidays since.

  3. I have tried again and again to capture a feeling of the ripples left in the sand and never managed as well as that. Thank you for all your excellent pics.
    By the way; stayed at Achateny House a few years ago - wonderful - Sea Eagles from the doorstep.

  4. Some of the small stone buildings you mention were used by fishermen to store nets, ropes etc. They was not habitations or shelters for people. In the early 20th cent and maybe before, fishing boats used to moor in Kilmory Bay and sell their catch (typically cod) to local inhabitants.

    These pictures only give a partial account of Kilmory Bay, however. They don't show the changes over the past few years: the destroyed otter's holt, the old wall pulled down, the birds' nests crushed by vehicles pulling boats - there used to be many, many more plovers - or (in season) the wildflowers - orchids, irises - mown down by tractor. Heartbreaking ....