Lag na Cleite


‘Happy Valley’ – Isle of Tiree.
It is almost five years since we first walked to Lag na Cleite
.
We had just moved to Tiree and it was probably our very first walk..

The view from Hynish Pier across the Passage of Tiree to the Isle of Mull

The previous year, when on holiday, we had explored other areas.
Our son, who had assisted with the removal, accompanied us on that occasion.
It is truly hard to believe that we have lived on this Hebridean Island for five years.

The very distinct ‘Signal Tower’ at Hynish

In the intervening years we have taken various visitors to Lag na Cleite
.
Five years on and the three of us set out to do the walk once again.
We were well fortified by lunch at the Hynish Pier Cafe.
Compliments to the staff!

The Cafe provides a great start to a wonderful walk

From the Hynish Centre there is a short walk uphill to Hynish House.
All around is evidence of the construction of the Skerryvore Lighthouse.
Hynish was the shore base for the building and operating of the Lighthouse.

Skerryvore Lighthouse on its hazardous rocky perch.

For much of the walk there are views of the lighthouse about thirteen miles distant.
We could even make out the skerry from which the lighthouse derives its name.
This particular skerry is a historic hazard to ships at sea.

The imposing Hynish House

From Hynish House you follow the track through a couple of fields to Millport House.
To the left is the open sea and to your right is the heights of Ben Hynish.
Ben Hynish is Tiree’s highest hill at 142m (463 feet).

Looking back towards Millport House

An Càrnan Mòr is the name of the highest point on Ben Hynish
Here is the Radar Station often referred to as the ‘Golf Ball.’.
It is one 1 of 23 main NATA radar stations in the UK.
It scans the airspace out into the Atlantic.
There is no mistaking this landmark.

The NATS Radar Station on top of Ben Hynish

On this occasion we missed seeing any seals in the surrounding skerries.
One thing we did appreciate were the colourful flowers.
Often there were busy bees flying between them.
Thistle seeds were being blown by the breeze.

The path then follows a farm track which is not always obvious.
Along the way there are several pebble deposits.
You then come to a series of rocky outcrops.
Here you turn right and climb uphill.

Happy Valley – contented cows enjoy a marvellous view

The short climb brings you to the entrance to the valley.
It is then a downhill walk through the valley to the sea.
Here there were contended cows quietly grazing.

“Who are you staring at?”

A mound of pebbles helps protect the valley from the ravages of the sea.
One feature is the number of natural sculptures in this area.
Drop to shore and on your right and there are rock arches.
Here rocks perch perilously one on top of another.
This is a great place to carefully explore.
Remember the power of the sea!

Lag na Cleite is commonly known as ‘Happy Valley’.
There are various claims as to the origin of that name.
Whatever the origin of the English name it makes a great walk.

A cleft in the rock provides a window on Mull

Retracing our steps a cleft in the rocky outcrop was like a window on Mull.
Ben More on the Isle of Mull is such a dominant feature on the horizon.
Further away to the South were the hazy Paps of Jura.

Ben More on the Isle of Mull

Approaching Hynish it is not only Ben More in front.
Looking slightly to the left we had a clear view of the Rum Cuillin.
As you look across Hynish Bay the Rum Cuillin appears to belong to Tiree.

The Rum Cuillin appears to belong to the Isle of Tiree

The Isle of Tiree is low lying, but it is not flat.
Try cycling and you soon realise that it is undulating.
Nevertheless it amazed us that from Hynish we could see Balephetrish.

Back where we started – the Signal Tower and houses at Hynish

Our faces were testimony that it was a sunny afternoon.
It was not just the sunset that ended the day which had an after glow.
It was hard to comprehend that the forecast for the next day was for low cloud.

Ben More reflecting the setting sun – from Scarinish

This is ‘Life on Tiree’.

NOT every red sky at night heralds a shepherd’s delight