Book 2: Outer Isles


Outline Map: Book 2 - Outer Isles


Contents: Book 2
―Part I: Round Skye―
1: The Fort of the Spiked Heads: Skye
A walk across a bridge of air to the Warrior Queen’s fort, where Cuchulainn learned the art of throwing spears with his toes.
2: A Nine Year Walk to Rubha an Dùnain: Skye
We journey to the fortress of Rudha an Dùnain, where Macleod’s watchmen of the sea lit a warning beacon when the galleys of Clanranald were on the prowl.
3: The Castle with no Windows or Doors: Skye
Now just how do you get into a castle with no windows or doors?
4: An Isle of Song and Mayhem: Isay
We visit an island once owned by Ruari the Venomous, and Donovan.
5: Two Voyages to South Rona
We pay a surprise visit to an island known as a haven for thieves, robbers, and reivers. Then, a decade later, we make it our home. We trek to Rona’s medieval chapel; descend the cliffs to Church Cave; and search for the Norse Tomb high atop the Hill of Eagles.

―Part II: Flying to the Isles―
6: A Winter Visit to Barra
After splashing down on a snowy beach we stumble through gale force winds in search of beer.
7: Four Days to Tiree
I go to Tiree after visiting the Isle of Man for eight seconds.
8: An Autumn Visit to Tiree
A search for gold threatens to sink the island. Then after drinking beer under a golf ball, I hear gunfire in the dark.

―Part III: Back to the Barra Isles―
9: The Blood of the Merry Dancers: Pabbay
After threading the narrow channel below the blood of the Merry Dancers, where the treasure of Mingulay is said to lie, Pabbay becomes mine for a day. Her own treasure is then revealed as I pay my respects to the most mysterious stone in the Hebrides.
10: Berneray of the Children’s Graves: Barra Head
Afoot on Land’s End of the Hebrides to see the children’s graves of Beàrnaraidh an Easbaig.

―Part IV: South Uist the Sound of Harris & St Kilda―
11: The Loch of Weapons: South Uist
A hike to the water-filled crater of the loch of weapons.
12: Two Walks across the Waters: Vallay & Oronsay
After walking to an island we enter a mansion without windows or doors. Years later another walk across the water is made to see the surf-battered ruin of Teampull Orain.
13: The Sea-Gate & St Taran’s Cross: Ensay & Taransay
My hopes to visit St Kilda are dashed to bits. But my spirits rise when I’m given the keys to Ensay and Taransay. We visit a chapel buried in sand; a standing stone converted to Christianity; and walk across the rattle stone to a floating fort.
14: A First Voyage to St Kilda
I fly above a snowstorm of gannets, then, a decade later, float under them. Once ashore I consider dancing atop the Mistress Stone; visit the Amazon village; and slide down slime to the sea. Then after a night of drinking my sanity has to be questioned when I see men in ties and women in heels storm this remote island outpost.
15: The Cross that Would Frighten Giants: Pabbay & Killegray
Pabbay shuns my advances for years, forcing me to resort to a week-long siege. While waiting for her surrender a visit is made to the causewayed duns of Loch Hunder and the top of North Lee. After finally seeing Pabbay and the cross that would frighten giants, we pay a visit to the beacon-cairn of Killegray.
16: The Monks’ Field: Boreray
The shallow waters of the Sound of Harris are traversed to see Cladh nam Mhanaich, the Monks’ Field of Boreray.

―Part V: Wanderings in Harris & Lewis―
17: The Island That Likes to be Visited: Harris
Crawl into beehive cells; visit a place of treachery; and listen for the call of Tìr nan Òg on the Isle of Mary Rose.
18: Somewhere in the Hebrides: Lamishader of Lewis
Still seeking everlasting youth we let Alasdair Alpin Macgregor lead us to the very threshold of Tìr nan Òg.
19: Dune Tower and the Stone of the Peats: Lewis
Following in the footsteps of John Wilson Dougal a long awaited hike is made from Tolsta to Ness to see the fort of Dùn Othail; stand atop MacNicol’s Leap; and visit Dune Tower and its deserted chapel.
20: A Night in the Beehive Village of Aird Mhór: Lewis
We make a two-day tramp over a land of endless bogs in search of the twelve-chambered beehive.
21: A Night in Aird Bheag of the Haunted Isles: Lewis
We hike across the gloomy pass to see what’s left of Aird Bheag. While camping amongst its ghosts strange sounds are heard in the night.
22: A Night in Crolà & the Postman’s Stones: Lewis
The Postman’s Stones are followed across the bogs to spend a night in Crolà.
23: The Scholar’s Road to Direascal: Harris
A hike over the most remote track in the Hebrides: the Scholar’s Road to Direascal.

―Part VI: Expedition around the Long Isle―
24: The Rope Climb of Eilean Mhuire: The Shiants
A night under a hundred thousand puffins, followed by an ascent to their green island plateau on a rope tied to the unknown.
25: Atop MacPhee’s Hill: Mingulay
We climb to the haunted hollow atop MacPhee’s Hill; wander through the sand-buried graveyard; and then watch as the residents of Mingulay emerge from the ground.
26: On the Seven Hunters: The Flannan Isles
We reach for rusty rungs to gain a foothold on the Flannans. Then, after performing the ritual disrobing, we follow the dead-end steps down the cliffs - all the while thinking on three men dead.
27: In Search of a Princess: Little Bernera
A quest ends to find the grave of a princess.

―Part VII: Expeditions to North Rona―
28: Inside Ronan’s Cell: North Rona
After several failed attempts to land we make one last try and, thanks to the perseverance of the skipper, we leap ashore on a swell and crawl in a cell.
29: Return to Rona and Afloat off Sùlaisgeir
We spend two summer days dodging bonxies on St Ronan’s Isle, and then float for an hour off St Brianuile’s isle of gugas.

―Part VIII: Time Travelling through the Isles―
30: Once Round the Hebrides
A journey to islands old and new: the cross of St Taran revisited; afoot on Scarp of the rockets; and a return to St Kilda via the Flannan Isles. Then it’s off to the Monachs, where the monks of old dug a tunnel to the nunnery (or so I was told). Then I take a seat high atop Mingulay to smell the tangle of the isles as the Star of the Sea shines brightly to the north.
An Island to End: Return to Raasay
I perform a ritual, once denied, on the altar-peak of Dùn Caan; and in the process discover something about myself.


Index: Book 2

-A-
Aird Bheag, 200-206, 297, 317
Aird Mhor, 192-199, 297 
Annag, 9, 126, 128, 131, 132, 136, 137, 142, 143, 149
Arran, 60

-B-
Barnett, T. Ratcliffe, 39
Barra, 49-57, 75-77, 95, 122, 236, 237, 306
Barra Head, 88-97, 237, 307, 317
Bearasay, 180, 255, 258
Beehive Cells, 170, 171, 194, 196, 197, 209 
Belnahua, 311
Berneray, 126, 142, 145, 150, 163, 293
Beveridge, Erskine, 107, 109, 110, 128, 140, 293
Black, William, 255-264
Boreray (Kilda), 131, 134, 137, 163, 301, 303
Boreray (North Uist), 113, 125, 126, 149, 150, 151, 157-165 
Boswell, James, 21, 26, 45, 310, 315, 316
Bute, 60

-C-
Canna, 270, 280, 287, 293
Carsaig, 310
Castlebay, 51, 53, 76, 89, 236, 306
Church Cave, 27, 35, 36
Coll, 310
Colonsay, 133
Corryvreckan, 75, 311 
Crolà, 207-218, 317
Cuchulainn, 4-7, 132

-D-
Diresacal, 218-225, 287
Dougal, JW, 183, 188-191
Dun Chonnuil, 311
Dune Tower, 183, 185-187, 273

-E-
Eigg, 20, 24, 293
Eilean Colmcille, 269-273
Eilean Mhuire, 229-235
Eilean Tighe, 230, 233
Ensay, 113-119, 129, 293
Erraid, 63, 310

-F-
Fladda, 311 
Flannans, 143, 180, 181, 243-253, 255, 292, 298

-G-
Garbh Eileach, 311 
Garbh Eilean, 230, 234, 280
Gealachos, 256, 261, 288
Gordon, Seton, 20, 114, 121, 294
Great Bernera, 254
Green Ray, 310

-H-
Harris, 169-178, 218-225
Hjalmar Bjørge, 20, 279-312
Holy Island, 60

-I-
Inchkenneth, 310
Inchtavannach, 60
Iona, 63, 68, 70, 157, 165, 270, 310
Isay, 16, 19-25

-K-
Killegray, 149, 151-156
Kinlochresort, 171, 173, 174, 176, 192, 194, 207-217
Kisimul Castle, 51, 237, 306

-L-
Lewis, 41, 49, 182-217 
Lismore, 147
Little Bernera, 180, 254-266, 287, 288
Loch Buie, 311
Loch Lomond, 60-62
Loch Tamanavay, 198, 201-203, 206, 297
Loch Tealasvay, 198, 206, 297
Loch Voshimid, 175-177, 192
Luachair, 208, 213, 218-225, 287
Luing, 63
Lunga, 310

-M-
MacGregor, Alasdair Alpin, 13, 113, 146, 173, 179-181, 185, 194, 200, 206, 208, 212, 213, 299, 305
MacKillop, Don Alick (Splash), 126, 142
Martin Martin, 107, 120, 161, 162, 232
Mary Rose, 170, 295
Mealista, 172, 174-178, 201
Mingulay, 76-79, 86, 89, 90, 91, 95, 236-243, 248, 306-309, 312
Mistress Stone, 132, 301 
Monach Isles, 129-130, 302, 303-306
Moy Castle, 63, 310
Muck, 21, 23, 293
Muir, TS, 89, 93, 94, 265, 271, 286, 288
Muldoanich, 237
Mull, 63

-N-
North Rona, 19, 190, 260, 270, 273-286
North Uist, 16, 109, 158, 159

-O-
Oronsay, 110-112

-P-
Pabbay (Barra), 77, 79-87, 89, 95, 237, 240, 317
Pabbay (Harris), 107, 113, 142-151, 158 
Papadil, 310
Pochin-Mould, Daphne, 101, 102, 105, 126, 140, 192, 205, 213, 214 
Poplar Diver, 123, 230, 235-237, 244, 245, 253, 255, 258, 262, 270, 272-274, 292
Princess of Thule, 180, 254-265, 288

-R-
Raasay, 26-29, 35, 83, 313-317
Ringing Stone, 64, 65, 71, 72, 310
Rum, 293, 310

-S-
Saint Kilda, 9, 45, 113, 122, 124-139, 163, 298-304 
Sandray, 52, 77, 84, 95
Scarba, 311
Scarp, 149, 203, 213, 219, 224, 295-298
Shiant Isles, 20, 30, 147, 229-235, 270, 280
Shillay, 113, 129, 304, 305
Skerryvore, 67
Skye, 3-18, 83
Soay, 133
South Rona, 26-45, 280, 315
South Uist, 101-105
St Beccan, 310
St Bernard, 53
St Brendan, 237 
St Columba, 68, 70, 82, 86, 117, 270
St Donnan, 257, 258, 288
St Finbarr, 55
St Keith (Che), 120
St Kenneth, 310
St Maelrubha, 34, 44, 233, 234
St Mary, 147, 232, 233
St Michael, 266
St Moluag, 147, 233
St Oran, 111
St Patrick, 68
St Ronan, 270, 275-278, 281, 285
St Taran, 114, 120, 121, 294
Staffa, 310
Sulaisgeir, 190, 287-288

-T-
Taransay, 113, 114, 119-123, 143, 287, 294
Tiree, 49, 58-72, 310
Tobermory, 293

-U-
Uig (Skye), 14, 15
Uig (Lewis), 198, 201, 202, 206, 248

-V-
Vacsay, 255
Vallay, 106-112, 128, 143, 147, 293
Vatersay, 52, 54, 57, 77, 81, 237, 243

-W-
Water-horse, 86, 87, 204, 239, 305
Well of the Cross, 126, 139-141, 159, 317

Bibliography & Further Reading

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Allardyce, Keith, Scotland's Edge Revisited, Harper-Collins, 1998
Anderson, Iain:
               To Introduce the Hebrides, Herbert Jenkins, 1933
               Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Herbert Jenkins, 1934
               The Sunset Shore, Herbert Jenkins, 1934
               Scottish Quest, Herbert Jenkins, 1935
               Across Hebridean Seas, Chatto & Windus, 1937
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               The Road to Rannoch and the Summer Isles, Robert Grant & Son, 1926
               The Land Of Lochiel and the Magic West, Robert Grant, 1927
               The Land of Lorne and the Isles of Rest, Chambers, 1933
               Highland Harvest, James Clarke & Co., 1937
               Scottish Pilgrimage in the Land of Lost Content, John Grant, 1944
               Autumns In Skye Ross & Sutherland, Edinburgh, 1946
Barrett, D.M., A Calendar of Scottish Saints, Abbey Press, 1919
Beatty, John, Sula: The Seabird Hunters of Lewis, Michael Joseph, 1992
Bell, J.J., Scotland’s Rainbow West, Harrap, 1933
Beveridge, Erskine, North Uist, Birlinn, 2001
Bird, Vivian, The Sunset Coast, Roundwood Press, 1970
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Bolton, G. Douglas, Scotland’s Western Seaboard, Oliver & Boyd, 1958
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Boswell, James, Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Literary Guild, 1936
Boyd, John Morton, Fraser Darlings Islands, Edinburgh U. Press, 1986
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Brown, Ivor, Summer In Scotland, Collins, 1952
Buchanan, John, Travels in the Western Hebrides, Maclean, 1997
Buchanan, Meg (Ed.), St Kilda: The Continuing Story of the Islands, HMSO, 1995
Buchanan, Robert, The Hebrid Isles, Chatto & Windus, 1883
Buxton, Ben, Mingulay, Birlinn, 1995
Calder, Clair and Lindsay, Lynn, The Islands of Loch Lomond, Northern Books, 1992
Cameron, Archie, Bare Feet & Tackety Boots, Luath Press, 1997
Campbell, John Lorne, Canna: the Story of a Hebridean Island, 1984
Campbell, Grace, Highland Heritage, Collins, 1962
Carmichael, Alexander, Carmina Gadelica, Lindisfarne Press, 1992
Carslaw, R B, Leaves from Rowan's Logs, Robert Ross & Co. LTD, 1940
Cooper, Derek:
    Skye, Routledge, 1970
               The Road To Mingulay, RKP, 1985
Cowan, David and Arnold, Chris, Ley Lines and Earth Energies, Adventures Unlimited Press, 2003
Craig, Stuart, Away with the Ferries, Lindsay, 1999
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Cuthbertson, D.C., Romantic Scotland, Eneas Mackay, 1938
Darling, Frank Fraser:
               Island Years, Pan Books, 1973
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D’Arcy, Mary Ryan, The Saints of Ireland, Irish American Cultural Institute, 1974
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Donaldson, M.E.M:
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               Islemen of Bride, Alexander Gardner, 1927
Dougal, John Wilson, Island Memories, Moray Press, 1937
Dowden, John, The Celtic Church in Scotland, SPCK, 1894
Dowes, Ivor, Pilgrim Shrines of Scotland, Faith Press, 1964
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Dowse, Ivor R., The Pilgrim Shrines of Scotland, The Faith Press, 1964
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               Forgotten Scotland, James Clarke
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Feachem, Richard, A Guide to Prehistoric Scotland, Batsford, 1963
Finlay, Ian, Columba, Richard Drew, 1990
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               Western Highlands, Batsford, 1947
Gordon, Seton:
               The Land of the Hills & Glens, Cassell, 1920
               Wanderings of a Naturalist, Cassell, 1921
               The Immortal Isles, Williams and Norgate, 1927
               The Charm of the Hills, Cassell, 1930
               Islands of the West, Cassel, 1933
               The Charm of Skye, Cassell, 1934
               Highways and Byways in the West Highlands, Macmillan, 1935
               Afoot in Wild Places, Cassel, 1937
               A Highland Year, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1947
               Highways and Byways in the Central Highlands, Macmillan, 1948
               Afoot in the Hebrides, Country Life, 1950
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               30 Years of Nature Photography, Cassell, 1952
               Highland Days, Country Book Club, 1965
               Highland Summer, Cassell, 1971
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Hedderwick, Mairi, An Eye on the Hebrides, Canongate, 1989
Higgins, L.R., A Tangle of Islands, TBC, 1972
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               And It Came to Pass, 1962
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               Somewhere in Scotland, Robert Hale, 1948
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               The Ghost Book, Robert Hale, 1957
               Phantom Footsteps, A Second Ghost Book, Robert Hale, 1959
               The Enchanted Isles, Michael Joseph, 1967
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Thompson, Francis:
               St Kilda and other Hebridean Outliers, Praeger, 1970
               The Highlands & Islands, Robert Hale, 1974
               The Uists and Barra, David & Charles, 1974
               Northern Scotland & the Islands, New Shell Guide, Michael Joseph, 1987
               The Western Isles of Scotland, New Amsterdam, 1988
Thomson, A.A., The Breezy Coast, Herbert Jenkins, 1932
Toulson, Shirley, Celtic Journeys, Fount, 1995
Tranter, Nigel, A Traveler’s Guide to the Scotland of Robert the Bruce, Historical Times, 1981
Trenholme, Edward C., The Story of Iona, David Douglas, 1909 copy
Urquhart, Judy, Eigg, Canongate, 1987
Weir, Tom:
               Scottish Lochs (Vol 1), Constable, 1970
               Scottish Lochs (Vol 2), Constable, 1970
               Scottish Islands, David & Charles, 1976
Weyndling, Walter, Ferry Tales of Argyll & the Isles, Sutton, 1996
Williamson & Boyd:
               St Kilda Summer, Country Book Club, 1961
               A Mosaic of Islands, Oliver & Boyd, 1963
Wilson, Brian, Blazing Paddles, Wildland Press, 1998
Wilson, Richard, Scotland's Unsolved Mysteries, Robert Hale, 1991
Withall, Mary, Easdale, Belnahua, Luing & Seil: The Islands that Roofed the World, Luath, 2001
Youngson, Peter, Jura: Island of Deer, Birlinn, 2001