Faraid Head Awaits with Four Highlights

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The Walk on Faraid Head was the highlight of our short vacation in Scotland. It’s a small peninsula on the north coast. Once home to a radar station, it's now a control tower for a bombing range. The walk takes about two hours. Most of the path is paved but covered with sand.

How to get there

From Durness, you can drive a short route to Balnakeil. Be aware that there're no facilities. A small parking lot is located right at the cemetery. It’s the starting point for the walk. 

 

1 The Beaches

Balnakeil is an impressively long and white beach. We've been there in August and haven't seen many people. It's likely to be accompanied by cows though. Soft dunes enclose the area. I could spend a full day enjoying this ambience, listening to the waves and let the rough weather pass by. 

At the end of the beach, you walk through dazzling dunes. An accumulation of small holes indicates the presence of animals. We're not sure, but think it could be moles. It's a good reason not to climb on the dunes. Behind, there’s another magnificent beach. 

 
 

2 The Flowers

After you pass the sandy patch, the way continues on a field with wildflowers. Blooms in yellow, purple and magenta have covered the grass. You can walk up the hill to the Military tower. The tip of the peninsula is closed, but you can continue a path leading back to the starting point. 

 
 

 3 The Birds

To be honest, I only wanted to go to Faraid Head to see puffins. I guess we‘ve been too late in the breeding season. But, at the edge of the peninsula, we heard other seabirds. The cliff was too steep to have a proper look. 

But following the path northeast, we saw a cliff out in the ocean where we observed cormorants. If you're lucky, you may spot some grey seals as well.

 
 

4 The Light

And finally, there's the light. From the beginning we suspected a heavy rain, coming towards us. The dark clouds covered the sky and created a dramatic atmosphere

The small track on the other side leads through the dunes but brings you back to the paved road. The sun was setting and put the hills in a dark black. See for yourself:

 
 
 

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