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Inverewe Gardens, the Wester Ross

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Sunday 21 March, Inverewe Gardens, the Wester Ross

This day starts much better than yesterday and we are longing to get outside. It is still quite cold, but we don't care about that, as long as it is dry. Our plan is to pay a visit to the gardens at Inverewe again, although it is still very early.
Wester Ross Gruinard BayInverewe Gardens are situated on the west coast and therefore we drive from Beauly into the West Ross. We can see there has been a lot of snow in the mountains here in the last few days, since there is much more than a few days before.
In Gruinard Bay lies Gruinard Island (to the right) where anthrax was tested in the second world war. The inhabitants of the region don't really trust it, although the government has declared the area safe after it was disinfected. Traces of it can survive for over a thousand years!<
Gruinard BayWe have seen a lot of low flying fighter jets in this area the last few years so we know it is still used as a test area for the military. Will mankind ever be grownup enough to stop experimenting with things we can kill ourselves with? And why test it out in gorgeous places like here... We are so glad Mother Nature can be great without people to watch the beauty. We are not really necessary, are we?
When we descend to the coast the temperature rises. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream it never gets very cold here and the coastline is a green area.
Loch EweNear Loch Ewe are a few nice beaches but for our taste a bit too cold at this moment. We admire the coast, though, as we like the whole west coast of Scotland for it's rough beauty.
Inverewe Gardens Inverewe GardensWhen we arrive at Inverewe Gardens we have to buy a ticket from a machine since the box office is unmaaned. But the door doesn't open and we can only enter the gardens when people leave the gardens. Although it is still early in springtime and quite cold, there is enough to see in the gardens, if only the many species of trees and the winding footpaths through the gardens.
The last time we wanted to walk 'quickly' through the gardens and were completely lost after half an hour. This time we have a map and it takes us two hours to see everything. But we have to come back one day, but later in the year, when everything is blooming. The entrance fee is a bit high (€ 6 per person), but it surely is worth a visit.
Gairloch GairlochIn Gairloch we drink a delicious cup of coffee (almost nowhere to be found in Scotland) in the Myrtle Bank Hotel where we have a window seat and a nice view over the sea. There are several nice sand beaches here and in the summer this place must be crawling with tourists. Now we are the only ones, except a few enthousiastic beachguests who run over the beach in a swimming suite.
RedpointFrom Gairloch we take a single road track, a dead end, along the coast and we find some more splendid places with more beautiful sand beaches. The temperature keeps rising but without a jacket it is still quite cold in the wind.
Loch Maree RainbowWe drive back along Loch Maree. There are dozens of small forested islands in the loch. Here lies also the oldest nature reserve of England, the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve, with a broad range of wildlife. The rains that come by now and then show colourfull rainbows and even double rainbows; on our way back we see at least a dozen.
It is late when we return to Beauly, after a beautiful trip through one of the best nature reserves of Scotland. But there are so many gorgeous areas that we couldn't say which one is the best. It has been a cold but very nice day and again we have enjoyed the beauty of this country.


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