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Staffa and Fingal’s Cave

July 8, 2014

Though I have visited Iona before, I had never been out to Staffa and Fingal’s Cave before the other week.Iona, Staffa and oban 034

So we took the small but fast boat out there on a quite beautiful Hebridean day.

(c) John Bainbridge 2014

(c) John Bainbridge 2014

Staffa  is far more magnificent than my pictures can suggest, the tall basalt columns reaching  up, dark and mysterious – like a place in a Viking saga.

On landing, a narrow path with a handrail takes you to Fingal’s Cave, immortalised by poets and writers for the last couple of centuries – not to mention Felix Mendelssohn who made its inspiration the centrepiece of his Hebridean Overture.

Walking on the angular tops of basalt columns we reached the cave, to watch the seas swirling into its dark hollow.Iona, Staffa and oban 060Iona, Staffa and oban 079Iona, Staffa and oban 055Iona, Staffa and oban 056

Afterwards we took a steep set of steps to the top of the rocky island, a rolling grassy plateau.

We saw no Iona, Staffa and oban 068puffins, though we were not disappointed at that, given the thousands we had seen on the Farne Islands a month or two ago.

Their absence was more than made up for with the stunning views across to the surrounding islands.

Staffa is a quite remarkable place which more than matches its legend and reputation.

I recommend a visit, though the boat only lands on calmer days so check first.Iona, Staffa and oban 069








6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2014 3:29 pm

    A wonderful journey indeed. One day I’ll get there. For the time being I’ll have to make do with our own Giant’s Causeway on the other side of the North Channel

  2. July 8, 2014 3:54 pm

    Interesting that those islands, Argyll, and Ulster were once – for a time – a religious, literary, social universe. Whole maps were oriented on to it. And the geology is much the same.

  3. July 9, 2014 2:47 pm

    A remarkable place, though we were a trifle late for the birds.

  4. July 13, 2014 11:42 pm

    I’ve never been to Fingal’s Cave either, although the Viscount pilots (when we were stationed in the Hebs) used to fly very low near the cave in good weather and bank over hard for the passengers to see 🙂

  5. July 14, 2014 2:26 pm

    Well worth the trip.

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