Wrong end of the beach
Supermarine Spitfire R7154 at Sandwood Bay
(Distance covered =
12.0 mile/Ascent =+186m)
Day 12 of my 2018 holidays and for a change instead of going for a walk up a mountain I was going for a walk to the beach.
Like the Mosquito on Cranstackie that I had visited the previous day another crashsite that had been on my 'wish list' for a while was a Spitfire that had crash landed on a beach right up the far north west of Scotland, described in numerous publications as being remote and lonely.
The large and busy carpark at Blaimore suggested perhaps Sandwood Bay was not going to be as 'lonely' as described.
To stand any chance of seeing the remains of the Spifire on the beach at
Sandwood bay was dependant on two thngs, one was the tide being out and
the other was the state of the sand on the beach. I was able to check the
tide charts to see when the tide was out but it was pure chance on whether
the wreckage would be covered in sand or not and the only way to find out
was to walk the four mile to the beach and have a look.
Start of the track to Sandwood bay.
Low tide on this day wasn't until 5pm so even though I'd camped beside Cranstackie the night before then had a leisurely breakfast before driving down, I still had loads of time spare. I figured before setting off for the beach I would kill a bit more time by going down to have a look at the harbour at Droman, after that I would take my time walking along to the beach then just chill out on the sand and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine until the tide went out and hopefully revealed the Spitfire's engine.
The pier and tiny harbour at Droman.
There is a good landrover track and path to follow all the way to Sandwood Bay.
A nice little beach beside a loch, ideal for anyone that can't be arsed to walk the other 3 mile.
As there was a good landrover track to follow I could have used the bike to save time but as my issue today was too much time I walked all the way. I always find walking more enjoyable than cycling anyways, at least on the way out.
After 2.3 mile just before Loch a' Mhuilinn the landrover track is replaced by a footpath. The estate has installed bike racks here.
above and below:-Approaching Sandwood Bay.
On arrival at the beach I found myself a nice spot to sit down and chill out. After about half an hour, after I'd eaten all the food I'd taken with me I became bored, so instead of sitting on the sand and chillin out I took to walking back and forward along the full length of the beach. I then had a bit climb up the cliffs at both ends of the beach and then had a search around the sand dunes for anything interesting.
South end of Sandwood Bay.
Walking towards the north end.
Above and below:-Partaking in a bit geology to pass the time. Rock formations at the northern end of the beach.
When the tide eventually started to recede it soon became obvious that my luck was out, as although the southern end of the beach was almost devoud of sand below the high water mark it seemed as if it had all been deposited at the northern end, where the Spitfire wreckage is located!
above and below:-Halfway along the beach is a rock outcrop, all the sand below high water seemed to have been dumped to the north of that.
Alhough I was gutted I didn't get to see the Spitfire's remains it was still well worth the walk to visit such a beautifull and peacefull place, and of course I now have an excuse to return another day in the hope the sands will be more favourable.
More scenery on my way from Sandwood Bay to Ullapool.
During CC20 in the year of the Covid19 I returned to Sandwood Bay again, to see If I got lucky with the sand. We had completed an epic walk on the Beinne Eighe ridge the day before so spent most of the following day at Sandwood bay to recuperate, including camping on the beach. The Spitfire engine was yet again completey covered with sand.
Looking south along Sandwood Bay.
above and next two photos;-North end of the beach where the remains of the Spitfire are located.