outer hebrides'

6

Dùn Chàrlabhaigh, Leòdhas, Outer Hebrides.

This is one of the best preserved Iron Age Brochs in Scotland. It’s entered by a single low heavily-defended doorway with a guard chamber to one side. There are two further chambers at ground level within the massive thickness of the walls, and a stone-built staircase which rises between the inner and outer walls, giving access to the upper levels.

Although the broch appears to have been long roofless and uninhabited, a well-known local story demonstrates that it remained an important landmark and place of regime. The Morrisons had stolen cattle from the MacAulays in a raid and took refuge in the broch until the danger of reprisal had passed. However they met a fearful end when Donald Cam MacAulay managed to climb the sheer outer face of the drystone inserting his dirks between the stones and throwing burning heather down on them.

7

Phobull Fhinn with its beautiful heather moorland, North Uist, Western Isles - this stone circle stands on the slope of a hill looking east over Loch Langais, with the mass of Beinn Langais in the distance. The name loosely translates as ‘Finn’s People’, a reference to the mythical warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill.

The circle is composed of at least 48 stones, with a pair of portal stones forming an entrance at either end. Only one of the stones is really prominent (2.2 metres) and many have fallen. The circle is set upon a manmade terrace, made by cutting into the slope of Beinn Langais on one side and building up the slope on the other to create a fairly level platform. The circle is actually an oval shape, about 37 metres by 30 metres, with the longer side running east to west.

Since 2015, Ruairidh McGlynn has been photographing the bothies, small dwellings in the mountains of Scotland, available for wanders and travellers for no cost. “This particular bothy is built into the side of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic coast, hidden away on the outer Hebrides,” he writes.