(The Sound of Islay and the Paps of Jura)

Jura has a remarkable landscape. On a clear day, there is nothing more beautiful than the view of the islands from the crazy quartz moonscape of the Paps. And, if you don’t mind a wee bit of bog and bracken, there is some truly fabulous walking to be had. You can wander all day and not see a soul, apart from the occasional deer or golden eagle. It is a breathtaking place.

Jura sky

On Monday we tramped fourteen breezy and sunshiney miles to and from the Gulf of Corryvreckan. The walk passes the remote farmhouse where George Orwell famously wrote 1984.


Deer are pretty ubiquituous on Jura, and we saw several, as well as an elegantly circling eagle, two silvery slowworms, and, flickering across a sandy patch, an adder (the first snake I’ve seen in Scotland. I became foolishly excited). The air was alive with fritillaries.

I think this one is a dark green fritillary.

I remembered my knitting this time. Here I am working on a sleeve atop the Gulf of Corryvreckan.

The island across the water there is Scarba.

Knitting in the wind on a spectacular cliff top tends to induce giddiness and inanity

It was a great walk.
If you are wondering where you have heard of Corryvreckan, it may well be from the Powell and Pressburger filmI Know Where I’m Going . But there are many other renditions of the myths surrounding Cailleach Bheur, Breachan and the Corryvreckan whirlpool. My personal favourite is this three part animation from Ardbeg (click on the ‘Corryvreckan’ link on the right hand side after you get to the homepage.) (So it is advertising whisky. So what?)