Sumary of Magical and empty places: a wildlife safari holiday in Scotland:
- Of course there’s nothing unusual in itself about that – there are hundreds of such Scottish islands – but this particular one, Eilean Sùbhainn, is large enough to have a miniature loch of its own at its centre, which itself has an island on it, like a series of Russian dolls.
- “This is the sort of place where time stands still,” Eoghain Maclean says, as I get used to the disorientating effect of the nearby plane of water of the smaller loch being so much higher than the water of the loch that surrounds Eilean Sùbhainn.
- Eoghain has guided me here in a small boat, followed by a wet crossing of the island and its marshes.
- On another of the islands, Isle Maree, there is a surprisingly large prehistoric stone circle;
- what is also unusual is that later Vikings and Christians have chosen to use that same stone circle as a burial ground for themselves, so Celtic crosses made from Aberdonian granite lean against the druidic stones and there are two burial stones attributed to the Vikings.
- Photograph: Eoghain MacleanAt nearly 14 miles long, Loch Maree is one of the largest of Scottish lochs but also one of the less visited, partly because it’s well protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.