Sunday 30 August 2015

A Weekend in Scourie

Knockan Crag
Older metamorphosed Moine sediments 
lying on younger Durness limestone

Having a resident (and now qualified!!) geologist in the house (for a few months, at least) means that we get our own geology tours - and where could be better than the North West Highlands.

So, despite the weather forecast, we packed our tents and other assorted gear, into the car and headed out for a weekend of walking and geologising

Here are a few pictures...

Lochan an Ais from Knockan Crag

We started off with a walk around Knockan Crag...

Knockan Crag
Stratigraphy of the NW highlands. From bottom to top
Lewisian Gneiss (Can’t actually see it), Torridonian Sandstone, Basal Quartzite,
Pipe Rock showing worm burrows, Fucoid beds, Salterella Grit, Durness limestones
and then Moine sediments

Followed by lunch and a look around the excellent new North West Highland Geopark Visitor Centre at The Rock Stop at Kylesku.

Over Lochan an Ais - Cul Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Cul Mor from Knockan Crag

Before heading further north to Scourie where we pitched up at the campsite above the shore.

Scourie Bay from by the cemetary

The afternoon was filled by a windswept and interesting (very interesting) yomp around Scourie More, with Freddie louping about from rock to rock, hammer in hand, regaling us with the details of the mega history of the area...

Scourie Bay and Handa Island
Scourie Dyke, the Graveyard Dyke – part of the Scourie Dyke Swarm which were 
injected into the Lewisian Gneisses 2.4 billion years ago

What a place...

North East from Scourie
Scourie Dyke, the Graveyard Dyke – more easily
weathered than the Lewisian gneiss as the basalt
is more susceptible to chemical weathering from the sea

What views...

Scourie Bay and village from Scourie More - can see Scourie Dyke

What a day...

Freddie looks out over Scourie Bay to Handa Island

Scourie More and Scourie Bay

Looking North East over Scourie Bay from Scourie More

North from Scourie More

Summit of Scourie More - views east to the village

Handa Island from Scourie More

Jim - looking west over Eilean a'Bhuic from Scourie More

Old Man of Stoer from Scourie More

Looking south from Rubha Shios on Scourie More

Camas an Lochain - Scourie More

Flotsam and Jetsam sculpture at the head of Camas an Lochain, Scourie More

Freddie and Jim - Kind of a sort of a path on Scourie More

Pegmatite vein in the Lewisian Gneiss, Megacrystic,
containing very large crystals of quartz, feldspar and biotite mica
(Up to several 10s of cm in some cases). Age is 2.5 billion years and
appears to be a unique event in the Lewisian Gneiss. - Scourie More

Jim - Scourie More

More info about the geology of the area can be found at

Big garnet in rock at Scourie More

And it stayed dry!

Two tents with a view at Scourie Campsite

After a cuppa we headed north for a bit of a car tour of the geological highlights. It's getting dark here a bit earlier now...

And the forecast rain blew in with a vengeance.

Supper was had at at the Sango Sands Oasis Restaurant - unfortunately they don't know the difference between meat and vegetarian lasagne!

A wet and windy night followed. There's nothing better than being snuggled up warm and dry in a tent with a bit of a storm outside.

Sunrise over Scourie

We had a sunrise...

Pairc a'Chladaich and Scourie Bay on a damp Sunday morning

But then the rain came down again. Rafie got his walk (and we got a good soaking), we all crammed into the bigger tent for breakfast, we wrapped up our wet kit and we headed south west...

We'll be back.

North East from Scourie Bay with Handa Island in the distance

Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor

Setting off from Glen Feshie - it was chilly - before the sun had a chance to peep over the hills...  Off we go! Jim - Setting off near Auch...