Struan Gray



...Assinshire, a country much mangled with many inlets and Armes of the sea, inbosoming it selfe with manifold commodities.


William Camden



Northwest Scotland is defined by water. The tideline writhes around a coast indented on every possible length scale, and in the right light, land and water appear to swap places: inlet turning to promontory, lochan to islet, deer grass to wave. Rain both softens and intensifies the view, first enhancing and enriching colours, and then shading to grey and blotting them out completely. Winter storms reshape entire beaches, and each year the smaller burns and seepages have to seek new routes through, around, or under, the rejigged sand. Twice daily, the tides compose minor variations on this year's structural theme, to which the weather, the wildlife, and the visitors all add their grace notes.


Sublime grandeur of the impersonal High Romantic kind may be experienced regularly here, but the landscape and its weather also inspire less fraught, more contemplative emotions. This is not just the potential site of the ultimate holiday experience, but also a place for everyday life and work. There are rare jewels to be found, but as toddlers and dogs know well, the search for commonplace treasures can be just as rewarding. Quiet processes create their own patterns, structures, and feelings. Some still inspire intense wonder of a personal, lasting kind, but others are ephemeral, losing themselves to become part of the overall mood and memory of a place.


Sgorr Tuath




Green pool












Mermaid's hair



































Images and text copyright © Struan Gray 20032016.  All rights reserved.