Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Lochs and Glens
Lochs and Glens of Scotland. The part played by the last ice age in moulding and sculpting the landscape, and directing and redirecting the flow of rivers and lochs has given us much of our scenery, but the underlying structure was determined by earlier geological history. To this we owe the slabby magnificence of the Torridonian sandstones found in the North-west Highlands, the rugged grandeur of Glencoe, the granite plateau of the Cairngorms. The distinctive appearance of each stretch of country is due to the character of the underlying rocks. At Elphin in Sutherland, after travelling through wastes of peat and ancient rock and seeing those extraordinary sandstone structures Stac Pollaidh and Suilven, we come into a green haven, a patch of the limestone that outcrops from Durness on the north coast down to Skye. Further south, in Wester Ross, one can drive over the rugged desolation of the Bealach nam Bo, look across the Applecross peninsula, and come down to the jewel-like green of that ancient holy place, the sanctuary of Saint Maol Rubha, endowed with a more generous geology. Lochs and Glens of Scotland.