In Search of the Machair

It’s the same with us at the start of each year. “Where shall we go this year?” “Where can we go that’s different?” We’d been to Harris a few times and fancied a change, though we normally don’t go to Scotland in the summer to avoid the dreaded midges, but we fancied trying North Uist in summer to see the machair. We found a cottage to rent and set off with a little trepidation in our minds. Despite our love of simple images, this was going to be a very sparse landscape and it was going to test our abilities to do it justice.


Machair at Balranald

We travelled north over a couple of days and arrived on North Uist in glorious sunshine, but it wasn’t to last. Our cottage was on the edge of the Balranald nature reserve, a place renown for it’s machair, but on exploring that evening, it proved that we had arrived a little too early for the machair to be at it’s height. The swathes of buttercups were beautiful, but the poor weather in June meant the clovers and orchids were yet to reach their peak.

Sunset at Traigh nam Faoghailean

Sunset at Traigh nam Faoghailean

More bad weather meant we were confined to a bit of recceing the south of the island over the next couple of days, but no sign of machair in the south, then on the Wednesday we ventured north and bingo, loads of machair at Malacleit and Traigh Ear. Not only machair, but sparse bays that were just crying out to be shot as minimal monochrome images. Suddenly we were in our element and inspired, but time was running out and the weather was limiting our opportunities, before we had to leave the island on Friday to travel to Harris prior to leaving for home.800-1-12080-R

However, we’ve found a cottage overlooking a bay that holds huge potential for us to do our thing and large areas of machair close by, so we don’t think it won’t be too long before we head back to North Uist once again.

Gearraidh Iain cottage at Ceann a Bhaigh

Gearraidh Iain cottage at Ceann a Bhaigh


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