Fungi in the forest …

… toadstools amongst the trees. Wednesday: we’re back in sunny (sometimes) Shropshire, taking a leg stretch on Haughmond Hill, near Shrewsbury. There are showers about – the trees might give us some shelter (it wasn’t needed). Around the fringes of the forest, there are some extensive views to the south Shropshire hills; within the woods, there’s a profusion of all kinds of fungus – one of the joys of moving into autumn.

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Day’s end

Friday evening: the end of the day and almost the end of our trip. The sun has shone from an unbroken blue sky all day – we’ll watch it set in the gap between North Uist and South Harris, during a tranquil hour which will serve me well during the next couple of days. Tomorrow we’re heading for Edinburgh – a relatively pleasant and easy drive; on Sunday we’ll head for the border and the joy that is the M6. There may be times on that journey when I’ll need to think back to these moments.

The pictures, which are in chronological order, need no captions.

No fairies…

…the visitors have frightened them all away! Friday: a walk up to the Fairy Glen near Uig – with the emphasis on “walk”. The first time we visited this curious and fascinating landscape in miniature, we had the place to ourselves. That was perhaps getting on for 40 years ago – now it’s firmly on the tourist to-do list (remember to pack the selfie stick!). Driving up there is not to be recommended – parking is limited and potentially boggy, and then there are the adventure minibuses to contend with. But between the passing cars it’s quiet and a pleasant walk – and much easier to take in the scenery and the ambience.

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Loch Dunvegan

Not a day for walking – instead, we’re driving round to Dunvegan, for a change of scene and a look at the seals. There’s still some showery rain over the hills as we look over the loch from the east side, but it’s getting brighter by the minute, and when we explore the little dead-end road beside the western shore, sunshine predominates.

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Staffin shore and skyescapes

Wednesday: it’s misty and damp here, on the western side of Trotternish (as seems to happen fairly often), but just a few miles away, at Staffin on the eastern shoreline, it’s much clearer, with the odd sunny spell. There are showers about, but we seem to escape them. We walk over the hill from Staffin to the slip and the beach (beware of minibus tours!), then along to the rocks, before heading back over the hill to the car, to drive around the coast to the fog and gloom.

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Balmacquien – stacks and caves

Tuesday: Port Gobhlaig. We’ve walked many times from here, following the shoreline northwards to Rubha na h-Aiseig. Today we’re starting from the same parking place, around the other side of the bay and up onto the cliffs, above a wonderful selection of stacks and the odd cave or two, to end at the old RAF radar station high above Bagh nan Gunnaichean. Returning, we follow the main (single track) road as far as the Balmacquien lane, which takes us back to that little white house out on the point, from where we retrace our steps to the start. What a spectacular stretch of coastline!

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