Talisker (at last)

For those who were hoping for a post about the famous distillery of the same name, I'm sorry - this is all about the beach at Talisker. A gentle curve of a beach, backed by storm-flung pebbles, and sheltered by cliffs.

You have to really want to get there. First you turn off the main road, then you turn off the narrower road onto a single-track road, heading up over moorland. Then you turn off that road onto an even-more-side-road. At last the sea comes into view.

The road ends at a farm at the bottom of the hill, and from this point you have to walk in. First of all past Talisker House, a big lonely pile of a place mostly hidden from view in its shelter belt of trees. The track does pass by the kitchen door of the house at one point, but I was having one of my periodic fits of sensitivity to prying too closely into people's lives and didn't take any photos.

Once past the house you take the farm track heading for the sea, sharing it with sheep. From the large beeches round the house the trees dwindle in size and robustness, until they give out in the stunted specimens you see in the shot below.

The wild flowers are also lush to begin with.

A rowan tree takes what foothold it can find.

Once you've clambered over the bank of stones at the high tide mark, you find a beach of black sand, with traces of silver.

We were mesmerised by it. I have photos of us all - daughter, husband, our French friend, taking photos of the sand, over and over. Those without cameras simply contemplated the waves. (not our dog - it belonged to some ferociously organised people having a barbecue. Perhaps the inhabitants of the Big House.)

And so we took photos of sand and water and pebbles.

Two more Skye posts to come. I am trying to return to seasonal posting - the summer flowers in this post will have faded by now. But I just have a quick detour to a conservation camp my daughter did in Kintail, and then I'll be back on track.

And if anyone knows how to post 3 photos side by side in a mini collage strip, I'd be very grateful for the technical hints. I tried to do that with the photos of the flowers and mini rowan tree but had to give up, having searched Blogger 'help' in vain for something that made sense. Inching closer to Wordpress...


  1. These places are far more beautiful than any distillery! About the 3 pics side by side, I think you have to do it in a photo editor and then post it as one photo.

  2. Best thing I could suggest would be to put the three pictures together in a photo editing programme and save as one image, then upload. Not sure Blogger allows you to do such a thing......
    Skye is lovely - looking forward to the rest of your posts on it!

  3. Linda, that first photo in the series of sand, water, and pebbles is absolutely beautiful, as are all the others, of course--but this one is the best, to me.

    About the mini collage, I've ended up using Picnik (http://www.picnik.com) to fiddle around with photos. You can make collages, add some interesting effects (hdr is one), frame the photos, and insert text; then you can save the results to your desktop and insert the pictures in Blogger. Of course, Photoshop will do the same thing, but the basic service in Picnik is free. I'll be interested to see what others have to say about this issue.

  4. Wow, that black/silver sand is incredible! I've never seen such a thing before. Thanks for this post about such a secret walk and place. Much nicer than a distillery!

  5. Amazing and breathtaking. I'm so glad I can live vicariously through you. Talisker looks beautiful and I hadn't even heard of it before. Thanks for always sharing such lovely scenes with us!

  6. That is an incredible place, such a natural beauty to it that you've captured. But it looks rather chilly!

    If I wanted to upload three pictures as you said, I'd just use a photo-editing program to stitch them together however I wanted. My editing program is the free GIMP.

  7. See, you GET IT. Scotland. It's not about distilleries. It's about.... SCOTLAND. This is everything I hoped it would be, right down to the rowan tree. We planted one in our back yard, just to bring a little of the magic of Scotland to our wee cottage here in NY. His name is Aonghus. He has yet to produce any berries, but he has grown at least four feet this year. 8-)

  8. What a stunning place, it totally looks worth all the trekking through back roads to get there :o)

  9. What an experience you had - fabulous shots!

  10. Love the texture of the sand and pebbles photos.

  11. What a beautiful spot Linda and I must assume it's continued beauty is partly due to the fact that it is not easy to get to!!! Lovely photos.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and to answer your question pertaining to the logs. Timber has been cut from these islands for over 100 years. In the old days it was hauled to Vancouver by huge log booms. In the rough waters of the Hecate Strait the booms would lose logs and they would come ashore. Most logs currently lodged in the dunes are over 50 years old as they no longer use booms but self loading barges which rare lose logs. When the logs are scoured from the shore line undercutting happens and rooted trees are then swept away....so no not intentionally put there but intentionally cut down!!!

  12. Lovely, lovely photos. I use picnik.com, and they have many free items to use. Including collage templates.

  13. If you use picasa to put your photos in it has a collage element that is easy. Picasa is free until you overload it. It is a goggle thing. Love the photos.

  14. Talisker beach is a hidden gem, isn't it? The distillery is so famous, especially among people who like a heavy, peaty malt whisky, that it eclipses other Taliskers. I am so familiar with distilleries, having been born in one distillery village, grown up in another, and had my first job in one. So I try to look for other faces of Scotland. But distilleries have their beauty too.
    It was definitely worth the trek to get to the beach. I wonder what it must be like now that the season has turned.
    Thanks for the suggestions about photo collages. I have downloaded one and will venture to use it soon.
    Carolyn, thanks for the explanation about the logs.
    Marcheline, a tree called Aonghus indeed! Would love to see a photo of him at some point.

  15. What a beautiful name for another gorgeous place in Scotland. Are you guys on the go all the time, or do you occaisionally stay at home and just "hang out" as the kids here say? Honestly, I do enjoy looking at all the lovely pictures and wishing I could see some of those sights in person.

    Talisher is really a beautiful beach and I know your friend enjoyed it a lot. Is this place very far from where you live? If it is close, I would go there often, I think.

    I loved the magnificent cliffs too. So interesting to see in the background. It might take a bit of walking to get to the beach, but such beauty everywhere with all those wild flowers, I'm sure you enjoy the walk too,

    Thanks again for another great post.

  16. What an absolutely beautiful place! Such a mix of landscapes. Do you know why that beach sand is black? I'd be curious to know. Thank you for sharing such a peaceful place.

  17. I love it when you share your pictures of your beautiful Scotland!

  18. Your photos and words make me want to board a plane this minute and fly to Scotland...that black and silver sand is stunning and know in person it was even more so. The wide open vistas and the blue and greens .... it is all so glorious. Wish I were there!

  19. Ach, another gorgeous island place I want to visit in Scotland! Thank you, the sand is indeed mesmerising. Thank you so much! Fay

  20. Beautiful series of photos. Have a nice weekend.

  21. Lovely, lovely pics, especially those of the sand. Makes me giddy with my already existing Scotland mania!
    Regarding photos, you could collage them together using Picasa or Picnik and upload it here as a single picture. Hope that helps.

  22. Darlene, Talisker is quite a long way from where we live. Best part of a day's journey, though not all that far in terms of miles. We do just stay at home sometimes, but I have such a backlog of photos from the summer, and little time to post at the moment so that it must seem as if we're always on the move.

    Peg, I imagine the black sand comes from the black rock which makes up this part of Skye. You would think there should be a volcano nearby - black sand has that sort of association.

    Dragonfly Dreams - thank you! There are of course some less than beautiful places. Darlene asked me recently if all of Scotland was beautiful, so perhaps I will have a mini series of not-so-lovely photos!

    Sara, the summer colours were lovely. I wish I could go back to Talisker now and see how things have changed.

    Orkneyflowers, there is so much to see in Scotland, isn't there?

    Nordis, glad you've enjoyed them.

    Suman, another person with Scotland mania! Hopefully you'll visit the beach yourself one day. Thanks for the collage suggestion - it certainly seems to be the solution.


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