The Isle of Uist in the Outer Hebrides is one of my favourite places in Scotland. The reason for that is most probably its isolation from the Scottish mainland towards the Atlantic Ocean. Actually, the real reason I am attracted to it is the fact that you hardly see anyone on those long and fairly white sand beaches. This to the seascape photographer is like heaven on earth.
One of the connections between mainland Scotland and the Isle of Uist is the ferry between Uig on the Isle of Skye and Lochmaddy, the capital of Uist. Leaving Lochmaddy behind, you immediately enter the circular road that surrounds the north part of North Uist. For me, this is where you will find the most beautiful locations for seascape photography, especially on the north and west part of it.
The white house
At the most north-western part of this circular road you will find Griminish Bay. Leaving the A865 road behind, you start heading north. As you pass the tiny causeway over a lochan (little lake), you need to take the left track road. This will lead you over the hill and towards a stunning view. The first thing you will notice is a white house. This is an old traditional building with a thatched roof. Actually, it is a new building but it has been built according to the old technique. If you wish to photograph it, it is worth using the truck road as foreground and the house as the backdrop – there is a good picture there, I assure you.
Soon after the white house the track becomes rough under foot and takes you through the shallow water of another lochan, much smaller this time. It is worth spending some time there as the lochan is full of reeds and they can be very photogenic. Within 300 yards from the lochan you can see the remains of an old barn. Don’t just walk by it, there is potential there for some close-up photography.
Passing through the barnyard, start heading west – Griminish Bay is now becoming visible. I can easily say that this is one of my favourite bays in Scotland. During any tide level there is definitely some photography to be had on this bay. There is lovely pale grey sand with an abundance of details on it. These can be made by tiny water streams or even by what the tide has left behind. There is also a variety of small boulders scattered around the bay, some of them can be seen at high tide and some at low tide.
Some would say that this bay is ideal for sunset photography during the summer months, just because the bay faces north. For me, this place is ideal for before and after sunset photography all year round. The light can be soft around the golden hour – especially if there is partial cloud cover – and the peace and tranquility can inspire any enthusiastic photographer, bringing out the inner artist. After sunset, shutter speeds can be very long and creativity can be extended to mesmerising levels. Does this sound like a long exposure landscape photographers’ paradise to you? I assure you, it definitely is.
Griminish Bay is definitely recommended.