Saturday, July 18, 2009

"The Strangest Place in the British Isles", H. V. Morton

Drove a bullnose Morris around Scotland.

Isle of Skye

Why did Morton want to see Skye more than anywhere else?

Morton believed Skye “the strangest place in the British Isles”. Some of that aura’s inevitably gone now it’s connected to the mainland by a bridge, but not the breathtaking views Morton described.

Isle of Skye

Looking for the perfect vista on which to end his journey, Morton wasn’t disappointed by the views from the top of the Cuillins. “The grandest and gloomiest view in all Britain” is equally majestic to all today, who understand how ‘gloominess’ was an essential element of Morton’s perfect landscape, evoking as it did remoteness and wildness.

I last visited the Isle of Skye over forty years ago, and remember it as a remote and wild place, with a landscape that evoked history. Dunvegan castle and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

We were camping with our caravan, and stayed at a campground that overlooked Portree, I wonder if it is still there? We took the ferry across from Kyle of Localsh to Kyleakin. I remember we had good weather, except for the drive through the Cuillins when it was overcast, and it's true the gloom was great.

Let's hope we have great weather for our trip.


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