Scotland is full of lovely, lonely beaches, many of dazzling white shell sand with turquoise waters , more akin to a South Sea atoll than a windswept land in the North Atlantic. Eigg – as with many of the Hebrides – has some beautiful stretches of sand, largely unfrequented. As a lover of a great beach walk, Laigh beach and the nearby Singing Sands were the objective on Day 2 of our short visit to this beautiful island.
I spent the previous evening, after the Sgurr of Eigg walk (see The Beautiful Island of Eigg (Sgurr of Eigg walk)and a hearty dinner, enjoying the sun going down on beautiful Laigh Bay. It was every bit as lovely as I hoped it would be, if anything , more so. The beach was an easy 10 minute stroll from our self catering Yurt, which was another reason I’d booked the canvas igloo.
We visited Laigh beach twice….Chris and I spent half an hour there immediately after dinner, but then I came back around 10pm to catch sunset.
Next morning, we walked for 35 minutes to the end of the island’s single , quiet road then cut across fields – the way partially signposted – to reach a high level track above the Singing Sands, a shell sand beach possibly lovelier again than Laigh itself. An easy path down in a break in the cliffs , led us onto the beach itself.It was completely deserted the whole hour or so we were there and the views to Rum were mesmerising.I have noticed that a minibus at the jetty offers a trip out here, so it is possible to visit on a day trip to the island.Either that or walk or hire a bike.
The sands also ‘sing’ when you walk on them – a faint high pitched squeaky sound at times if you really listened, though to be honest, I didn’t really notice it. What did strike me, as I wandered the white sands, was I that I could now be described as walking on Eigg shells:)).
The name ‘Eigg’ looks odd because it has been Anglicised from the Gaelic ‘Eag’ which means ‘notched.’ Eag is pronounced like ‘ache.’ This most likely described the clear notch in the island’s outline when seen from afar. As ever, clumsy attempts to convert the word into English, result in a silly or meaningless name. The original Gaelic names are usually highly descriptive and I wish more could be re-introduced.Gaelic is such a lyrical language, the names would be a valuable addition and reflect the much older cultural heritage of much of Scotland.
It was a difficult place to leave on a sunny warm day…..
Then back to the Yurt and a seat outside, just relaxing, waiting for Neil to transport us back to the jetty to catch the 4pm boat. We asked to be dropped off around 2pm so that we could explore the jetty area a bit more and enjoy the café one last time. There is nowhere on Eigg that isn’t lovely to just wander around. What a memorable two short days it had been on this little Hebridean gem.
And finally, as clouds built up in the west, a view of Eigg and Rum from near Mallaig on the mainland. I was missing it already.