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Issue 21 - Beall, Portree, Skye

History & Heritage

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Scotland Magazine Issue 21
July 2005


This article is 13 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Beall, Portree, Skye

This issue Andy Hall photographs the favourite place of Donnie Munro, former singer of Runrig, solo artist and Skyeman

Here in the stillness of time is a settled feel, of all that has gone before, and a sense of scale that seems, at least for a moment, to make sense of all things.” This is how Beall in Portree is described by Donnie Munro, former singer with Runrig and now a solo performer, songwriter and musician as well as being development director of Sabhal Mor Ostaig and also being involved in a whole range of activities to conserve and promote Gaelic culture.

This tranquil place is located very close to Donnie’s home and he often makes his way there to find peace, inspiration and time for reflection.

I love Donnie’s music both when he was with Runrig and on his own. Many of his songs reveal the often-indefinable sense of belonging that I have tried to evoke through my photography.

The lyrics reflect the feeling of longing for and belonging to Scotland in general and the Isle of Skye in particular.

When I took this shot, it was my third attempt within a week. While staying at Braes, I was drawn by the changing weather front that often brings dramatic lighting when a storm is clearing.

This beautiful place looks over the Sound of Raasay to the island of Raasay, belying its proximity to busy Portree, Skye’s ‘capital.’ I’ve visited and photographed Skye many times. The appeal for me is that all four parts, Sleat, Trotternish, Waternish and Minginish are quite different in character. It is a place of magical light and the awesome Black Cuillin seems to dominate the landscape wherever you turn. The distinctive Storr and Quiraing offer fabulous views towards Wester Ross.

I love driving through Skye, perhaps taking the long way round to the ferry terminal for the Outer Hebrides at Uig. The real pleasure is getting the walking boots on and venturing into the glens or up the slopes overlooking some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland.

There is a timelessness in many parts of Skye, none greater than at Beall, where you can feel a personal insignificance, a notion of being a temporary visitor to a landscape that takes your breath away but will endure as it has done since time began.

Listening to Donnie’s beautiful voice on Gaelic Heart while absorbing a view like this on Skye is a complete sensory experience and one that every first time visitor to Scotland should include in their itinerary.

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