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Issue 94 - Sensational Shieldaig

Scotland Magazine Issue 94
September 2017

 

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Sensational Shieldaig

Keith Fergus visits one of the most picturesque villages in Wester RossT

The village of Shieldaig holds a stunning position on the shores of Loch Shieldaig in Wester Ross. A string of whitewashed cottages sit above the loch, which is framed by the huge mountains of Torridon. The road leading into Shieldaig sits just off the renowned North Coast 500 route and the short diversion into the village is well worth it – on a beautiful day it is an exceptionally idyllic location.

Shieldaig was established in 1800 as a small fishing village but also as a training base for the Royal Navy. Its name means 'Herring Bay', due to the proliferation of herring in its waters since the days of the Vikings. A fishing fleet continued to flourish well after the navy left and a small number of trawlers still fish Loch Shieldaig today.

Out on on the water sits Shieldaig Island. It is densely covered in mature Scots Pine, which are thought to have been planted in the 1870s to provide timber for poles used for drying fishing nets. The island has been under the care of the NTS since 1970. Above Shieldaig, huge, muscular mountains such as Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe rise skywards, with the vista granting one of Scotland’s most spectacular settings.