West Coast Rocks: A geology excursion with Lochaber Geopark


Port na Murrach Beach Arisaig Jane Hunter

On Monday 29th May I joined the Lochaber Geopark Geology Group on an excursion to the Rhue Peninsula near Arisaig. 

My Mum and I decided to make the most of the opportunity and travelled north to Arisaig the previous day to spend the night in Back of Keppoch.

The sun shone on our journey up, so we carried on to Morar for a walk along the Silver Sands. 

Silver Sands of Morar

 Silver Sands of Morar Rocks and Seaweed

Rocks of Morar

We checked into our B&B Cnoc-na-Faire and made our way to the Arisaig Hotel for dinner. Being on the west coast we took advantage of the super fresh seafood, which was amazing!

The grounds of our B&B gave us the perfect front row seats from which to enjoy this pretty special sunset, looking across to the islands of Skye, Rum and Eigg...

Jane Hunter Arisaig Sunset

Sunset over the Isle of Skye

Sunset over the Isle of Rum

Black Cuillin Sunset Isle of Skye 

We were up sharp on Monday morning to meet the Lochaber Geopark Geology Group and set out on our excursion. Taking the tiny single track road just south of the main road in Arisaig, along the Rhue Peninsula. 

Our route took us out west to the edge of the peninsula, first along a well trodden track but later through fairly boggy terrain. Thankfully we had the benefit of a recent dry spell, otherwise it could have been very messy! 

Along the way our guide Jim explained much about the geology of the area, pointing out interesting features and telling us about new theories currently being researched. 

Geology Excursion Lochaber Geopark Arisaig

Lochaver Geopark Geology Group Excursion Rhue Peninsula Arisaig

I found being out in a group with other people, all interested in the stories of the landscape, an interesting, informative and enjoyable experience. It was a varied group; geologists, volunteers from the geopark, a botanist, some climbers, a landscape gardner and an artist (and my Mum!). All in, a group of 15 people walking together and connecting with the landscape.

Lochaber Geopark Geology Group lunch at Rhue Peninsula Arisaig

After we enjoyed our well earned packed lunch, we continued on to the small but perfectly formed beaches at Port na Murrach. The rain had started but this point but to be honest it didn't matter one bit. 

Port na Murrach Beach Rhue Peninsula Arisaig

Port na Murrach Beach Arisaig

Rhue Peninsula Geology Excursion

The structures of the rocks around this area are complex. They have been subject to great geological forces and processes, with folds, layers and intrusions easy to see all around.

Rocks of Rhue Peninsula Arisaig Geology

Geology Rocks Arisaig

Basalt Dykes Cliff Geology Arisaig

Arisaig Geology Excursion Lochaber Geopark

However, among the jumble of huge rocks there were also tiny gems of beauty.

Flora of Arisaig Rhue Peninsula Geology Excursion

Flora plant life Rhue Peninsula Arisaig Geology

Rock Sedimentary Arisaig Geology Excursion

The sand on the beaches revealed itself on closer inspection to be a riot of shape and colour.

Port na Murrache Beach sand shells

By the time we arrived back at our cars we were all a bit soggy, but happy that we had enjoyed a great day.

I would definitely recommend joining one of these excursions with Lochaber Geopark.

North West Highlands Geopark also run similar walks if you're further north. 

Can't wait for the next one!

Jane Hunter Artist Lochaber Geopark Geology Excursion Arisaig

 


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