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Scotland’s rocky road: a journey to the edge of Lewis – a photo essay

Photographer Murdo MacLeod makes one of the world’s most spectacular and remote road trips, taking in wild landscapes, ancient ruins and enduring traditions on his way to west Lewis in the Outer Hebrides

The road to west Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, starting with the A858 in Carloway and passing near the standing stones at Calanais, is probably the longest dead-end in Britain. As it runs into the B8011, and its unclassified extension, plus side turns, it snakes across rocky moors, past scenic sea lochs and on to wonderful white-sand beaches. There’s a diversion to visit the island of Great Bernera and the reconstructed Iron Age huts at Bostadh, before heading to the end of the road at Mealasta.

This landscape was part of a very ancient mountain range, once as high as the Himalayas. This has been eroded by time, and more recently ground smooth by vast sheets of ice leaving the muscular bare hill and beaches of Uig.

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10 of the best narrow-gauge railway journeys in Britain

Hop aboard one of these fantastic British railway adventures – with the chance to see wildlife and wonderful scenery along the route

The Ffestiniog winds its way from Porthmadog through more than 13 miles of stunning countryside. Waterfalls cascade and streams froth down mossy rock sides. Swathes of deep green grass soar on one side while valleys dip spectacularly on the other, affording the chance to look down on treetops far below. Sharp bends in the line offer splendid views of the engine as it chugs onward and upward to Blaenau Ffestiniog, where there’s a chance to travel on an even smaller train into a former slate mine. The slate-waste landscape at the top of the line makes a fascinating contrast with the natural beauties below.
Adult rover ticket £24, one child under 16 travels free with each adult, under-3 free. Dogs and bicycles welcome, festrail.co.uk

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