North of Craighouse, Lowlandmans Bay looks rather lovely from the settlements of Ardfarnal and Ardmenish. And if you decide to take a drive or a cycle (or a run or a walk) up the long road, be sure to pull into to Evans Walk car park to enjoy a scenic sensation. Not only is it easy on the eye from afar, it is also home to a good portion of wildlife and livestock and a fabulous few human residents too. Wander over via the track from Knockrome and embrace the gates as (many) opportunities for fresh air if you take a vehicle. If the friendly sprocker spaniel lets you by at Ardmenish, you’ll without doubt see more seals than you can shake a stick at - though please don’t shake sticks at the seals. Otters, hen harriers and eagles also hang out here on the regular.
Ardmenish Farm is nestled inside the bay, and unfolds into lush fields, natural woodland and a long history. Deer Island’s Amy lives here with her partner Grant (and that pally spaniel, Corra) on their croft called ‘Orca Croft’. Amy and Grant are planning on building their own house here and working the land for a small flock of sheep - amongst other things like growing their own tatties and other outdoor pursuits. Ardmenish on the whole is currently a working farm with over 200 sheep, with a much more qualified sheepdog and shepherding team than Corra.
If you look closely at the hill side you’ll be able to see where the long ago residents used to cut the peats in neat, rectangular sections. Ruins and shielings are visible too, and if you take a stroll further round the bay to An Dunan, you’ll stumble across an Iron Age fort. Climb up to the top of the cliff and see if you can magpie your eye to a small trig point! A cheeky glass of rum will be in it for you if you bring photographic evidence to us at DI headquarters… We recommend staying away from the edge for obvious reasons.
The lighthouse of Skerryvuille stands unwavering in the sound beyond here too, and the big house over from An Dunan (that is due to be renovated) is the old dwelling of the lighthouse keepers’ families.
An entire day can be enjoyed exploring Lowlandmans bay by foot, wheel or even wetsuit so it goes without saying that a single blog entry can’t do it justice. But we’ll leave you with a couple of tips - visit with a sense of adventure and don’t leave without petting the dogs.