(Gaelic name meaning… Turning Point)
“Durenys, where, at midsummer, the sun is visible at night, not shining, indeed, but as it were piercing through the gloom.” This glorious description of the north-west corner of Scotland was written by John of Fordun in 1380. A fair few days have passed since then but the incredible light in summer stays the same.
Cape Wrath is an imposing name and a truly dramatic location. The lighthouse sits at the edge of a vast and untamed wilderness, atop rugged cliffs dotted with nesting seabirds. Wildlife watching from this remote location is full of possibilities, just about any species could appear. Will you spot a pod of dolphins leaping out the water, or the graceful back of a whale surfacing out of the depths?
A bit about the site
Access to Cape Wrath is challenging for many reasons including its remote location. There is only one road and it is separated from the main road network by the Kyle of Durness. There is no transportation method for public vehicles to reach it. The only way to access the road without hiking over moorland is by the Cape Wrath Ferry, a foot passenger only boat, which crosses the Kyle. The Visit Cape Wrath bus service provides a tour along the 11 mile track.
Wondrous creatures in the waters
Look out for
A migration of minkes
Minke whales are a graceful creature, often recognised by their dark back, with a small dorsal fin 2/3 of the way down the body towards the tail. Minke whales migrate to Scotland in the summer months to gorge in the fertile seas off our shores. Preferring small shoaling fish packed with fats, such as mackerel, herring and sprat, minke whales are active hunters. A striking white band on each pectoral fin helps to scare and confuse shoaling fish during hunting, making them crowd together for protection. However a tightly packed shoal of fish is a much easier meal for a feeding minke to devour!
Take a trip to the edge
A visit to Cape Wrath is not for the faint of heart as there are two ways to visit and both are an adventure. For those of you willing to stretch your legs a bit (really quite a bit) you can walk from the glorious coast of Sandwood Bay. Alternatively, you can join a trip from Durness, a short journey on the Cape Wrath Ferry to meet the minibus that will take you through the challenging landscape of the MOD training area to the very edge; Cape Wrath itself, and boy is it worth the trip!