In honour of TLF’s 50th birthday, we spent a week at the end of June staying at Barnhill in the far north of Jura, in the company of a few friends. It was a cracking week with fine weather, some great walks and a convivial stay at the house where Eric Blair wrote The Last Man in Europe back in 1948. Okay. Where George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four back in 1948.
Barnhill has a fabulous, remote situation a little above the Sound of Jura and three miles from the Gulf of Corryvreckan at the island’s northernmost extremity. For me, having a week to really explore the nooks and crannies of the north end was a bit like being a Labrador who’s found a decomposed seal to roll around in.
Staying at Barnhill would most definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re someone who thrives on the total absence of TV, the internet, shops and cars then it really does make for a satisfying brew. Speaking of which, Mr Orwell was rather fond of a cuppa and penned an interesting article on the subject in 1946: http://theorwellprize.co.uk/george-orwell/by-orwell/essays-and-other-works/a-nice-cup-of-tea/
In honour of the great man, we spent a great amount of time getting a brew on the stove at Barnhill, using water gathered from a nearby(ish) burn. Though I can’t claim to have followed Mr O’s advice on achieving the perfect brew.
Tea and roll-ups fuelled the creation of Orwell’s magnum opus as he clattered away at his typewriter in an upstairs bedroom, overlooking the Sound of Jura.
This was the room that myself and TLF slept in during our stay. I couldn’t resist having Nineteen Eighty-Four as my bedtime reading:
‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen…’
The following pictures are a selection taken from various walks over the course of the week. Almost all of the pictures were taken within walking distance of Barnhill; we did get a lift 4 miles each way from Road End to Ardlussa for the walk we did to Corpach Bay – we felt that 22 miles would be quite enough for one day…
Looking down on Bagh Gleann nam Muc, with Scarba at the upper right-hand side
Above Glen Trosdale with Ben More on Mull on the horizon
Looking northwest from Beinn Bhiorgaig
Descending to the wild west coast beneath An Cruachan
Glen Trosdale Bay
Bagh Uamh nan Giall
Lochan on Cruach na Seilcheig
Glengarrisdale and the bothy at the foot of Ben Garrisdale
Looking across to Scarba from Glengarrisdale
Wee bay on the west coast
Traigh a’ Mhiadair and Corpach Bay
Konrad, Dougal and Nell with Dubh Bheinn as a backdrop
Traigh a’ Mhiadair
The Abhainn Corpaich
Coitus interruptus: mating dragonflies
Le Roi de Barnhill
The very cosy lounge at Barnhill