Over Rannoch Moor


Rannoch Moor in the Western Highlands of Scotland is a wild and bleak place, bleakly beautiful on a day like this above, but a killer in bad weather.

But is this just about the Moor?


I wandered over Rannoch Moor in my mind

By an old track where dragonflies veered and hovered

Round the boggy margins of a lochan

Past the last stones of a long-fallen shieling

And there was nothing to do, nothing to fear

The wide and shifting sky was blue and grey

Only a single unseen skylark singing.

Lochan: a small loch or lake.

Shieling: a summer shelter for herdsmen and maybe animals; a small farm building in upland Scotland and Northern England.

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  1. That skylark is mighty lucky.

  2. I was reading Robert Macfarlane when I read this post! In his book The Wild Places, he talks about Rannoch moor- these are landscapes so different from what I have seen. I loved the picture you posted and of course the moors in the mind….

    • It is a beautiful place, but drastically changed by the moods of the weather. There is a railway line runs over it and in one hard winter, I think in the late 1940s, a train was stuck in heavy snow with passengers and couldn’t be freed for a week or more, during which time food and water was dropped by air!

      At one corner of it is the Kings House Hotel, a wonderful place to stay for food, beer, whisky, welcome and if you like the company of outdoor people, mainly walkers and climbers. On one occasion when I was there, the nearest helicopter rescue team dropped in after an operation (probably a training exercise and ate and drank (non-alcoholic) – two big white men and one small black woman.

  3. Thank you also for explanations

  4. Pleasure! Any excuse to think about Rannoch and the King’s House.


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