Day 311: Durness to Durness via Faraid Head – Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station

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Scotland, Sutherland

Date of walk: 17/6/19

Smoo Cave. The name is thought to originate from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’, meaning a hole or hiding-place. The front of the cave is formed by the sea whereas the rear of the cave system is formed by freshwater. Sutherland, Scotland.

At Durness hostel, I’m trying to sleep in a twelve-bed dorm room; a motorbike club takes all the other eleven bunks. I’m pretty sure I’m witnessing a world record for the volume of synchronised farting, burping and snoring. The following day one of the lads says,”I felt sorry for you, with us lot in here – you’ll be going for a rebate!”. Later in the hostel kitchen, I chat to a well-travelled couple from Lancashire touring Scotland in a van. “The thing is, every guidebook has exactly the same views and photos”, they tell me. The comment resonates strongly with me and seems to validate what I’m doing with my whole project.

The Smoo Burn that drops into Smoo Cave through a sinkhole, Sutherland, Scotland.

Geodha Smoo, Sutherland, Scotland.

Tourism. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

The spectacular sea stacks of Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Orthogonal. Balakeil Bay, Sutherland, Scotland.

Pixel glitch. Balakeil Bay, Sutherland, Scotland.

Faraid Head range control tower above Balakeil Bay, Sutherland, Scotland.

Dunes at Balnakeil Bay, Sutherland, Scotland.

Balakeil Bay from Faraid Head, Sutherland, Scotland.

Whiten Head from Faraid Head, Sutherland, Scotland.

Evening light at Faraid Head, Sutherland, Scotland.

Clach Mhòr na Faraid, Sutherland, Scotland.

Dunes, Faraid Head, Sutherland, Scotland.

Grass slipping down the dunes at Faraid Head, Sutherland, Scotland.

An abrupt end to the beach at Sango Bay, Sutherland, Scotland.

Stanton Air Raid Shelter I. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Stanton Air Raid Shelter II. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Stanton Air Raid Shelter III. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Stanton Air Raid Shelter IV. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) Mast Base. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

VEB (Variable Elevation Beam) mast base I. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Chain Home Low Tx/Rx (Transmission/Receive) block I. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Chain Home Low Tx/Rx (Transmission/Receive) block I. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Rope anchor base. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Concrete pad, purpose unknown I. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Concrete pad, purpose unknown II. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Receive mast termination hut I. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Mast anchor base. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Semi-buried VEB (Variable Elevation Beam) block. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station.Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

VEB (Variable Elevation Beam) mast base II. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Semi-buried power supply building. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

The biggest blocks of concrete on the site are the Chain Home Transmission mast bases. Sango Bay Home Chain Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Chain Home Transmission mast bases. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Mast guy rope concrete anchor. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Receive mast bases and termination hut. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Receive mast termination hut II. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Wooden mast anchor base. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station. Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Last light across Sango Bay I, Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

Last light across Sango Bay II, Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

 

Durness Smoo Youth Hostel where I stayed for three days. Previously Sango Radar Station accomodation block in WW2.

Rest day treat: walking across a few fields from the YHA, where I was staying, to a hotel for a slap-up breakfast.

This made me chuckle as I didn’t have much luck with Aurora spotting in my whole time in Scotland. I carried an app to notify me of likely conditions but the sky was always overcast.

I might not have seen an aurora but I could drink the Northern Light.

How a Chain Home Radar Station would have looked. This is RAF Poling, West Sussex.

Inside Smoo Cave.
Durness Smoo Youth Hostel. Previously Sango Radar Station accommodation block in WW2.
Balnakeil Bay.
Sea cave at Balnakeil Bay.
Dunes at Faraid head.
Towards Cape Wrath from the dunes at Faraid head.
Semi-buried power supply building. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station.
Chain Home Transmission mast bases.
Receive mast bases and termination hut. Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station.
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British Architectural & Landscape Photographer.

One thought on “Day 311: Durness to Durness via Faraid Head – Sango Bay Chain Home Radar Station”

  1. John says:

    I do want to come and take some of these walks. The states has nothing like it I know of

Whether you have comments on the photos, some knowledge or a personal story on this area you’d like to share, or you’ve spotted a typo or error, I’d love to hear your thoughts.