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Scottish anchorages

Kilnaughton Bay

It can be more comfortable than Port Ellen to anchor across in Kilnaughton Bay protected as it is from westerly winds.  It has been a bit spoiled by some modern cottages, but the beach is very pleasant to wander along, and the sand is just right for sandcastles.


The Carraig Fhada lighthouse was built in 1832 — square and stumpy, very much not in the Stevenson style.


Up on the dunes there are a surprising number of atmospheric burial grounds. The roofless St Nechtan's chapel is late medieval and contains a number of mouldering graveslabs, including one with a rather fine knight in relief.


The military graveyard just to the east of the chapel is remarkably well tended, as these places always are, but contains very few graves. One is of an 'unnamed negro' which is a bit non-PC these days. It is perhaps surprising there are any war graves here, so far it seems from the action, let alone one of a 'negro'. But ships did come to grief around these parts, most notably towards the end of the First World War. The British cruise liner the SS Tuscania was carrying American troops to Europe when she was torpedoed by a German U-boat in February 1918. Then in October the Otranto, an armed merchant cruiser, also carrying American troops, collided with another ship and sank. These tragedies are commemorated by the very visible monument on the Mull of Oa, erected by the American Red Cross in 1920.


If you walk on a little past the lighthouse you come to the so-called singing sands, said to be a delightful beach (Tràigh Bhan).

Port ellen 1 Port Ellen 2

Graveyard at Kilnaughton Bay, Carraig Fhada lighthouse in the distance

The military graveyard at Kilnaughton Bay

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