The West Side Coastal Path
Literally over the fence from Dollag's Cottage runs a Coastal walk which passes along the shoreline the length of the West Side of the Isle of Lewis. The path is marked by posts and, where necessary, bridges and stiles have been installed to make things easy for the visitor. In most places the ground is good and so the walking is relatively easy and, as you might expect, the views can be spectacular. The photograph above shows your host at Dollag's Cottage, Dollanna, setting out to walk the section of the coastal path between the beach at Shawbost close to the cottage and the beach at Dalbeg. The Shawbost beach may be seen behind Dollanna in the photo and is only a short distance from the cottage and the path passes within yards of the cottage as it progresses along the shore.

The path doesn't need many words and is much better seen in photographs so here are some images which chart the short section of the path between Shawbost and Dalbeg.

Shawbost beach - there is a car park and picnic table here but it is only a few minutes walk from the cottage. As can be seen the beach seperates the sea, on the left, from the freshwater loch which may be seen behind the beach. The loch holds trout, an occasional salmon, and an otter is also sometimes seen here.

Dollag's Cottage @ 7 South Shawbost
The path then passes along the Shawbost shoreline giving good views of the bay and of a range of interesting birds. While this photo was being taken a corncrake was calling from among the tall grasses growing along the shoreline.

The path heads along the shoreline and, almost in the back garden of Dollag's Cottage, it passes a remarkable feature known as the "hole in the sea." This is a substantial fissure in the rocks into which the sea enters and on a wild day with huge waves breaking into the hole it can be a remarkable sight. On this occasion it was much calmer and less impressive but even so well worth a quick photo.

As the path tracks along the cliff top it offers very impressive views of the Atlantic. Whales are often seen passing the West Side of Lewis though on this particular day none were spotted.

In view of the effort required to take in the wonderful views and scan the horizon for whales Dollanna decided that it was time for some tea and a picnic.

After tea and wandering a little further along the coast enjoying the views it was time to follow the path down to the lovely little beach at Dalbeg, the end of this section of the coastal walk. Dalbeg attracts surfers and otters are commonly seen on the freshwater loch behind the beach.

On the coastal walk at overlooking Shawbost beach
Shawbost beach on the Isle of Lewis
Enjoying the beach at Shawbost a short distance from Dollag's Cottage
Coastal walk at Shawbost on the Isle of Lewis
The hole in the sea on the Isle of Lewis coastal walk
Coastline at Shawbost on the Isle of Lewis
On the Shawbost section of the Isle of Lewis coastal walk
Picnic close to Dollag's Cottage on the Isle of Lewis coastal walk
Down to Dalbeg on the coastal walk
Dalbeg beach on the coastal walk close to Dollag's Cottage