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11 September 2023

As I worked my way up the tiny coast road from Brenish on this wildly exposed western edge of Lewis, I stopped briefly to admire the imposing Mangersta sea stacks before taking one of only two parking spots a little further up the road opposite a gate leading down to Mangersta Beach (Traigh Mhangurstadh).  If the tiny beach at Mealastra was the hors d’oeuvre, then this impressive beach was a fulsome main course and an instant hit. Unseen from the road, this is one of those ‘take your breath away’ beaches that gradually unveil themselves and quicken your heartbeat as they come into view. The sheep at the top of the grassy cliff down to the beach showed no interest in me as I made my way down to the sand. The sun was now showing signs of winning the battle with the grey clouds above, and would occasionally light up the huge rolling Atlantic waves as they smashed against the volcanic rocks on either side of this deep sandy beach. I climbed high up on the headland to watch the magnificent spectacle, surprised that I was the only person enjoying the show. I noticed a tiny sandy bay just around the headland but completely inaccessible, and quite right too.