Loch Eriboll, Scottish Highlands, Scotland

David Lewins

Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom

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Loch Eriboll (Scottish Gaelic: “Loch Euraboil”) is a 16 km (10 mile) long sea loch on the north coast of Scotland, which has been used for centuries as a deep water anchorage as it is safe from the often stormy seas of Cape Wrath and the Pentland Firth. It is named after the village of Eriboll on its eastern shore. Bronze age remains can be found in the area, including a souterrain and a very well-preserved wheelhouse on the hillside above the west shore.

A small scale lime industry developed here in the 19th century and, until World War II, the Royal Navy were frequent visitors. Portnancon, on the western shore of Loch Eriboll, was where the company of the HMS Hood spent their last shore leave prior to the Battle of the Denmark Strait, and there are stones arranged by sailors into the names of their warships (including Hood and Amethyst) on the hillside above the hamlet of Laid. It was nicknamed “Lock ’orrible” by the British servicemen stationed here during the war because of the often inclement weather. The largest island in the loch, Eilean Choraidh, was used for aerial bombing practice by the Royal Air Force, since it is about the same size and shape as a battleship. The surviving German U-boats formally surrendered here in 1945.

Around the shores of the loch are the small villages of Eriboll, Heilam, Polla, Portnancon and Rispond

Today it is a largely unspoilt wilderness, in a region of high rainfall and the lowest population density in the UK.

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199 Views 16th November 2010

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Artwork Comments

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