Robert Macfarlane at Cape Wrath


Cape Wrath s the most north-westerly point in the mainland Britain. Robert Macfarlane described arriving at the cape in Wild Places.

I looked out to sea and watched the waves build as they approached the land, curling up out of the water along their length, like flicked ropes. The air above the sea was live with scores of birds: fulmars planing the wind in white curves, stubby guillemots like winged cigars, whirring along just above the waves, gulls making their weightless turns and angles, and giving their quick cries. So much life was at work in this place! I picked out one fulmar and followed its motion for a few minutes, watching the laterals of its gliding wings, wondering what sort of pattern its complex flight-path would make if it could be plotted. Out of sight to the east were the Clo Mor Cliffs, home to a far bigger seabird colony: tens of thousands of puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes.