Bay at the back of the Ocean

View map of beach Dog friendly

Season: summer

From the Gaelic Camus Cuil an t-Saimh, the bay has this name due to the clear run west, over the Atlantic Ocean to Canada.  The beach is one of several on Iona, a small island to the west of Mull, connected by a ferry.  The island has an iconic abbey, including the burial place for the politician John Smith and reputedly where St Columba landed from Ireland on his Christian mission.  As you approach the beach over the hill, the machair ends and a bank of shingle fringes the white beach sand.  It’s a magical vista that draws you down to this beautiful place.  Columbus’ success in spreading Christianity onto the Scottish mainland made Iona a culturally significant place within the Celtic kingdom of Dal Riata, which dominated South West Scotland and the Western Highlands.

Summer visit photo gallery


Marcel’s eulogy to the beach, from an ecological perspective.  He refers to the Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance..


A secondary vignette, highlighting the scale of the beach.


What the beach means to Hans and Marian, from the Netherlands.


A stunning vista, at the Bay at the back of the Ocean on Iona.

One thought on “Bay at the back of the Ocean

  1. Rob

    For me the Bay at the Back of the Ocean represents a place to stop and consider life’s journey as America is the next stop. I think of all the stones being tumbled over and over in all their myriad colours and combinations. I think of the shipwreck there in the late 1800’s and what the weather must have been like, waves breaking high over the rocks. I always look for the jet from the spouting cave, nature’s power being expressed in a very dramatic way. The golf course passing over the area and the tracks over the machair make me think of different people and the many times I have been here. I think of my parents with a picnic and my brothers and I seeing who could jump furthest out off the edge of the sand dunes at the edge of the beach.

    So the beach means beauty, finding unexpected treasures amongst its stones, family holidays every summer and being at the edge, where weather can be experienced at its rawest.


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