Dunnet Head, Scotland

Some of you will have picked up already that I am Scottish, but not that I originally came from Glasgow, being brought up in the same area of the city as Billy Connolly, the world famous comedian; with the same deprivations he suffered as a child. That being said, I am proud of my heritage and I am very patriotic. I go back to Scotland a few times each year, visiting different places, even though the weather is temperamental! It is a beautiful country! I often come back home without any photographs because we have been washed out … but just occasionally I manage to shoot what I consider to be something quite special! We had taken our Motorhome to the very north of Scotland, to a place called Dunnet Bay. We were camped just south of the headland of Dunnet Head, with the bay waters to the west. Dunnet Head is the most northern point on the Scottish mainland. The forecast was for five days of cloud, mist and rain and I was prepared for the worst! As it turned out, the whole five days were glorious, and on one particular evening I took my camera and tripod down to the beach and the photographs shown in today’s post were the result! None of you know that I also write a bit of poetry, so I thought I would give you an example of this, as it links the themes of being patriotic with the photographs of a part of beautiful Scotland! I have published two versions of the poem, one at the beginning, and one in the middle of the photographs. The first version is written in ‘Scottish Slang’ and the second in ‘Standard English’, because some of you might find the first version hard to understand. I hope you like the poem and the photographs:

Identity Crisis

Ah’ve got somethin’ tae say an’ it matters a lot,

Ah’m desperate tae tell ye that ah’m a true Scot,

The funny thing is that ah can’t tell ye why,

Ah’m so proud of ma race an’ the flag that we fly!


‘Cos back in the past we fought wi’ oorsel’s,

An’ clans killed each other so history tells,

We were conquered by English, the shame o’ it a’,

An’ we canna win onythin’ playin fitba’!


So whaur is the pride that ah proudly proclaim,

It’s wi’ Wallace an’ Bruce and the thoosan’s who came,

Tae win back oor country an’ win back oor pride,

An’ bring freedom and dignity back tae oor side!

by John Stirling

Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland

Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland (2)

Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland (3)

Identity Crisis

I’ve got something to say and it matters a lot,

I’m desperate to tell you that I’m a true Scot,

The funny thing is that I can’t tell you why,

I’m so proud of my race and the flag that we fly!


Because back in the past we fought with ourselves,

And clans killed each other so history tells,

We were conquered by English, the shame of it all,

And we can’t win anything playing football!


So where is the pride that I proudly proclaim,

It’s with Wallace and Bruce and the thousands who came,

To win back our country and win back our pride,

And bring freedom and dignity back to our side!

by John Stirling

Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland (4)

Dunnet Head, Caithness, Scotland (5)

Well, there you go! If you have Google Earth and you put in a search for The Caravan Club, Dunnet, Thurso it will take you to the place we camped and the beach next to the campsite. I hope you enjoyed the poem and the photographs and if you would like to explore my blog further you can access the archives on the right! You can even sign up for notification of future posts by e-mail! Thanks for looking in on my blog and please feel free to drop in again!



19 thoughts on “Dunnet Head, Scotland

  1. Hi John,
    Danged if you aren’t a danged good photographer, too, besides your being a poet. I enjoyed all, but I guess if I was to pick a favorite photo of the bunch, I think I would say #3, er,2 or 4, maybe 5. 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed your pictures. They are in series which is the best part here. Very beautiful place as are your shots. And nice poem to go with. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Katie – Thanks – wasn’t sure whether to put the poem in or not! After all, it is a Photo Blog! In the area of Glasgow that I was brought up in, you would have been looked upon as a ‘sissy’ if you were a fairly intelligent bloke who wrote/liked poetry! So you tended to keep it quiet! As far as my ancestry goes, I was told that my dad’s aunt had looked into our family tree and traced back as far as the Battle of Bannockburn, where the family name was Stribling. The story goes that my ancestor was an officer in Bruce’s army at Bannockburn. After the battle, when the English were defeated, he was given the honour of changing his surname to the name of the nearest town – Stirling! I take this story ‘with a pinch of salt’ but it makes a good story!



  3. Fantastic! It is good to see Scotland….as you can tell, my husband is a Cunningham….We have traced his ancestors to Northern Scotland in the 1700’s Hope to find out more about them and it was great to see the beautiful coast….Thank you! I’ll show my husband…

    • Thanks, Dorothy, and I am glad you enjoyed the post! One of my best friends during my teens was a lad whose name was John Cunningham, who originally came from Glasgow and moved to Cumbernauld in the 1960s! I lost track of him when I moved out of the area. I have tried a few times to find him, unsuccessfully! Have you ever been to Scotland, Dorothy? My younger son, Russell, visited San Francisco, two years ago and went to Highland Games that were being held there. He was stunned at the number of American people who are descended from Scottish families! He was also so pleased at the way he was treated by the people there – they really looked after him well and treated him like a long, lost brother!

      Take care


  4. John, these photos are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G-ly beautiful!!!! I’m such a sucker for sunsets – & these are worth it!!! Also… great poem!!! (I’m not much of a writer or literary person), but this poem is really good… you should share more of your poems!!! 🙂 **

    • Thank you, Xandre! Occasionally, as you know, circumstances come together just right to get some photographs that you see as special yourself! It’s rare, but this was one of those occasions where after capturing them I didn’t care if I got another decent shot the whole trip! I might share another poem if any of them match the theme of the photographs or narrative but that could be a long time away!

      Take care


    • Hi Karen, and thank you for taking the time to comment! Yes, you are absolutely right – I got lost in just looking at the sunset and taking photographs! There was no-one else on the beach, It was a gorgeous evening and I can only attribute the stunning colours to how far north we were! Glad you liked the poem!



  5. I loved the poem, it loses the romanticism when translated though. The photographs are breathtaking. I was searching for a place to set my book and now I know where I want it to be. Now, I have to research and see if I will be able to figure out dialect. Thank you for the inspiration.

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