It was a pleasure to be out walking with John Ackerman again today. John is from the Netherlands, and although now aged 83, has once more come to stay at Ravenspoint and go walking in the Pairc area of the Isle of Lewis.
Today we visited Sromos, a long abandoned settlement close to the shore of Loch Seaforth. Sromos is one of over thirty settlements in Pairc that by 1833 were cleared of people to make way for a sheep farm, never to be occupied again. It now forms part of the Eishken estate, a 40,000 acre deer park. One account of the clearances of the people from Pairc can be found in the The Angus Macleod Archive.
We asked John what keeps drawing him back to come walking in the Hebrides. He told us how much he enjoyed walking in the hills, but that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find places anywhere in Europe that weren’t crowded. Walking in Scotland offers him plenty of opportunity to find peace and quiet, and the added attraction of the Outer Hebrides is that the mountains aren’t too high, which makes for great hill walking without too many arduous climbs.
John often makes use of local guides to help him discover hidden gems such as Sromos, and Go Hebrides were delighted to see someone with such an enthusiasm for walking in the Outer Hebrides coming back for more!