Beautiful aerial footage of Uig Beach on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
The reason we journeyed onto Isle of Lewis was mainly to see the Callanish Standing Stones– sometimes called the “Stonehenge of the Hebrides”. The Callanish stones are rather uniquely arranged, resembling a Celtic cross. Now you have to imagine The Isle of Lewis in the Neolithic Age- apparently it was a a lot warmer, drier and less windy and the sea level was lower. By the Iron Age, the climate had deteriorated and conditions on Lewis were colder and damper. This resulted in the accumulation of peat which kept the Callanish Stones largely hidden for over two to three millennia, till the excavation of 1857, when the stones were finally dug out from 5 feet of peat.
Why were they built? Nobody can tell for sure, but there are quite a few amazing legends circulating about them. A legend common to many British circles is that the megaliths are people who were turned to stone for some transgression. At Callanish, the story is that St Kieran literally petrified pagan giants who were meeting to oppose Christianity. I personally like the story of a Gaelic-speaking cow who came to the stones during a famine and gave milk to all, but a witch used a bottomless bucket to milk her dry and the cow was never seen again.
Seeing the stones in person was an awesome experience, despite the gale force winds and lashings of rain. From there we drove on to Uig Beach, having looked at Google Maps and thinking it looked pretty awesome and indeed, we were not disappointed. Think back at the Neolithic climate, the Uig Beach must have been a tropical paradise then. Beautiful sand as far as eyes can see and a wonderfully shallow beach- perfect for those Norse Kings who lost their chess pieces here in the 12th century. Carved in walrus ivory, those exquisite pieces must have got lost while being transported back to Norway. You can just picture the Norse bearded Kings travelling to the shore to their ship along this beautiful beach or maybe they had to leave in a hurry and forgot to take their well hidden chess pieces with them, as Malcolm Macleod of Pennydonald found them somewhere on this beach in 1831, hidden inside a stone structure. Along with the chess pieces, there were 14 plain round table men for the game of tables and one belt buckle, all made of ivory, making a total of 93 artefacts.
We had 22 mph winds on this beach. Awesome waves and beautiful sunlight, but it was wiser to keep the mouth closed while there as else we would have ended up with a desert full of sand inside. 22 mph winds are just on the borderline for droning. Considering that there were hardly any people there and winds were from the sea, we decided to test our DJI Inspire 1’s performance with the wind. The first flight was a rather shaky one, but our pilot soon got the UAV to perform beautifully, resulting in some of the best footage we’ve ever shot. The only downside was the thorough hoovering operations of the drone case we had to undertake later on.