210. Kinloch Hourn to Sandaig

Problems with my car and bike prevented me from making an earlier trip to Scotland, but once I got sorted saw me heading for the West Coast on a three-day trip that would eventually lead me onto Skye.

I set off from Shropshire at 04:30 with the hope I could get some walking in later that day. The long drive to Corran (about a mile down the road from Arnisdale) was on a lovely Saturday morning and I made good progress especially as I opted to try the slightly longer A9 approach through Dalwhinnie.

I arrived at Corran at 14:00 and got myself ready. My aim was to walk in through Glen Arnisdale and head towards Kinloch Hourn; I was looking for a marker I had left close to the trail that I had left two weeks ago. I would then retrace my steps back to Corran and continue up the public road through Arnisdale. I must admit I rarely have to retrace my steps, but on this occasion it was the only practical solution. I did contemplate a return walk back over Druim Fada, which would have been very scenic, but the long drive and the fact I would have further miles to do upon my return to Corran meant it would be too much. I had hoped to push my bike along and use it on the return leg, but unfortunately, the track looked a little rough for my “new” second-hand “urban” bike. So I was to walk in and out on foot.

I managed to locate my “marker” and headed back to Corran. I soon met my only other walker of the day, who was doing the TGO Challenge – a coast to coast trek over 13 days. The track to and from Corran  was almost a full vehicle track and gave easy walking underfoot. After fording the Abhainn Ghleann Dubh I beared left back down Gleann Dubh Lochain. Glen Arnisdale and Gleann Dubh Lochain are both quite short Glens and are really one of the same. This is because the glen walls of Druim Fhada  and Beinn Clachach  pinch together to form  a rock barrage about half way down. This creates a small gorge and the path climbs high to get around it. The upper Gleann Dubh Lochain also contains two lochs sharing the same name – Dubh Lochain, both were originally dammed and are now breached.

I followed the track above the gorge and then steeply down into Glen Arnisdale, where the path was  level and covered under the shade of Silver Birch. By the time I got back to Corran it was early evening and Sheena’s tea hut was closed. I now had a number of miles to go on the public road heading towards Glenelg. I decided to see how far I could get before calling it a day. The road had a series of steep up and downs which was very tough going in the evening sun. I made it as far as Sandaig before deciding to ride my bike back to the car at Corran. Sandaig is famous for being the location for Gavin Maxwell’s’ novel Ring of Bright Water, describing his life with his pet otter Mij. The house that he lived in he named Camusfearna which burnt down in 1968. I remember doing this book for English Literature O-Level at School. Little did I realise all these years later I would be visiting where it all took place. Most of the area has now been de-afforested.

My “marker” at the start/mid point of the walk, above Gleann Dubh Lochain
The upper lochain at Gleann Dubh Lochain
Looking towards Glen Arnisdale over the lower Gleann Dubh Lochain, the Druim Fada is to the left
Looking back uo Gleann Dubh Lochain with Sgurr na Sgine in the far distance
The breached dam at the lower loch
Waterfall below the dam
Crossing over the River Arnisdale
Looking down Glen Arnisdale towards the Cuillins in the far distance

I cycled back to the car and drove back towards Glenelg. I found a small pull-in high above the Sound of Sleat. The view was amazing, looking down on Glenelg and Skye just a short distance across the water.

Beinn Sgritheall above Corran
Looking back towards Arnisdale and Corran in the early evening

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:


Distance today = 19 miles
Total distance = 3,743 miles




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