" Scotland 2015 ~ 6. Plockton and the trip home."
Date & Time: Friday 15th / Sunday 17th May 2015.
Locations : Stayed at Plockton, just north of the Kyle of Lochalsh.
Places visited : All the west coast sights on the drive south from Durness to home.
Accommodation : The Plockton Inn for two nights.
Distance : A local walk around the village and the headland of Plockton
With : Ann and myself and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : All sorts . . . rain showers to beautiful sunshine.
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We chose the west coast route for our journey south, back to home.
On the way down we enjoyed the views of many a famous mountain
and stayed for a two night break in the lovely fishing village of Plockton.
Having a full day there meant we could explore more than just the chocolate-box view.
Whiten Head and a departing rain shower as we set off for the drive south.
The Kyle of Durness, the tide has ebbed and flowed a few times since we enjoyed our journey to Cape Wrath.
It has been Cape Wrath Challenge Week a local running festival attracting folk from all over the country to this remote and delightful spot.
On the first part of our drive we often had to give way to the Marathon Runners on the narrower parts of this road.
Just past Scourie is the inlet of Badcall Bay, haven to small fishing boats and a fish farm initiative.
From my schoolboy photo album I have found this view of the bay
when I stayed with family and friends in 1967.
Our Hiley and Kirby caravans can just be seen (as white square objects) to the right of the long building off-centre on the promontory.
A close up of the Badcall Bay fishing jetty . . . we stayed here when the place was almost derelict some fifty years ago.
Hold your cursor over the picture to look back in time.
The picturesque Lock Duartmore and the 'new' Duartmore bridge.
The old bridge is further upstream near the houses.
Just a little further south, the Kylescue ferry has been replaced by a fine bridge spanning the sea loch, Loch Glencoul.
Ardvreck Castle in the lovely sunshine as we journeyed south.
Famous outlines . . . this is Suilven and Canisp from the Drumrunie Road.
The ferry port of Ullapool . . . the Macbraynes ships leave for the Outer Hebrides from here.
Loch Maree and the mighty outline of Slioch . . . topped with recent snow by the look of it.
I'll leave you work out which one this is !
Single track road again as we drive down past Liathach and on towards Torridon.
The rain clouds clear away (and leave the merest hint of a rainbow to the right) as we reach the sea once again.
Time to stretch the legs for a few minutes, have a coffee and admire the view.
(We were the ones that had the coffee of course . . . not the dogs.)
The village of Sheildaig . . . again a place of childhood memories.
They still offer the field at the top of the village for use as a camp site for tents, camper vans and caravans.
The pretty seafront of Sheildaig shining in the sunshine.
As it happens we missed seeing our friends Dave and Josie here today by just about half an hour.
They were starting their holiday at a cottage on the Applecross road a few miles away.
Round through Lochcarron
and the road to Strome Ferry shares a loch-side cutting with the railway to Kyle of Lochalsh.
Our destination tonight is the Plockton Inn seen here after another short rain shower.
Before supper in the hotel we take a walk down to the slipway.
A rather old board gave a brief resume of the village history.
Apparently Plockton was set up at the time of the clearances when crofters were given a small plot of land for a house and garden
and encouraged to set up a fishing industry to replace their simple farming lifestyle.
Though clear, the rain is never far away, giving us dramatic skies inland from Loch Carron.
Across the bay . . . Duncraig Castle and the outline of Carn á Bhealaich Mhóir.
- - - o o o - - -
The morning dawned calm and the reflections down on the pontoon were almost perfect.
With the tide out I crossed to the small island opposite the slipway.
Reflections again in the low tide water.
Note how different people make different use of their 'crofting' garden, each plot just as wide as the house on the roadside.
Following a local guide we borrowed from the hotel, we headed up to the promontory at the top end of the village.
The inlet at the top of town, empty now at low tide.
The big house at Rubha Mor owns the large headland
but they have opened up the garden to allow visitors to walk in this beautiful area.
A path has been developed that takes you around the grounds without impacting on the house.
Cotton grass grows beside this moorland pond.
From the chair we get an extensive view which includes Loch Carron and Loch Kishorn to the right
and out towards the Isle of Rassay and Skye far away to the left.
One of the harbour lights that mark the channel into Plockton Harbour.
A large yacht heads out of the bay . . . later she would raise sail as she headed out towards the open sea.
Kayakers wend their way between the rocks below us.
Hmm . . . it looks like it is raining again.
This part of the woods has been planted with more colourful shrubs.
Another small pond surrounded by colour.
We're almost back to the driveway again and find a coin or two for the charity box as we leave the grounds.
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A second walk closer to the hotel could be classed as the 'Walk of the Churches'.
The 1845 Free Church of Scotland church buildings
have now been converted into self catering accommodation.
The path took us up onto the hill at the back of the village.
This was the site of the Plockton 'Outdoor Church'
which was in use for two years from 1843 during a disagreement between the Free Church and its congregation.
The old quarry still shows signs of terracing where people could sit or stand during the services.
Back to the hotel via the Parish Church . . . still very much in use it seems.
- - - o o o - - -
Monday 18th May and time to leave.
Two nights here has allowed us to get more of a feeling for the village compared to the fleeting drive-through of the tourist buses.
Our accommodation was in fact in the annex to the Inn, conveniently across the road.
It was brilliantly dog friendly . . . and gave access and almost exclusive use of the large back garden.
In the sunshine we had one last stroll down to the slipway.
The houses are more colourful in the sunshine.
. . . and that final classic panorama of Plockton in the sunshine now the tide is high.
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Just a few highlights of the homeward trip . . .
The Skye Bridge.
The Cluanie Inn,
a famous remote hostelry . . . half-way between Kyle of Lochalsh at the sea and Invergary in the Great Glen.
Behind it the high peaks of Aonach Mor and Ben Nevis still have a winter-like covering of snow.
One last parting shot of Buachaille Etive Mòr as we drive across Rannoch Moor.
It has been a great ten days away . . . relaxing and full of memories.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . . A route map south to home.
Next walk - 20th May 2015 - Rannerdale Bluebells - 2015