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" Scotland - 1 - Cumbria To Applecross "

Date & start time:     Friday September 16th - after breakfast -

Location of Start :   The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Stayed at :                 Cruinn-leum Roundhouse, Toscaig, Applecross. Scotland, UK.        

Places visited :        Loch Lomond, Tyndrum, Glencoe, Spean Bridge, Bealach na Bà.

Walk details :           360 mile drive plus short stops for us and the dogs.

Highest point :         The mountain pass to Applecross at 2053 ft.

With :                         Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                  A lovely summer's day.

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We're heading north for ten days to Scotland's west coast.

After the fells and mountains, the sea has always featured in our holidays, whether it be Scotland, Pembrokeshire, Santorini or Australia.

No air flights or ferry boats on this one as we take the road north past Glasgow and on towards the Western Isles,

to the villages of Applecross and Gairloch.

The first time out of the bag for the camera was at our lunch spot just north of Loch Lomond.

The waterfall sign and parking encouraged us off into a small car park adjacent to the River Falloch

. . . where it was just a short walk up river following the sounds of rushing water.

There was one main path and several side tracks leading to this fine falls and large pool . . . and a steel sculpture.

It seems we had travelled all these miles north to meet up with a quotation from Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of William the Lakeland poet.

In the trees by the side of the falls was an interwoven steel structure

like a small tunnel, to direct your thoughts to the sound ahead.

[ Part of the Scottish Scenic Routes Trail.]


- - - o o o - - -

The "Woven Sound" inscription reads . . .

"Being at a great height on the mountain, we sate down, and heard, as if from the heart of the earth, the sound of torrents ascending out of the long hollow glen.

To the eye all was motionless, a perfect stillness. The noise of waters did not appear to come this way or that, from any particular quarter: it was everywhere, almost, one might say, as if "exhaled" through the whole surface of the green earth.

Glenfalloch, Coleridge has since told me, signifies the Hidden Vale; but William says, if we were to name it from our recollections of that time, we should call it the Vale of Awful Sound."

Dorothy Wordsworth, 1803

- - - o o o - - -

My thanks to and the Dead Poets Society

for saving me having to type out the whole of the prose.

Leaving the art aside, the waterfall is worth a visit on its own !

Now . . . where did that flask of coffee get to ?

Driving north through Tyndrum . . . plenty of bikes at the cafe as we pass.

Ann bought a new Paramo jacket on the 'net this year . . . the only place in the country

that stocked exactly what she wanted was the "Green Wellie Stop"  Full marks for their mail order service.

On past Bridge of Orchy and we're crossing Rannoch Moor,

normally a wild place but looking delightfully serene in this sunny weather today.

The classic view across to Meall a' Bhuiridh and Clach Lethad as seen across Lochan na-h Achlaise.

[ Good job we can check the map for the spellings.]

Our journey over this part of the route was slower due to the presence of holiday traffic and over 600 cyclists

on a Delloites Lands End to John o' Groats  sponsored cycle challenge.

It was Day 7 of their ride north

and they were passing through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Britain.

A quick stop at the road junction close to Buachaille Etive Mòr.

A quick stretch of legs for our dogs and then it's Glen Coe next.

We've never seen it busier . . . bikes, cars, motorbikes and motor homes all vying for space on the road.

The Three Sisters and Bidean nam Bian from the Pass of Glen Coe.

Looking down the glen towards Loch Leven and the sea . . . traffic all the way.

The road bridge at Ballachulish as we continue our way north.



At Spean Bridge north of Fort William 

is the Commando Memorial

Close up of two of the three faces.


" In memory of the officers and men of The Commandos

who gave their lives in the Second World War."

This area was their wartime training ground.

A relatively recent addition is a Memorial Garden of Remembrance.

Later now and we have passed through the Great Glen

and on into Glen Sheil.

When we reached the sea again at Inversheil

we stopped again at another memorial.

This is the Memorial to the Clan Macrae and their relatives

who died in the Great World War 1914-18.

The view down over the causeway over the head of Loch Duich.

The mountain to the right is the final one of the Five Sisters of Kintail.

A few miles further on is the iconic Eilean Donan Castle.

The sun is getting lower in the sky as we continue our long drive north but these stops are well worth the short time they take.

- - - o o o - - -

The final leg of our journey finds us on a quiet road with a minimum of traffic.

It boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Loch Carron to 626 metres (2,054 ft)

at the top of Bealach na Bà  and is the third highest road in Scotland.

Starting the climb with Loch Carron and Lock Kishorn below.

The one-time deep water harbour for servicing oil rigs has been given over to fish farming.

In the distance, above the islands but below the steep cliffs, is the town of Plockton.

After the first initial climb we round the corner and see the single track road traversing up the valley ahead.

The reverse of the previous photo gives you some idea of the climb.

It is not over yet as the roadway continues to climb on a very poor tarmac surface.

A reverse of the second photo and another long climbing traverse completed.

From here there are a series of tight hairpin bends before the final part of the climb.

The classic view of Bealach na Bà as we reach the two thousand foot contour.

Over the top and now and we have the equivalent descent to Applecross . . . two thousand feet below.

It is a longer and more gentle descent this side . . . heading west into the early evening sun.

The road reaches sea level at Applecross and it is then a matter of the last four miles till we reach our destination.

Those four undulating miles bring us to our holiday home . . . Cruinn-leum Roundhouse . . . overlooking Toscaig.

Cruinn-leum . . . a welcome sign on the drive
. . . and a welcome relaxation at the end of a long day.

- - - o o o - - -



Hi Roger and Ann

Your photos reminded me of a cycling tour my husband Alan and I made in 1958! This is me pushing my bike up the Pass of the Cows (haven’t got the correct spelling in front of me). You can tell by the expression on my face I was feeling it hard. We were touring from Glasgow up the west coast to Loch Broom, across to Inverness, then down the East coast to Edinburgh. We were Youth Hostelling and the next hostel was at a deserted village I think called Lonbain. To get there we had to ride on a footpath which is now a road and we had to take food with us as there was not a warden or any supplies. We went back by car in 1991 and I couldn't believe where I had ridden my bike! I must have been mad!

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your photos

Best wishes from Margaret Barrett (Keighley)

- - - o o o - - -

Hopefully in the next few reports we will be able to give you a taste of the rest of our holiday here in Scotland.

In the mean time . . .



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- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 Compact System Camera.

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5. North to Gairloch

Previous walk - 10th September 2016 - The Coniston Challenge Day

A previous time in the area - 8th to 18th May 2015 - Durness and Northern Scotland

Next walk - 17/18 th September 2016 - 2. Exploring Toscaig