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" Scotland - 5 - The journey to Gairloch "

Date & start time:     Friday,  23rd September 2016.

Location of Start :    Toscaig, Applecross.  ( NG 714 390 )

Stayed at :                 Rubha Reidh Lighthouse, Gairloch . Scotland, UK.        

Places visited :        Applecross, Sheildaig, Kinlochewe, Gairloch Heritage Centre.

Walk details :           A drive north to our next holiday location.

With :                         Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                  Overcast to start but going downhill fast.

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A week self-catering in Toscaig on the Applecross peninsula has drawn to a close

but rather than return home we have taken the opportunity to spend a few extra days

at the lighthouse complex at the tip of the Gairloch peninsula.

To get there we take a seventy mile drive north around the coast of western Scotland.

Saying goodbye to Toscaig and Camusterrach Bay.

Here we had seen the seals in the harbour and the otter on Airde Baine Bay across the headland.

A quick photo of Milton slipway as we head round Applecross Bay.

These two harbour sheds probably hold a wealth of memories for local fishermen and families.

Passing Sands Bay that we visited earlier in the week.

The building is the naval survey station concerned with sonar testing in the Inner Minch.

The tarmac road from Applecross was only built to this location in approximately 1974.

The remainder of this coastal road around the northern end of Applecross peninsula was not completed until 1976.

Ahead are the hamlets of Lonbain and Callakille.

The fields show evidence of strip farming and "lazy beds" where crops would have been grown.

Now the area is only used for grazing sheep and cattle.

" That's our food for the evening in the string bag"
" The old track was used by the postman who rode it on a motor bike "

Loweswatercam viewer Margaret Barrett, who sent me a photo of herself cycling the Bealach na Bà,

also included these two pictures, one of the youth hostel at Lonbain and another of the track we are on before it was widened into a road.

Many thanks Margaret for sending them so promptly.

One of the old croft houses now apparently abandoned.

Classic Highland cattle on the side of the road.

A close encounter of the first kind . . . except it isn't an UFO.

Up to the north of the peninsula then turn right at the hamlet of Fearnmore . . . before you fall into the sea.

Around the corner . . . with the prospect of the Torridon Hills ahead across the expanse of Lower Loch Torridon.

The village of Kenmore looking across to Lower Diabaig as we head inland.

Looking across the head of Loch Sheildaig at the village that gives its name to the area.

This is a side branch of the sea, the Upper Loch Torridon continues inland behind the village headland.

Bird watchers seated on the seafront of Sheildaig Village.

It was getting a little cooler by this stage, hence the warm coats.

For one moment I had a vision of a salmon in a tin with a Dracula-type steak driven through its heart !

Reality was a lot more normal.

Here we are at a viewpoint just after the village admiring the sea out to the west.

It was lunchtime with coffee . . . courtesy of a flask of hot water prepared before we left Toscaig this morning.

Looking across Upper Loch Torridon to the Munro mountains of Beinn Alligin on the left and Beinn Dearg on the centre right.

The stony summit of Sgurr Dubh ahead . . .

. . . and the white quartz-like summit of Beinn Eighe on the left, as we head towards Kinlochewe.

We stopped to admire the classic view back to Liathach,

now seen as a sharp ridge along the side of Glen Torridon.

Round the corner after filling with fuel at Kinlochewe, Beinn Eighe now assumes a totally different shape.

In this part of the world filling stations are few and far between.

Our road passes alongside Loch Maree with another famous mountain, Slioch, on the opposite side.

The weather has deteriorated to the point of having to get the waterproofs out to take this picture of the Gairloch Heritage Museum

The centre has recently received much praise

as an important local heritage centre and museum.


This would be our second visit

and included in this selection are two photos from the years

when our youngest two children were even younger

than in the photo in Toscaig that I included in an earlier page.

To the left, Gareth and Jenna in somewhat similar overcast weather.

Inside the museum the exhibits are well displayed and well explained.

One of their prized exhibits is the old light from Rubha Reidh lighthouse
. . . including the old glass Fresnel lens system.
An explanation of how everything used to work.
The original information poster from 1912.
Early whisky distilling, often illegal of course.
The local shop has been re-created.
The fishing heritage is recorded.


The measure of a good museum is to maintain interest

and to adapt the displays over time.

Our daughter Jenna has grown up since this picture was taken

but I think that sailor hasn't aged at all

by the look of the picture above.

- - - o o o - - -

After a tea and cake at their cafe restaurant

it was time to head off to find our evening accommodation.

The coastline as we headed north up the Gairloch peninsula.
We stopped to walk the dogs on the track to the radio masts.

Then it was the final mile or so along the rather narrow road.

to our next destination . . . the Rubha Reidh lighthouse.

We arrive at the same time as another heavy rain shower.

It is tough on the non-driver as there are two gates !

Very kindly the owners had seen us arrive and had come out to help Ann open the gate.

- - - o o o - - -

Later, after we had unloaded the car and before it got dark,

the rain did stop and gave us chance to walk around outside.


This is still a working (but unmanned) lighthouse.

Tracy and Roger McLachlan have bought the Keeper's Cottages

and adjacent land as well as the old buildings surrounding the light,

but not the light itself.

We would be staying in an upstairs guest rooms in the main house.

An old truck from the service railway on the jetty.
A relatively recent addition is a conservatory/dining room.

At night the light shone out over the Minch

and would be visible for 28 miles up and down the shipping channel.

Rhu Reidh Lighthouse now flashes four times every fifteen seconds.

Hold your cursor over the picture to see the rotation if you can . . . sorry it was too dark for video !

At night, in poor weather, it was almost surreal.
Below, the welcoming signs of the evening meal being prepared.

The weather seems to be getting worse once again . . . time to head back inside before the camera gets even wetter !

- - - o o o - - -


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

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . gales and rain to add atmosphere !

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here



5. North to Gairloch

Previous walk - 20th - 22nd September 4. Sands and local

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

Next walk - 24th September - Flowerdale Walk and Sunset