Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Scotland Tour Day 5 - Inchnadamph to Torridon

Day 5 of my tour through the Scottish Highlands. Today I'm going from Inchnadamph to Torridon, via/stopping at Ardvreck Castle, Knockan Crag, Ullapool and Corrieshalloch Gorge.

7.30 am. Had a good night sleep at Inchnadamph Lodge and it feels great to step outside with a cup of coffee and seeing nothing else but beautiful landscape. And it's so quiet. Last night's heavy wind has settled and I'm now getting ready for a stroll through Inchnadamph.

Inchnadamph Lodge, Hostel and B&B.

Inchnadamph Lodge, Hostel and B&B.

Telephone Box in Inchnadamph.

Telephone and Letter Box in Inchnadamph.

In Inchnadamph.

Inchnadamph Church and Graveyard.

Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland.

11.40 am. Ardvreck Castle. (map)
Ardvreck Castle... a magical place steeped in history in a spectacular setting . I couldn't think of a better place to build a castle.

The castle dates back to about 1490 when the lands were owned by the Macleods of Assynt. Its only place in history is an especially inglorious one. On 25 April 1650, the Marquis of Montrose, fighting for the Royalist cause even after the execution of Charles I  lost the battle of Carbisdale to a much smaller Covenanter army. His flight brought him, two days later, to Ardvreck Castle, where he sought sanctuary with Neil Macleod of Assynt.
Neil was away, and his wife, Christine, tricked Montrose into the castle dungeon and sent for troops of the Covenanter Government. Montrose was taken to Edinburgh, where he was executed on 21 May 1650. This stands as a remarkable betrayal of Highland hospitality.

By the way, I've dipped my hands into Loch Assynt where the Macleods bathed... how cool is that?

Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland

Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland

Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland
Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland

Ardvreck Castle, Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland

By Loch Assynt, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland.
On the road towards Knockan Crag. View of Cul Mor Mountain.

View of Cul Mor and Creag nan Calman mountain (left) and Suilven (center). Houses of Elphin village on the right.

Elphin Village, Sutherland, Highlands, Scotland.

The Cloud. Somewhere between Elphin and Knockan Crag.

1.30 pm. Knockan Crag, National Nature Reserve, (map)

Initially I wanted to visit and climb up Knockan Crag only for the views over the Assynt mountains but I found myself really enjoying learning about Geology along the climb. The rocks at and around Knockan Crag record the last 3000 million years of history for the landmass of Scotland.

There are four different climbs to chose from.. all colour coded. The paths are scattered with Sculptures and engraved rocks that tells you more about the story of this part of the Earth . I didn't go all the way up to the top... only as far as "earth seat"..
The far Northwest of Scotland is one of the oldest landscapes in Europe. The rocks here tell of ancient oceans, vast deserts and ice sheets. Knockan Crag is renowned internationally as one of the most important sites for understanding how the landscape of Northern Britain was formed.
Knockan Crag is situated 21 kms / 13 miles north of Ullapool. The story of the landscape is told using poetry, sculpture, interactive demonstrations and cartoons. Source:

Knockan Crag, Assynt, Highlands, Scotland.

Path up Knockan Crag, Assynt, Highlands, Scotland

Path up Knockan Crag, Assynt, Highlands, Scotland

The Globe Sculpture at Knockan Crag with view of Lochan an Ais, Cùl Beag & Stac Pollaidh.

View of Lochan an Ais, Cùl Beag & Stac Pollaidh from Knockan Crag, Assynt, Highlands, Scotland.

3.20 pm. In Ullapool. (map)
Ullapool is a pretty little village on the shores of Loch Broom. Time goes at another pace here. I thoroughly enjoyed my coffee and iced water at the Seaforth Pub. Great to just sit and watch others sitting and watching.

Whatever the weather, you are immediately struck by Ullapool's whiteness and by its regularity of design and layout. This is a legacy of the town's origins, being designed and built in 1788 by Thomas Telford and the British Fisheries Society. Source:

In Ullapool.

At the Seaforth Pub, Ullapool.

Something is happening in Ullapool. Was that a fire engine going by?

Master of persuasion.

In Ullapool.
In Ullapool.

In Ullapool.

In Ullapool.

In Ullapool.

4.40 pm. Corrieshalloch Gorge
I wasn't planning on stopping by the Gorge but because I needed a break from driving anyway and it was en route I though, why not go and take a look. And what can I say. Amazing. Just the walk to it through young wood lands was scenic.
I found the gorge itself difficult to photograph because of the strong contrast. Either the top bit is over exposed of the bottom bit is underexposed. Only with lots of corrections the image below shows what one actually sees. The photo was taken from the suspension bridge. Annoyingly the bridge moved a lot when someone walked over it. I spent more time waiting for it to be steady than actually taking pictures.
Corrieshalloch Gorge can be found 12 miles south east of Ullapool. It is a spectacularly deep, mile long box canyon through which the River Droma descends towards Loch Broom, en route forming the 150ft high Falls of Measach. Source:
Corrieshalloch Gorge.
Corrieshalloch Gorge

A selection of landscape, or rather skyscape shots taken on my drive along the coast from Ullapool to Torridon:

By Dundonnell. View of Little Loch Broom.

Loch Tollie.

View of Gairloch and Loch Gairloch, Scottish Highlands.

Through the windscreen. It's starting to rain.

View from Torridon Youth Hostel.

8.00 pm. Arrived at the Youth Hostel in Torridon. 

What an amazing day and what an amazing drive towards Torridon, (map). Getting used to single track road driving. It doesn't face me any more.
The weather turned from sunny to thundery... which I welcomed of course. Great for photos. Not so great for having diner outdoors. Still had an enjoyable end to the day and celebrated it with a bottle of warm beer and shortbread.

Click here to see the map of the whole 8 day tour

Tour Itinerary: Edinburgh – Spittal of Glenshee (Cairngorms) – Nethy Bridge (Cairngorms) – Inverness – Inchnadamph (Sutherland) by Loch Assynt – Ullapool – Torridon – Applecross Peninsula – Loch Ness – Glen Coe – Loch Lomond - Edinburgh

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Dorit, I just love the way you have captured the beauty of each place. Can't wait to see some of this up close.

Hi Cid,
Didn't know I can reply to comments. Only just found out :)
Thank you so much! Can't wait for you to see some of Scotland's beauty.
See you soon hopefully.

Just saw your Memories Of Tomorrow and other great work featured on RedBubble and followed the link to your blog here. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday walking through Scotland with you and seeing these beautiful shots you brought back. Thank you. --Tim W.

Hi Tim,
Thank you for your lovely comment. I'm glad you've enjoyed your tour. Had the most amazing time in Scotland. Planning to visit again. If you're thinking of seeing Scotland, drop me a line, I'm scotland tour expert now :)
Thanks again for visiting.
All the best.

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