378 Corran Ferry to Inversanda

[Note: this walk took place on the 27th June 2018]

We’re having an unusually warm summer this year in the UK, and in Scotland I wake up to a beautiful, sunny day, with barely a cloud in the sky. I start my walk from the ferry slipway in Ardgour.

01 pub at Ardgour, Ruth hiking the coast of Scotland

I turn left, away from Fort William this time, and resume my coastal trek. First I must take a photograph of the little lighthouse at Corran Point. It’s short and stubby, a pattern that most Scottish lighthouses seem to follow.

02 Corran Point lighthouse, Ruth hiking the coast of Scotland

I look back to watch the ferry arrive, and I’m surprised to see an ambulance coming off the ferry. I guess it’s a much quicker route than the alternative of travelling all the way round the end of Loch Linnhe by road.

03 Corran ferry and ambulance, Ruth hiking the coast of Scotland

The ambulance pulls up beside another ambulance waiting nearby, and I realise they’re about to transfer a patient between the two vehicles. I wonder how often this happens. In such a remote area, journey-times to the nearest A&E must be very long.

04 ambulance exchange, Ruth's coastal walk, Ardgour

I continue onwards, past the lighthouse. After a tiring road-walk yesterday, I want to give my feet a rest from tarmac and so I stay close to the water, walking across rough ground dotted with wild flowers.

05 walking up Loch Linnhe, from Ardgour, Ruth hiking the coast of Scotland

Here’s a memorial bench. You don’t see as many of these in Scotland as you do in England. This one is dedicated to Murdo John Mackillop – a wonderful Scottish name.

06 memorial bench to Murdo John Mackillo, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

The road is close to my right, and I’m about to navigate a little river. But I’ve no need to wade across, because there is no water flowing. Wow. Such a warm dry summer, and even the Scottish rivers are running dry.

07 dried up river, Clovullin, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Along the shore the rough shingle is tough underfoot, but I don’t mind because it’s  wonderful to be off the road and walking close to the loch. Sallachan Point is my next waypoint, with another lighthouse. I can see it as a tiny dot in the distance.

08 towards Sallachan point, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

I make slow progress, partly because I have to watch my footing on the rocks, and partly because the views across Loch Linnhe are so beautiful, and I keep stopping to take photographs. There’s the bridge at Ballachulish, in the distance across the water, with Glen Coe beyond.

09 view across Loch Linnhe to bridge at Ballachulish, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

The lighthouse at Sallachan Point is growing nearer. I walk along the grass, following what might be a footpath…

10 sheep paths to Sallachan Point, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

… or it might be just a sheep trail. Sorry ladies, I didn’t mean to startle you.

11 sorry sheep, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

The “lighthouse” at Salachan Point turns out to be a daymark tower. It has an odd geometric shape, hexagonal I think (I forgot to count). Unusual. What a beautiful location.

12 Sallachan Point on Loch Linnhe, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

The daymark sits at the apex of a promontory of flat land, jutting out into the water. I begin to make my way down the other side, around a wide bay called Camas Shallachain.

This is where the River Gour empties into Loch Linnhe, and here I find a flock of sheep sitting on a series of grassy islands.

13 sheep on marshy land, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

The bay itself is a mix of mud and sand. On a fine day, it looks like a lovely beach, but the ‘sand’ is actually quite thick and sticky.

14 mud and sand, Camas Shallachain, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

I can’t get any further along the bay, because of the river, so I must join the road again and use the bridge to cross over the River Gour.

15 bridge at Sallachan, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

There is a little parking area close to the bridge, and a number of signs. Apparently fishing here is by permit only.

16 fishing by permit only, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

And no overnight parking or camping is allowed. Oh, what a shame. This would be a lovely place to spend the night with The Beast.

17 no overnight camping here, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

From here, the shore becomes difficult to follow, and I stick to the road.

I had a late start this morning, and it’s nearly one o’clock, so I’m pleased to find a picnic bench overlooking the bay. Time for lunch.

19 lunch spot, overlooking Loch Linnhe, Argour area, Ruth in Scotland

A nearby noticeboard informs me that this is one of the few places where you can see both Ben Nevis and Glen Coe at the same time…

20 two volcanoes, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

… and, yes, you can! Ben Nevis is on the far left hand side of the photo, and Glen Coe is the peak on the far right. (I think I’m correct, but no doubt someone will tell me if I’m not.)

21 view of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Sadly, another noticeboard tells me I shouldn’t be fly tipping. I can’t believe that people would dump their rubbish here, but I guess the sign is there for a reason. Look at the beautiful clear waters and the incredible view. Who would spoil this place?

22 no fly tipping, Loch Linnhe, Ruth hiking around Scotland

After lunch, I continue along the road. It turns away from the coast for a while, and I lose sight of the water, but I don’t mind the change in view. There are some spectacular mountains ahead.

23 road walking to Inversanda, Ruth hiking around Scotland

The bridge over the Ghearraidh river is functional, and it would be easy to miss the river if you whizzed past here in a car.

24 Allt a Ghearraidh, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Shame, because there’s a much prettier (and far older) bridge hidden in the foliage.

a pretty bridge

The road has brought me back close to the water again, and a sign warns me there are cows ahead. Yikes! Cows for three miles. Triple yikes!

25 cows for three miles, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

I decide to leave the tarmac and walk along the shore. Not only is this more attractive than the road, but hopefully my route will be cow-free.

26 shore line walking to Inversanda, Ruth hiking around Scotland

Everywhere I look the views are stunning. There’s Ben Nevis again, our highest mountain. I know I’m going to lose sight of him shortly, so I stop and take more photographs.

27 view back to Ben Nevis across Loch Linnhe, from Inversanda, Ruth's coastal walk

I’m approaching Inversanda Bay, and I wasn’t expecting such a pretty beach.

28 Inversanda Bay, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

To avoid a scramble over rocks, I follow a rough track above the shore, and through some trees. After this I was hoping to pop down to walk along the beach, but the fence puts me off.

29 fenced beach, Inversanda, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

I would have to cross the beach under the scrutiny of a large house that overlooks the bay, and in the middle of the bay there is a river to cross, so I would have to come inland at that point anyway. OK, I’ll follow the road instead.

I’ve nearly reached Inversanda. The road swings around a shallow curve, away from the bay. It’s hot and I’m getting tired. There’s a nice, white house, across the fields. Maybe there’s a café here?

30 Inversanda house, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

When I researched the bus route, I noticed the bus stops at Inversanda and so I thought Inversanda would be a biggish place. Should have known better.

Well, this is definitely Inversanda. Love the rustic sign, although it doesn’t look as though it will survive too many Scottish winters.

31 rustic Inversanda sign, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

No café, of course, and I can’t even see a bus stop. Just a driveway, a few parked cars, and an old telephone box.

32 Inversanda phone box, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Basically, Inversanda is just a couple of houses and a bend in the road!

I hear the sound of traffic behind me, and a sudden flurry of cars and vans drive past. I realise a ferry must have landed and released this batch of vehicles.

33 ferry traffic, Inversanda, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Onwards, through Inversanda. I’ve a little further to walk before I finish for the day.

Ahead is the turnoff for Kingairloch, and I’m going to walk a mile or so up this road, and pick up my bicycle from where I dropped it off earlier. The sign for the B8043 is large and impressive…

34 Kingairloch turnoff, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

… but the road itself is small and insignificant. Single track, with a 10mph speed limit, and no trucks allowed. My kind of road!

35 B8043 to Kingairloch, skid risk, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

A little metal post beside the road turns out to be a “traffic count installation”. Really? I’ve never seen one of these before. Is it still working? Does it count me? Will it count my bike? Why is it there?

36 traffic count installation, Ruth hiking in Scotland, B8043

Maybe they will close the road if nobody uses it? But there are hardly any roads in this area anyway. So maybe they will widen the road if they find plenty of people are using it? Who knows the purpose of the little grey box? It’s a mystery.

I cross over the River Tarbert. In Gaelic, Tairbert means a crossing point, and it’s a common place name in Scotland.

37 bridge over the river Tarbert, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

Beyond the river, the road winds and rises through grassland. I’ve left my bike at the top of the hill. Onwards and upwards. Whew, it’s warm.

38 winding road B8043, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

I’m rewarded at the top by a great view looking back down at Inversanda, Loch Linnhe, and the mountains beyond. Ah. I recognise a couple of those peaks. So this is another place where you can see Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, both at the same time.

39 view down to Inversanda, Ruth Livingstone hiking around Scotland

This morning I stopped in a gravelled area, and left my bike – my heavy monster of a bike – resting in the grass. Where is it? Perhaps someone has stolen the horrible thing?

40 carefully hidden bike, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

No such luck. I spot some handlebars poking through the grass.

41 cunningly hidden bicycle, Ruth Livingstone in the Highlands

Perhaps it’s just as well nobody has stolen The Monster. It would be a long walk back to the Corran ferry where I’ve left my van. The bike ride back along the road is surprisingly pleasant, with only the occasional bit of traffic to contend with. It’s mostly downhill or flat, so I get to ride all the way.

It’s always a relief to get off the Monster. I’m getting better at riding the blasted thing, but I really must buy a padded seat.


Miles walked today = 9 miles
Total around coast = 3,946.5
Blisters = 0

Miles cycled today = 7 miles
Saddle sores = 0

High points: the amazing views and gorgeous weather
Low points: none

Route:


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, Doctor, woman, etc.
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10 Responses to 378 Corran Ferry to Inversanda

  1. Eunice says:

    Gorgeous views, and I love the sheep on the little grassy islands 🙂

  2. jcombe says:

    Another enioyable read Ruth. How far north are you now? I’ll be heading back to Ullapool (where I’ll be staying) very soon to continue walking, but heading south. I’ve got as far south as Lochinver (north of Ullapool) so far. I expect we’ll soon cross as I don’t think you are far from Ullapool now? It will be very useful for me to read your posts again to work out the exact routes your took as I go south.I have 3 trips planned to the north west of Scotland this year, this trip will be my first. I don’t have the luxury of a bike or camper van however so might end up walking some of the walks there and back as you have done, which almost halves the distance I can cover in a day.

    I’ve also made a trip to Northern Ireland so far this year to walk the Causeway Coast way (stunning, by the way), but undecided if I’ll do the rest of Northern Ireland. Actually I discovered there is a path there called the Ulster way which goes all around Northern Ireland so probably am decided … but still in denial about it…! I might right a “special” about that in the mean time.

    • jcombe says:

      Also I doubt you have to worry about anyone stealing your bike. People are very friendly and pleasant up there. In fact I’d be surprised if anyone had even noticed it there!

      • You’re right it’s unlikely anyone would steal the bike, but I live in hope 😆
        I’m not much further north, I’m afraid Jon, as it’s taken me a long time to get round all the ins and outs of the area, and it’s so beautiful here I’ve been taking my time. So I’m still on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. To be honest, I’m worried about how I’ll cope with the coast north of Mallaig, so will be reading blogs for inspiration and planning tips.

  3. Peter Moore says:

    Lovely views, Ruth – best of your trip so far, I think.

    That little grey box must be at least 24 years old. The phone number on the label shows the Inverness dialling code as 0463, but that changed to 01463 on 16th April 1995, when we moved to having ’01’ dialling codes everywhere! I would guess that it probably stopped counting traffic a long time ago…

  4. jglondon415 says:

    I am so pleased to see your posts again – you are now on what for me was the greatest stretch of UK coast all the way to Kyle of Tongue beyond Cape Wrath. Yes the going will not be easy, but not impossible – lack of public transport and roads will require more camping, although there are a few well placed bothies. Don’t miss out on Knoydart, take the ferry to Inveree from the far end of Loch Morar (not from Malliag) as it is almost impossible to walk onto Knoydart from the south. The walk along that Loch is great – it is the deepest in Scotland, more than twice the depth of the North Sea and is reputed to have its own monster – Morag!

  5. Ann says:

    I am so pleased you are blogging again Ruth after your recent problems. Your photos are some of the best I have seen of Scotland.
    As you say yourself “onwards and upwards” and may your way be cow free.

  6. Jayne Hill says:

    Well done for getting as far as Ardnamurchan which is achingly gorgeous, have you gone past Loch Sunart yet? Just wait until you get up to Arisaig . . . you’ll go even slower then!

    When I used to visit the area I remember a lot of fly tipping – and from what was dumped it was definitely locals who just could not be bothered to take large amounts of houshold items to Fort William or wherever the amenity waste places are. Yet those people could always manage to transport their unwanted belongings to somewhere remote and away from nearby houses? Grrrr

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