391 (pm) Kilchoan and Ardnamurchan Lighthouse

[visited on Sunday, 14th April 2019]

After my short walk this morning, I should be buzzing with energy, but I feel strangely tired. My first priority is to find somewhere to buy food. So, I drive into Kilchoan and follow the signs to the village shop. It is closed. How frustrating. The next shop is 15 miles away, and no guarantee that one will be open either.

Feeling rather irritated, I decide to cheer myself up by visiting the lighthouse.

I drive up towards Portuairk, along a road familiar from yesterday’s walk, and turn off towards the lighthouse. The last section of this road is frighteningly narrow, and twists around the base of rocky cliffs, before emerging beside a visitor centre and carpark.

The lighthouse itself looks shut, so I wander around taking photographs. Unfortunately, the light is dull, and the photographs don’t really capture the beauty of the place.

50 Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

Find some picnic benches on a rocky headland, a place slightly more westward of the lighthouse, and realise I’m here, at the most westerly point of the British mainland. Wish I’d brought a nip of whisky to celebrate. Or even a bar of chocolate! (Why was the shop closed?!)

picnic area Ardnamurchan lighthouse, Ruth Livingstone in Scotland

Think back to when I reached the most easterly point of Britain, at Lowestoft Ness. About 500 miles away as the crow flies, but considerably further along my coastal route. Can’t believe I’ve come so far. 

But, as I sit on a picnic bench, sipping my water and shivering in the chilly wind, I don’t feel very celebratory. I didn’t walk here after all, but came by car, so does this milestone actually count? And I remember something else. This isn’t really the most westerly point on mainland Britain.

The most westerly point actually lies a little further south of here. Corrachadh Mòr. I can see it clearly across a couple of little bays

Corrachadh Mor

Perhaps I should try and walk there today?

But I have very little food left, only a few snack bars, and I must find something to eat. And, as often happens a few days into a long walking trek, I feel utterly exhausted.

I leave my cold picnic bench, and wander down the hill, past the carpark, to look at the visitor centre.

52 cafe, Ardnamurchan Point, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

Next to the centre is a café and, to my intense surprise, it’s open! Yay! I go inside, grateful to get out of the wind, and order a pot of tea and a sandwich. Followed by a huge slice of cake.

I feel much better with some solid food in my stomach, but the wind is still blowing cold, and I really, really don’t fancy fighting over rough land to reach Corrachadh Mòr. I’ve reached the lighthouse (albeit by car!) and that’s going to have to be good enough for today.

Time to head back along the twisty road. Luckily there is a traffic-light system in operation, so no danger of meeting another car head on. Would hate to have to reverse around all those corners.

53 traffic light system to the lighthouse, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

[Later, I look up the blog post where I describe reaching Lowestoft. It was nine long years ago, and only the 11th day of my coastal trek. Since then I’ve covered nearly 4,000 more miles (3,979 more miles, to be exact!), and so much in my life has changed. I’ve come a long way.]


 

About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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15 Responses to 391 (pm) Kilchoan and Ardnamurchan Lighthouse

  1. jcombe says:

    Looks a beautiful and wild place. I can sympathise with your catering problems. It can be hard to find anywhere and even harder to find anywhere open! On the North coast there aren’t any supermarkets between Thurso and Ullapool, only convenience stores. Be careful of petrol too, I came very close to running out one Sunday because most of the petrol stations were closed too.

    • Yes, petrol can be a real problem. I usually remember to fill up before crossing over on the Corran ferry. As for shops, I’m spoilt by living in Manchester, where there is always a shop open all day and most of the night too! To be honest, after several days of walking, I kind of forgot it was a Sunday and there might be problems.

  2. I’m so pleased you visited Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point on the British mainland, thought you were going to miss it.
    Enjoynwhat ever comes next.

  3. anth says:

    you are incredible.. take your time and savour it

  4. Eunice says:

    Just catching up with you after being away for ten days then spending several more downloading and editing all the photos I took. This post has shown me that six years after my own visit to Ardnamurchan lighthouse there’s still nothing there – I’d been expecting to find a little hamlet of cottages or something so I was quite disappointed when I got there. The lighthouse was open though and I went all the way up to the top – some good views from up there. I’m glad you found the café open and you got something to eat and drink – the coffee and cake I had at the time were really nice 🙂

    • Hi Eunice, hope you had a great trip and looking forward to catching up with your adventures on your blog. I was just delighted to find a cafe at the lighthouse! And even more delighted to find it was open!

  5. Allan McMillan says:

    Did you realise that Ardnamurchan is almost an island?

  6. Pwgsennett@outlook.com says:

    Congratulations Ruth
    We continue to use your blog as we walk slowly round the English Coast. Thank you so much

    Cumbria next!!

  7. I’ve heard Ardnamurchan Point mentioned countless times on the BBC Shipping Forecast, but until now I had no idea what it looked like. Now I’m looking forward to seeing Rattray Head for the first time when you’re coming down the eastern side of Scotland 🙂
    Yet another fabulous entry, thank-you Ruth.

    • Hi Gary. Thank you. By coincidence, I listened to the shipping forecast when I woke early a few days ago. Many of the names are now familiar to me, and it gave me a real thrill to hear them read out in the order in which I visited them!

  8. Karen White says:

    Nine years and many changes but still your walk goes on – and I hope nothing will stop you completing your monumental undertaking to walk round the coast of Britain. I’m glad you got to the lighthouse.
    I think we get so used to shops being open all hours that we forget some parts of the country still close early, don’t open on a Sunday………or in some cases just don’t open!

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