399 Ardmolich to Kinlochmoidart

[This walk was completed on the 11th May 2019]

I’m supposed to be returning home to Manchester today. But, when I wake up to blue sky and bright sunshine, I decide to go for a little walk this morning before setting off. So, I return to the Forestry Commission car park at Ardmolich Wood.

01 carpark at Ardmolich, Ruth hiking in Moidart, Scotland

Such a shame the weather was dull yesterday when I walked along the Silver Walk. I know the photographs I took were poor, and for a moment I’m tempted to go back and do the walk again… the path through the trees looks very inviting…

02 road from the car park, Ruth hiking in Moidart, Scotland

…but I know I’ve spent far too long completing this section already. Time to move on.

Down the road I go, down Drynie Hill, heading for a place called Kinlochmoidart.

03 road to Kinlochmoidart, Ruth hiking in Moidart, Scotland

(I’ve come across a number of places called Kinlochsomething, and so I guess ‘kinloch’ must mean head (or top) of the loch in Gaelic.)

It’s easy walking. Downhill all the way. The road curves around the head of the loch and gives me a lovely view along the length of Loch Moidart.

04 view down Loch Moidart, Ruth hiking in Scotland

I soon reach the bottom, where the road narrows to cross a river over a single-track bridge. A sign proudly proclaims that this is Kinlochmoidart. I know the bus stops here, and was expecting a significant place, but all I can see is the bridge and a post box.

05 bridge at Kinlochmoidart, Ruth hiking in Moidart, Scotland

A little further along the road is a sign for the Episcopal Church of St Finan. It’s a pretty little sign, if somewhat faded by the weather. There’s another car park here, and I was planning to end my walk at this point. It will make a good starting point for my next expedition.

06 sign to church carpark, Kinlochmoidart, Ruth walking the coast of Scotland

In the car park, a sign explains that a nearby track is called ‘Prince’s Walk’, because Bonnie Prince Charlie was supposed to have stayed nearby and strolled along here while waiting for troops to rally to his cause.

07 map showing Prince's Walk, Ruth hiking around the coast of Scotland

Of course, I can’t resist walking along the Prince’s Walk. But, shortly after I set off, I realise I’ve missed seeing St Finan’s church, and I turn back to find it.

08 St Finan's Church, Kinlochmoidart, Ruth hiking around the coast of Scotland

It’s an attractive church, although it doesn’t look particularly old. The door is unlocked and I go inside. Even prettier inside.

09 inside St Finan's Church, Ruth hiking around the coast of Scotland, Moidart

While I’m walking around the church, my mobile phone rings. The sound is a little shocking, as I haven’t had a phone signal for some time.

The phone call is a friend from Manchester with a query about completing some paperwork. We’re both in the process of divorcing our respective husbands, and have been giving each other mutual support. It seems wrong to discuss such things inside the church, so I go outside to continue the call, and offer her some advice and sympathy.

Time to head down Prince’s Walk. It’s an old green road, passing through an avenue of trees, and part of a rather grand estate. I soon spot the Kinlochmoidart House – a large castle-like building – across the fields.

10 Prince's Walk, Kinlochmoidart, Ruth hiking around the coast of Scotland

[I later discover the house is available to rent as a holiday home. It has 10 bedrooms! There are also a number of holiday cottages in the grounds.]

I’m not sure where the path is supposed to run, and feel uneasy, as I always do, when strolling across someone’s lawns and walking down a private drive. Ah, here’s a gate at last, and the public road is just beyond it.

11 rhodies at Kinlochmoidart, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

The road takes me back to the main A861. Near the T junction I discover a telephone box. I check my map. This junction, along with the postbox and the telephone box, appears to be the centre of Kinlochmoidart. Or, possibly, of Ardmolich. (My map suggests both names.) Anyway, whatever it’s called, it’s another typical Scottish non-place – there’s absolutely nothing here!

12 crossroads at Kinlochmoidart, Ruth hiking around the coast of Scotland

Near the junction, I discover a second bridge across the river. It looks old, and has large rocks strategically placed to block any traffic from crossing.

13 old bridge over river at Kinlochmoidart, Ruth hiking around the coast of Scotland

As I’m on foot, I reckon it’s safe to use this old bridge. I notice the road bridge running parallel – the one I used to cross the river earlier. It’s functional and not half as attractive as the stone one. But I guess the older bridge is not robust enough for modern traffic.

14 new bridge over river at Kinlochmoidart, Ruth Livingstone hiking around Scotland

Now I’m back on the A861 and retracing my steps, up Drynie Hill. It’s a steep climb.

15 Drynie Hill, Kinlochmoidart, Ruth's coastal walk around Scotland

I’m quite out of breath by the time I reach my car.

16 back to car at Ardmolich, Ruth's coastal walk, Scotland

Time to head home. It’s been a wonderful few days of walking, although I don’t seem to have made much progress around the coast. Still, it’s the being here that’s important, and I’ve enjoyed myself.

Miles walked today = 3 miles (Yes, I know my distances are getting shorter and shorter!)
Total around Britain = 4,159 miles


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
This entry was posted in 22 Highlands and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 399 Ardmolich to Kinlochmoidart

  1. I wonder if these places are effectively ghost villages which would have housed crofters before the Highland Clearances? That’s my theory, for what it’s worth! Glad you have a mutual support system.

  2. jcombe says:

    Another lovely walk and seems to be typical of the Highlands that the place doesn’t really have much there at all except a phone box. “Still, it’s the being here that’s important”. Exactly that!

  3. Ann Collins says:

    more lovely photos!…..thanks for your emails and updates ! Floss x

  4. Karen White says:

    A delightful walk to finish before you go home and a good point for me to stop for tonight.

  5. jcombe says:

    I did this walk today. That hill is pretty steep! I’m afraid I didn’t go and explore the church or the Princes Path.

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