[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.
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…
…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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s an attractive church, although it doesn’t look particularly old. The door is unlocked and I go inside. Even prettier inside.
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.
[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.
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!
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.
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.
Now I’m back on the A861 and retracing my steps, up Drynie Hill. It’s a steep climb.
I’m quite out of breath by the time I reach my car.
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.
- You can read about St Finan’s Church here: Undiscovered Scotland site.
- And read about the Prince’s Walk here: Britain Express site
- Or, if you’re feeling wealthy, you can book a holiday at Kinlochmoidart House here: Booking.com site
Miles walked today = 3 miles (Yes, I know my distances are getting shorter and shorter!)
Total around Britain = 4,159 miles