If anyone tells me the north-west of Scotland has a poor climate then I simply won’t believe them. Last year my wife and I walked the Cape Wrath Trail in glorious weather and I’ve just returned from two more fantastic weeks in Sutherland.
During the past week I’ve been filming for a television programme I’m working on for the BBC but the first week was spent walking a route that might become known as the Sutherland Trail.
The route runs for 70-odd miles between Lochinver and Tongue and is mostly on trails and tracks with a little bit of off-trail walking and a few miles on minor tarmac roads. It potentially takes in hills like Suilven, Canisp, Ben More Assynt, Arkle and Foinaven, Ben Hope and Ben Loyal but the route can be walked as a long distance trail without the summits.
We left Lochinver a couple of weeks ago in beautiful sunshine, camped below Suilven, continued through the hills towards Elphin but cut across the east shoulder of Canisp and followed the river to Inchnadamph. On our second day the temperature hit 30 degrees!!!
We then climbed over the high shoulder of the Corbett Glas Bheinn and followed wonderful stalkers’ paths to the virtually dry Eas a Coul Aliunn, supposedly the longest waterfall in the UK. We then dropped down to Kylescu and stayed at the wonderful Kylescu Hotel.
Next day we wandered over the high route of the Reay Estate to Achfary, made our way to the bothy at Lone and climbed over another high bealach to Gleann Mhor below Ben Hope. Our last day followed an old peat road, the Moine Path, over the north shoulder of Ben Hope to the road just south of Tongue, close to Ben Loyal.
The route took us just over 5 days and was magnificent. I’ll get some images of it onto the Gallery in the next few days.
The images on this post are (above); crossing the high ground between Kylestrome and Achfary and (bottom) Arkle.