Countryside Wanderings

It's amazing how things develop. After all, this blog started out as a news section for the rest of the website. With encouragement from readers, it has become a place for relating my countryside wanderings and musings about the world of outdoor activity. Walking, cycling and photography all are part of what I do out of doors and, hopefully, they will continue to inspire me to keep adding entries on here. Of course, there needs to be something of interest to you, dear reader, too and I hope that's the case. Thanks for coming.

Category: Long Distance Trails

A weekend spent in England’s northeast

Monday, July 24th, 2017

The previous posting on this blog may have been a sunnier reprise of a walk that I did before but what I describe here is not of that ilk. Firstly, I decided to stay in Newcastle on a Saturday night. Though my initial explorations along the Tyne were done after dark, I liked enough of what I saw that another visit would not go amiss. On Sunday, I took myself off to Bamburgh to see its famous castle and walk from there to Belford, enjoying bright sunshine for much of the time.

2014-10-11

Initial notes on here updated my recollection of this trip. For instance, I never recall having played with the idea of a weekend among the Brecon Beacons or that a delayed start put paid to notions of a walk around Rothbury that took in nearby Simonside. What I remember much more clearly is what actually happened.

For one thing, there was an overnight stay in Newcastle that allowed for a bit of strolling along the banks of the River Tyne. It was then that I got to realising just how near Newcastle and Gateshead actually are and that the former of these is a not unpretty place. It helps that there has been some urban regeneration with a new footbridge across the river and that a tower belonging to the castle giving the place its name still stands in spite of the depredations of railway building.

Much of my wandering took place after dark so I made it my business to see things in morning light before I headed north the next day. Still, seeing everywhere lit up has its appeal too and there were plenty about the place. It was not only those out for the night on the town for a cancer charity was holding a night walk and I made it my business to be out of the way before that hoard set off on its way. The repeated booming of the line “Stand up to Cancer” was a little too extrovert for my tastes but it still told me that I had time before the charity stroll was to begin. In the event, I was largely out of the way before things really got going so my own amble was a pleasant one.

2014-10-12

After that quick morning stroll along the Tyne, it was time for me to get to Berwick-upon-Tweed by train. It would have been more complicated if I had been going to Scotland for there were engineering works between Berwick and Edinburgh so it was just as well that my sights were on Northumberland instead.

Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh, Northumberland, England

Before travelling onward from Berwick by bus, I took the chance to potter around the place in the morning sunshine, peering at its bridges as I did so. Then, it was time to continue to Bamburgh where its castle awaited. It did not take long to find once there since Bamburgh is not at all large and it is situated atop a hillock.

Rather than going into see the castle on a wonderful sunny day, I opted to stroll around it instead. First, I headed a little south along the road and crossed to the beach through grassy dunes. Only the faded colours of the grasses gave any hint that this was autumn and not summer. Given where the sun was as the time, this also was the best vantage point for photos with good lighting and I was to find that the usual photos that you see published need to be made at another time of day, more likely morning.

Inner Farne, Bamburgh, Northumberland, England

Lindisfarne as seen from Bamburgh, Northumberland, England

It was when I got onto the beach that I was discover that last fact but there were other sights to see. In hindsight, it might have been better to have had a camera with a telephoto lens for some of these. Even capturing views of the Inner Farne would have been helped but it was the more distant ones of a well lit Lindisfarne where the usefulness really would have been seen. Still, it was good to get what I got and to savour what lay about me anyway.

It was around Harkess Rocks where I was to see the classic view of Bamburgh Castle and realise that this was not the time for my own version of such an image. It was no disappointment given what I had got from the day already and I was about to rejoin the Northumberland Coast Path that was set to carry me all the way to Belford.

That conveyed me around the coast as far as Budle Bay while largely avoiding the Bamburgh Castle Golf Club course before I was directed inland towards the B1342. That gave me a chance to look back at the castle where my walk began and it had fallen into cloud shadow. Since I was to head downhill from Galliheugh Bank, this was to be my last sighting for the day.

Outchester Ducket, Belford, Northumberland, England

The sea was not to be seen much as I headed for Spindlestone Heughs by footpath and road. Near Outchester, I got to see more of the sea again but there also was a curiosity in the form of an old windmill called the Outchester Ducket. The word “ducket” is a local form of dovecot so that makes the name an unusual one for what is now a building let put as tourist accommodation.

Passing Outchester Farm led me along quiet roads and public rights of way towards the East Coast Mainline that I had to cross to reach Belford. Rather than over a bridge as might be found on the West Coast Mainline, this crossing went straight across the tracks, a striking thought given the chance of an accident. Before making my crossing, I used the provided phone to check if I could cross and did the same on the other side to let them know that I was safely across. The latter was as much for sake of courtesy as anything else.

After that Belford was near at hand under cloudy skies with more industrial surroundings for company for much of the last stretch of what had been a pleasing walk with much bright sunshine. It is how Bamburgh Castle and how the nearby coastline looked in the sun that is what I remember. It was a much needed interlude of brightness in a life with a lot happening.

Travel Arrangements

Train journey from Macclesfield to Newcastle with an overnight stop before continuing by train from Newcastle to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Outbound bus journey from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Bamburgh followed by a return bus journey from Belford to Berwick-upon-Tweed before going from there to Macclesfield.

More coastal walking on the Gower

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Over the past few months, much of what has appeared afresh on here has concentrated on reminisces of Scottish excursions undertaken before this blog existed. It has been a matter to getting something written about these before recollections decay any further that they have. There is more to come but I have decided to take a break to relate a few walking trips from 2014 and these nearly complete every walk of note that I undertook that year.

As I look back on recent years, I notice a recurring trend of revisiting old haunts and much of that happened in 2014 itself. Even the walk featured in this entry was one of those. It was 2012 when I last got to exploring the coastline of the Gower and thickening cloud meant that I did not see the coastline between Rhossili and Port-Eynon at its best. What I did see was enough encouragement for a return visit just over two years later when splendid autumnal sunshine was my lot. It was all very different to the advancing threat of thunder and lightning that reached the area in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

2014-09-20

In order to ensure that I actually get to Gower for a walk that weekend, I travelled on Saturday and spent the night in Swansea. That a few previous attempts foundered because of website troubles and other preoccupations added more motivation to take this course of action. More impetus was added by 2014 being the last year when the Gower would enjoy a summer Sunday bus service. Then, it appeared that such opportunities were not guaranteed to be available again but there is a summer Sunday and bank holiday service in operation for 2017.

Sticking with the subject of transport, my outbound train was heavily delayed around Shrewsbury too so it was just as well that I was not hoping to make very much of the day. It also meant that I had to attend to some business in Cardiff that I had hoped to do in Swansea so it was dark when I got to my lodgings for the night.

2014-09-21

Unlike the day before which was largely dull and cloudy, the morning of my walk dawned with bright sunshine. Coming late in September, there was a frosty chill in the air as if to remind anyone of the passing of the year. At the same time, the hills lying north of Swansea looked tempting though you would have to get to the other side of the M4 to reach them. These still are the southern reaches of hilly country leading not only towards the Brecon Beacons National Park but ultimately all the way through Wales as far as its north coast, the very reason why it is so hard to have a railway line running the length of the principality.

None of this did anything to deter me from heading south as planned. As the day warmed, you would be forgiven for thinking that summer was set to last forever and many a day tripper was lured to Mumbles and Rhossili so buses were busy after what seemingly had been a busy summer for the area.

Rhossili Bay & Rhossili Down, Rhossili, Gower, Wales

While the weather was typical of our expectations of summer and Rhossili had plenty of folk about the place, there were signs too of autumn as I pottered about on my way towards Worms Head. Grass was looking tired following the pinnacle of the annual growing season the bracken on Rhossili was changing colour from green to orange as it began to die back ahead of the winter season.

Worm's Head, Rhossili, Gower, Wales

The way towards Worms Head was well frequented and the outcrop looked better than I had seen it on previous visits. The tide was out so some may have ventured onto its green flanks but the risk of getting marooned by an advancing tide was enough to ensure that I was not one of them. Some do and that is the reason that you find a coastguard station hereabouts.

Fall Bay, Rhossili, Gower, Wales

After all those lingering around Worms Head, things grew quieter. Groups of young people came against me as I rounded Fall Bay and I was lead into wondering if this has become part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award now that Wales Coast Path is very much in existence. Others strolled the way too since they were taking in circular walks around Rhossili. After passing the last public footpath leading to nearby Middleton, these too petered out in their turn.

The best part of any walk for me is when I largely had my surroundings to myself and that is how it largely felt as I walked from Mewslade Bay to Overton Cliffs. Progress was good too though I slightly chide myself for going so well on what was a gorgeous day. In my defence, I was passing through a lot of pasture and the distance may not have been that long. It was not all about having improved fitness because of indoor bike training.

Overton Cliff, Port-Eynon, Gower, Wales

For all their proximity to human habitation, Overton Cliffs look fabulously isolated and few passed the way. Under cloudy skies, their allure was not lost but added sunshine worked some magic. It helped that I was not anxious about catching a bus this time around so I had space to enjoy what lay around me. Port-Eynon looked further away than it was.

Overton Mere, Port-Eynon, Gower, Wales

After passing these delights, there was one final ascent to test me before I dropped down to Port-Eynon’s beach to battle the soft dry sand to reach tarmac again. Before all that, I was to pass the Gower Society monument with the bell of a sea buoy beyond Port-Eynon Point ringing in my ears, a reminder of the stillness that I met on my previous visit. There was a little time to linger at the final destination for my hike before an on time bus returned me to Swansea from where I began the train journey home.

It had been a satisfactory weekend away and I now pondering other possibilities. Even the more madcap idea of walking from Port-Eynon to Mumbles via Oxwich and Threecliff Bay has entered my mind. There are ways of shortening this to make the escapade more sensible if needed. Then, there also is the Gower Way to consider so it is not as if there is not more to see around here. There are further rewards for repeat visitors.

Travel Arrangements

Return train journey from Macclesfield to Swansea. Travel by bus from Swansea to Rhossili and from Port-Eynon to Swansea.

An irritating week around Argyll and Lochaber

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Sometimes, my trips to Scotland do not work out how I want them to do. Even with all the watching of the progress of the jet stream, that was how it was in 2003. Unlike 2002, I brought my week in Scotland forward from the end of August to the end of July. It would have been a week earlier but I did not want to clash with someone else’s holiday plans. Putting your work first can have its drawbacks.

In hindsight, waiting an extra week would have been the better outcome because I returned home with sights of sunshine on Lakeland Fells. Further visits to Cumbria in an effort to dispel any irritation but it took a Summer Bank Holiday weekend around Fort William to truly put my poor run of luck behind me.

My journey from home to Oban still was made in hope and it took me around by Edinburgh where I spent a little while before continuing on my way. The cause was my inability to catch an onward connection in Glasgow because of the late running of an earlier train.

The following day came dull and eventually turned to rain but I fitted in a walk from Oban to Taynuilt by way of Glen Lonan before the dampness arrived. My lot was road walking but it still got me out into Scottish countryside so it was a good start. The wet evening allowed for some shopping around Oban and maybe some thoughts of what I would do next.

For what turned out to be the best day of the week, I returned to Taynuilt for an out an back walk along the shores of Loch Etive. Unlike the previous November’s stroll with mates from Edinburgh, I was set to continue beyond Glen Noe to reach the foot of Glen Kinglass and go a little further along before starting to retrace my steps again. The day was sunny so I was making photos with what I thought to be a full complement of colour camera film. What I later found is that not all the allocation came with me so I was left with a shortage during the best time of the day. In spite of this irritation, it is the utter peace of my turning point that stays with me as much as the sights that I saw. There have been further return visits since then with August 2014 being the most recent one. That photographic oversight has been well overshadowed since then and the lesson has not been forgotten.

What I did next now sounds a bit foolish given what I knew about the need for northward movement of the jet stream. Instead of finding somewhere else to be around Argyll, I continued north to Lochaber for what turned out to be a series of soakings. Any efforts to make contact with a friend in Edinburgh regarding alternative arrangements proved fruitless so I stayed a few nights in Banavie instead. Being a few miles away from Fort William meant that the any poor fortune with a spell of wet weather resulted in my needing to dry out afterwards. You hardly can have enough clothes with you when this happens repeatedly.

Still, the rain cleared enough on my arrival in Lochaber to allow me to head into Glen Nevis to find the path leading to Cow Hill that became the basis for a longer walk. Friday was drier if devoid of sunshine yet I returned to Kinlochleven for another taste of the West Highland Way. This time, my course took me north through Lairig Mor to Glen Nevis. Even without a sunny day, the scenery was stunning and seeing it again became an excuse for my return around a month later. Though the trail is a popular one and the location is among its high points, this was a quiet day to be sampling it with hardly a soul passing the way. That might have had something to do with the weather of that week.

Saturday saw me head into Glen Nevis again. This time, I caught the bus to get me there faster and I pottered in beyond the car park. My lot was boggy ground and heavy rain showers but the surroundings would have looked stunning in better weather. Constant hope continued to drive me in spite of my poor fortune so any glimmer of sunshine on the way back to Fort William was enough to see me reach for my camera.

Thinking about this disappointing episode now makes me realise that my attentions veered elsewhere and that some of these spots need revisiting. A walk taking in Cow Hill in pleasant weather would complement one going deeper into Glen Nevis than I ever have gone before. Maybe I should not be devoid of inspiration for future explorations on a longer stay in Fort William after all. Other possibilities come to mind but I will restrain myself here in case I repeat those described elsewhere.

Travel Arrangements

Train travel from Macclesfield to Oban, from Taynuilt to Oban and from Fort William to Macclesfield. Coach service 918 from Oban to Fort William. Bus service 44 from Fort William to Kinlochleven.

A day spent around Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

My first memory of passing through Glen Coe dates from May 1998. It was Scottish Cup Final day and Heart of Midlothian won the match. My mind was on other things and I was making my first ever trip to Fort William. It was not the sight of Rannoch Moor that stays with but that of seeing mountains emerge from the surrounding near level ground. At the time, it both gobsmacked and mesmerised me with the splendid sunshine falling on these marvels. In all my years in Ireland, I had not come across anything like this sight and I likened up to an upside egg carton. The analogy still remains with me now and my experience was a powerful next step from occasional incursions into Highland Perthshire that exposed me to what lies around Loch Tay. The way that the Tarmachan ridge extends and the shape of Ben Lawers were nothing like their western counterparts. In fact, they were more like Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in profile and I had glimpsed those a good few times thanks to my parents’ escapades.

For all the wonder of Glen Coe, it is striking that my visits to this part of Scotland have not been as frequent as those to other places. That now seems a travesty when I come to think just how many times that I passed along the A82 that goes right along the glen. Maybe it has been a payback that I did not have so much look whenever walking trips did take me there on foot. The first of these was a trot south from Kinlochleven along the West Highland Way on a day in August 2002 when clouds gradually hijacked the sky. The evening before had been spent in Glen Nevis so I was not offering any complaint.

It amazes me now to think that I played with the idea of going from Kingshouse Hotel to Kinlochleven via Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste on a day that was as warm as the one on which I was planning a walk from the head of Glen Coe; this was during July 2013 when a heatwave came our way. However, there was another person who alighted near Kingshouse Hotel who had it in mind to walk from there to Glencoe village. It certainly would make for a lovely walk if it existed, apart perhaps from any hubbub of road traffic along the A82. As things stand, the National Trust for Scotland have been improving things near the aforementioned village so it might be a thought for the future.

Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe, Lochaber, Scotland

It did not take long for the few of us who got off the coach to disperse and go our separate ways. My choice of route was to ensure that there was plenty of undisturbed peace coming my way for the rest of the day. Some may find the expanse of Scotland’s Highlands intimidating but they do offer plenty of spaces where life’s hustle and bustle can feel very far away indeed and that is what makes them so special for me. Even on the walk in from te A82 to Kingshouse Hotel did not feel so crowded and this was along a snippet of the West Highland Way too. That left me with plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the views that surrounded me and Buachaille Etiive Mor especially drew my photographic attention even though I had seen it loads of times in other people’s photos.  Sometimes, there is never any harm in having a memento of your own to have afterwards and everyone gets different weather and lighting too.

Later, I left the West Highland Way after me beyond the hotel and made my day even quieter than it had been up to then. In fact, it was to be a good few hours spent with hardly a soul going my way and a bit of peace and quiet immersed in glorious scenery was just the tonic for me. First, I went a little along the track towards the Black Corries Lodge before leaving it to follow Allt a’ Bhalaich uphil towards Coire Blalaich. Though the steep southwestern slopes of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste would have offered a way up to its summit, I chose to continue towards the bealach between it and nearby Meall Bhalach. Though the day was growing even hotter, there was a cooling breeze that counteracted the growing heat so my slow steady progress over trackless ground was pleasant enough. Of course, the surrounding views helped too.

Blackwater Reservoir from Beinn a' Chrùlaiste, Glencoe, Glen Coe, Scotland

There was no let up on the gradient for the last stretch onto the bealach and I ended up a little higher than the 629 metre high saddle point too. In the clear conditions, this more freestyle approach to navigation was no trouble and it further opened up views over Blackwater Reservoir too. Poring over maps afterwards, I came to the conclusion that I was being granted views of all sorts of hills to the north me. Even the Grey Corries were within sight and I reckon that both Stob Coire Easain and Stob a’ Choire Mheadoin appear above too and these are found beyond Loch Treig! One Mayday bank holiday weekend saw me traipse from Corrour train station to Spean Bridge underneath these and that gives me at least a little sense of how this crumpled landscape fits together.

Mamores, Grey Corries and Blackwater Reservoir, Kinlochleven, Lochaber, Scotland

The distance from the bealach to the top of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste felt longer than I had expected and I now reckon that my less direct approach had added at least a kilometre to my walking distance. As I picked my towards the trig point at the summit, there were plenty of northward views to keep me busy, even if photographic efforts were bedevilled by heat haze though lens flare could have been a factor too. To see if I could make the results appear more like what I thought I was seeing in reality, I resorted to a Photoshop plugin and the above photo looking over the dam of Blackwater Reservoir has been produced using this. The main bulk of the Grey Corries are to be seen in far distance with members of the Mamores such as Sgór Eilde Beag and Sgùrr Eilde Mòr to their left.

Mamores and BenNevis from Ben a' Chrùlaiste, Glencoe, Glen Coe, Scotland

The additional height around the top of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste allowed me to do better with working out what I had been seeing on previous trots along the West Highland Way between Kinlochleven and Glen Coe. For one thing, the looming rocky dome of Ben Nevis could be picked out as well as the nearby pinnacle of Carn Mòr Dearg to its right in the above photo. With the postion of Britain’s highest mountain established you can start picking members of the Mamores like Na Gruaigaichean, An Garbanach, An Gearanach, Stob Coire a’ Chàirn, Am Bodach, Sgùrr an Iubhar and others. Even some of these may be tentative but that, and the prospect of getting images unblemished by blue heat haze, can be another excuse to return to a fabulous part of the world.

Stob Beinn a' Chrùlaiste, Glencoe, Glen Coe, Scotland

Getting to the top of anywhere is one thing but getting back down again proves that any ascent is only part of the job. This so proved to be the case with Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste even though the initial descent was down gentler gradients with additional views of what lay on the other side of Glen Coe. It was now that Buachaille Etive Mor and the Black Mount began to come back into view as I made my way to Stob Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste with some boggy stretches still not dessicated by the summer heatwave. Things really got steep, with rough sections underfoot, on the way off Stob Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste and I lost any cooling breeze too. Taking things slow and steady was the order of the moment with progress being frustratingly slow at times; nevertheless, it always is better not to become a mountain rescue statistic. As it happens, I have seen one route description for Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste that started up the slopes that I was descended and the author may have had a point in getting these out of the way early for even the descent took a lot out of me and I was glad to be by the side of the A82 again afterwards.

Looking East Along Glen Coe, Lochaber, Scotland

If my designs on getting to Kinlochleven were firm, they could have been behind time after yomping over Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste. There still was a long summer evening ahead and I decided to have a go before letting discretion taking the greater part of valour and returned to the roadside to catch a coach back to Fort William. The blue heat haze may not have dissipated anyway and I have got a lot from the day so extending the walk might have been greedy of me. Nevertheless, staying with the route of the West Highland Way on a day as bright as the one that I got would be a delight and cooler temperatures would enhance the experience; it can await another opportunity. Other stunning sections of the trail such as that between Kinlochleven and Fort William or from Bridge of Orchy to the head of Glen Coe remaining tempting reprises too. There may be more hill wandering around here yet.

Transport arrangements:

Return Scottish Citylink coach journey between Fort William and Glen Coe.

Hot weather escapades with views of Ben Nevis

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Some may adore sunshine holidays in destinations where scorching temperatures are commonplace but that is not my preference. Childhood memories of the summers of 1983 and 1984 feature sweaty journeys across fields on afternoons with sweltering temperatures and this was Ireland’s southwestern corner. Strangely, the higher temperatures of around 30° C experienced around Saint Malo on a school trip in 1989 have no such associations in my memory and I am left to wonder if the coastal location with its sea breezes had anything to do with it. Nevertheless, it is those sultry inland days that have  convinced me earlier that cooler days were more to be my liking.

In spite of that thinking, there are times when the desire to go for a walk with summer sunshine gets the better of me; there was a time when a heatwave was a time when I scotched the idea of embarking on a walking excursion. Much of the time, this has me out in temperatures hovering around 20° C but there are times when those in excess of this are overlooked. The trouble with physical activity on warm days is that staying well hydrated becomes more of a concern. It is all too easy to let yourself go to the point that headaches and other symptoms start to strike so you never can be too careful.

The summers of 2013 and 2014 brought a good share of warm sunny weather to Britain after winters that were either long and cold (2013) or wet and stormy (2014). In some ways, they were not so unlike those from thirty years earlier. Even so, I so needed a getaway after the events of springtime 2013 that I booked in an extended weekend during July that I used to head to Fort William. It was one of those “come what may” bookings and it was hot sunny weather that I got.

Sgùrr a' Mhàim, Glen Nevis, Fort William, Lochaber, Scotland

Travel days were Friday and Monday so Saturday and Sunday were available for spots of exploration. Friday was so hot that train and coach air conditioning could not be but relished. The stifling heat around Glasgow was all the more unmissable as I trotted from Glasgow Central train station to Glasgow Buchanan bus station and Fort William felt similar. Things must have a cooled a little for I wandered out on an after dinner stroll before retiring to bed for the night.

Glenfinnan from Loch Shiel, Lochaber, Scotland

With that in mind, I am not surprised that I went for light strolling around Glenfinnan on the Sunday. Then, I walked a little of the shore of Loch Shiel to reprise a walk that I had done of a Saturday in January 2011. Skies were clearer the second time around and enjoyed the views before taking a break from the sun in the cafe at the National Trust for Scotland visitor centre. After that, I went up the small hill behind it and lingered so as to take in what I could see from the vantage point. That was not all for I stumbled on a walk that dropped from Glenfinnan’s train station down under the scenic railway viaduct that features in many photos and in the Harry Potter films too. Temperatures must have cooled because I only have pleasant memories of these and others were out savouring the surroundings too.

Beinn a' Chrùlaiste and Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe, Scotland

Stob Coire Easain and Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin, Spean Bridge, Lochaber, Scotland

It was the preceding Saturday that saw me being more adventurous. It is something that I ponder with amazement now but the idea of walking from Kingshouse Hotel to Kinlochleven with a diversion to the top of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste somehow trumped what now looks like my better reason. Thankfully, there was a cooling breeze assisting the ascent and views opened up all around me. What also became apparent was the amount of heat haze that abounded on more distant hills. The Mamores and the White Corries were most affected and I have been experimenting with the Neutralhazer plugin in Photoshop to see what it can do for me. Of course, a day with less challenging lighting would be better and Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste is such a place that a return is worthwhile.

Stob Dearg, Stob a' Ghlais Choire and Meall a' Bhùiridh, Glen Coe, Scotland

On the day, the hill forestalled my plans to go all the way to Kinlochleven. That is not to say that I did not try myself out before going the way of reason. Now that I think of it, the lost golden evening may not have got me much more than I had anyway. The day have been a good one and looking over things now opens up more possible escapades like walking from Rannoch train station to Kingshouse Hotel or even an out and back hike from Glencoe village to the top of Meall Ligiche. The more modest height of the latter could afford some stirring views of higher eminences too so the TGO route idea could be a goer. Repeating sections of the West Highland Way north of Bridge of Orchy also tempts me so Glen Coe may not be see me deserting the place just yet when there is so much more to see.

What I have not done either is say all that I can do about those walks for what was intended to be a single entry has turned into a three part series. Next up is the piece on Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste with that on Glenfinnan set to follow that. Hopefully, those should not be the last you hear of my exploring these areas. After all, there is much left to savour since I barely have scratched the surface and that is after numerous visits over the years.

Travel arrangements:

Return train journey from Macclesfield to Glasgow and return Scottish Citylink coach journey between there and Fort William. Return Scottish Citylink coach journey between Fort William and Glen Coe. Return train journey between Fort William and Glenfinnan.


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