263. Lochinver to Stoer

Two tough days of walking had made me rather apprehensive about completing a third day of even longer length, especially with high temperatures forecast. I had intended to walk all the way around the Stoer Peninsular but decided to leave this section of the walk to my next trip up north and so decided to terminate the walk at Stoer village.

There is a bus service that runs from Drumbeg, a small hamlet on a narrow road to Kylesku to Ullapool via Lochinver – the #809 service run by George Rapson. However, you must pay very close attention to the timetable, particularly around school holidays and where you want to be picked up. None of this vital information is mentioned on the Scotland Traveline site, which I actually got from the bus shelter in Lochinver the previous day. I had requested that I be picked up at Clashnessie, but as I was now cutting my walk short, this would mean an extra mile of road walking. Fortunately, as I drove very early through Stoer towards Clashnessie I saw the #809 bus parked up at the village hall, so I parked there and waited for the bis driver to appear. It would save him driving a few extra miles there and back to Clashnessie and save me a mile of road walking. The driver appeared at 7:00 and we set off towards Lochinver, picking a few passengers up on the way, including another backpacker who had a very compact bicycle folded up into the size of a briefcase!

At Lochinver I got off the bus and started walking out of the village, after half a mile I realised that I had left my walking stick at a park bench shortly after leaving the bus, I contemplated leaving the stick but decided to retrace my steps and pick it up…………..grrrrrrr!

Take two and I set off again  walking out of the village. I was heading for the small hamlet of Baddidarach on the opposite side of the loch. Here I would pick up a footpath which would take me to Ardroe and thence the road out to Achmelvich. The footpath was well trodden and of excellent construction. With the sun at my back and a gentle breeze, it was lovely to be out walking in the North West of Scotland. Looking at the terrain either side of the footpath, it was not difficult to imagine that without a path, this type of terrain would be extremely challenging to get around. I arrived at the few houses that make up Ardroe and continued along a rough road, which lead onto a narrow tarmac road.

The well-known pie shop at Lochinver, unfortunately it was closed
Looking back at Lochinver with Canisp and Suilven in the background
On the path to Ardroe
Approaching Ardroe
A lone Shag which I had disturbed heading towards Loch Roe

I soon arrived at the shoreline hamlet of Achmelvich, where a large-scale build of wooden chalets/pods/yurts was underway to add to the existing static caravans and youth hostel, it seemed a very popular place. I crossed over the small beautiful white sanded beach heading up a rough track and picked up the footpath that would take me back onto the road. The footpath was another well-trodden path and very enjoyable to walk along. I passed by a few isolated holiday homes at Alltan a’bradhan and up a small ravine where I emerged onto the B868. The road was busy with a steady stream of traffic, particularly motorbikes, completing I would imagine the NC 500. I stayed on the road through the village of Clachtoll and then onto Stoer village hall where I had parked my car.

Looking back at Achmelvich
On the footpath towards Clachtoll
This ravine would lead me onto the B868
Looking down on Clachtoll, Stoer is in the far distance
Looking back Clachtoll beach

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=24512

Distance today =  10 miles
Total distance = 4,764 miles

 

 

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5 thoughts on “263. Lochinver to Stoer”

  1. Well done on arranging the bus. I walked the same route as you from Lochinver to Stoer but had not arranged a bus so had to walk all the way back. I returned along the road as it was a bit quicker than those paths. I really enjoyed this walk with some wonderful beaches.

    Regarding the walk around the Stoer peninsula it is a fabulous walk! I parked at Clashnessie and followed the road south west, then taking the road leading out to Balchladich then I could make my way along a sort of path along the shore to rejoin the road a bit further north. I found a good path out to Sidhean Mor trig point and on to the Old Man of Stoer. From here I found a path round to Culkein and on to Clahsnessie. I did it last October and unfortunately had to do the last mile in the dark (not enough hours in the day) but I did find a good path down to the minor road at the west of Clashnessie Bay. Rather than follow this to the B869 I headed down onto the beach and waded through the river on the west side of the beach then walked across the sands to my car which I parked at the east side of the bay.

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  2. Hi Jon, thanks for that info. I’ll be doing a similar sort of route but clockwise and extending onto Drumbeg, where I can park and get a bus back to Stoer. You’ll be pleased to know that the bracken is yet to shoot, which would help considerably on the Posties Path section.

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    1. I see you are planning another trip tomorrow so thought I’d pass on what I did. I walked all on roads as far as Scourie then followed the footpath marked on the map north to Tarbet. It is rough and quite hard but not too bad and at least visible on the ground. At Tarbet I also took a vist out to Handa Island. Then roads north to Laxford Bridge. I managed to follow the road to Skerricha and them make my way along the shore to Portlevorchy (but I can’t recommend that, it was really tough going, lots of climbing over sea-weed covered rocks), then the path out to Chruthaiche and back, then back to the A838 and the B801 to Kinlochbervie. Could not find many routes off roads on this part of the coast.

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      1. Hi Jon, just eturned from the NW and havecompleted the West Coast. At the Cape yesterday , then almost made it to Durness. But fatigue set in and I camped near the Ferry House. Up at 3:30 this morning then walked to Durness around the Kyle of Durness, arriving at the car at 07:30, then drove home, only took 8.5 hours. Lots of writing up to do when I finally get some rest.
        Unfortunately missed your other posts as I had already left for Scotland.

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      2. Glad to hear you made it round Cape Wrath and congratulations on completing the west coast. I’m just returning from my latest trip, currently at Inverness airport. Got as far south as Dundonnel and also got lots of write ups to do. The weather has been fantastic so made good progress. Look forward to hearing about your walks!

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