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Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)


Postby Essan » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:34 pm

I've heard that bridge over the River Carnach on the way in to Knoydart from the Glen Dessary side is now in a very poor state of repair and is unsafe to cross when the river is in spate.

Has anyone been that way lately and able to confirm this? Or better still have a photo?
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby ginelli » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:29 pm

was there this time last year and it wasnt too bad...dont know how much it can change in a year though :? dont think there has been much rain to raise the levels recently has there?

coming from soulies there is no sign...its when you get across you see the sign saying cross at your own risk :lol: :lol:
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby ginelli » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:35 pm

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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby mountainstar » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:17 pm

Hi Andy, I was passing/crossing it last October, it was no different then to as it was probably about 10 years ago, still OK to cross if a bit lop-sided, the sign is probably there just to save anyone suing the estate.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby Essan » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:12 am

Thks everyone - that's what i wanted to hear :)
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby helenw » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:33 am

Latest update on Carnach Bridge from the Estate is that the new bridge is being delivered in May but will take 6-8 weeks to install so wont be open for use until end June or early July.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby al78 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:12 pm

I hope it gets installed this year, then I can plan a Knoydart backpacking trip for next year.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby Scraggygoat » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:00 pm

Am I the only one whom was secretly hoping the bridge wouldn't get replaced? :(

Yes, its absence would potentially result in extra effort, and consideration as to when and how to visit, but would enhance the sense of remoteness (I know the remoteness is a perception rather than a reality, as nowhere in Scotland is really that remote). Also isn't there a certain irony wanting to escape the built environment, but then being dependent on new built infrastructure......

The knoydart hills, and the ones above Kinlochhourn were great last week, dry underfoot, drab spring colours, hazy views, frogs swarming and croaking in the ponds to herald spring, just warm enough in sheltered corners to soak up some sunshine, and sparsely traveled. On the downside the ticks were out in force.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby al78 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:56 pm

Scraggygoat wrote:Am I the only one whom was secretly hoping the bridge wouldn't get replaced? :(

Yes, its absence would potentially result in extra effort, and consideration as to when and how to visit, but would enhance the sense of remoteness (I know the remoteness is a perception rather than a reality, as nowhere in Scotland is really that remote). Also isn't there a certain irony wanting to escape the built environment, but then being dependent on new built infrastructure......


If we were able to literally go back to how we use to live in ages gone by, I could manufacture a river crossing using whatever local materials were to hand. Since I am not allowed to do that in this day and age (because all land in the UK is owned by someone, and landowners don't like people damaging their landscape), I have to either wade across at considerable risk, take a lengthy (and likely tiring) detour, or rely on purpose built infrastructure. I wouldn't say it is particularly ironic, anymore than wanting to escape to the hills by driving up to the Cairngorm ski centre, or driving to a remote area anywhere instead of using your own muscle power is ironic.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby Keek » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:31 pm

I was planning a hike mid may starting in Glenfinnan and the plan was to take the route over the new Carnach bridge in direction to Inverie. As this is now not an option in case the river has lots of water i am looking for re-routing options. Any ideas?

Potential idea is to take the train to mallaig and ferry to inverie and continue my route there. Or to walk from glenfinnan to Mallaig. However i am not sure if the route is worth it (lots of street walking?).

Am hoping for suggestions :)
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby Scraggygoat » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:40 pm

Keep an eye on the weather before and during your trip, take a pair of sandals or crocs, hint; also know your high and low tide times, and if it's springs or neeps. The Carnoch crossing can often achieved except in spate conditions, though not necessarily at the bridge location.

Note if it is peeing down other river crossings in the area can just be as challenging, I've been arm pit deep at the head of loch Morar, several times thigh to chest deep in the Kingie and waist deep elsewhere. But these were all 'silly' outings in or after wet weather or thaw conditions. Also be wary of the Finiskavaig on route to Sourlies. So swapping routes isn't necessarily going to avoid a dip or be safer in bad weather. You can walk through Morar either through the Glens or over the tops to come out near train stations on the Mallaig line via several different routes, without much Tarmac bashing. The terrain and scenery is just as good as the Rough Bounds, and as rough.

But if it's going to really **** down you may want to think of other things to do, tramping in the rain gets to be pretty sole destroying. If set on Knoydart and its wet, get the boat to Inverie, walk to Barrisdale, then Kinlochhourn, thence to Sheil Bridge; no major unbridged rivers at Strath level on route. That's not to say you won't be thigh deep crossing what would normally be small tributaries if it is hoofing down. Either City Link back to Fort William, or the other way on to Skye and then the Sleat ferry back to Mallaig.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby Keek » Sat May 18, 2019 10:55 am

The time has come for me. Thanks a lot for your input Scraggygoat.

Well, i'll be arriving in Glenfinnan on Monday evening and the following day it appears that what you have foreseen comes true: It'll be ***** down on Tuesday. What is your opinion, do you think the river crossing will be possible in these conditions on Wednesday? Wednesday the weather looks fine at the moment.

Otherwise I'm considering taking the ferry to Inverie.

...and now heading to the airport. Scotland, here i come :).
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby GillSte » Sat May 18, 2019 11:22 am

The reason for the bridge is that someone was drowned there. It's a dangerous crossing when the river is in spate, and definitely not a place to consider going any more than knee deep. Until the new bridge, it's best to do the walk in dry weather or cross a long way upstream. From previous experience, the rivers really do rise very fast if it starts raining. I was glad of the bridges coming back from there in heavy rain; the water was knee deep even at the watershed, and that was on the path!
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby ChrisButch » Sat May 18, 2019 1:06 pm

GillSte wrote:The reason for the bridge is that someone was drowned there.

There are additional reasons for the new bridge. It will be a much more substantial structure than the old one, as it's designed to carry the estate's ATVs as well as walkers - and that in turn explains why it's taken so long to get to this stage. There's also a SEPA planning requirement that it should be strong enough to hold up yo a 200 year flood. Inevitably this all means that the bridge is going to be more intrusive on the landscape than used to be the case.
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Re: Carnach Bridge (Knoydart)

Postby Keek » Sat May 18, 2019 1:39 pm

Had a closer look at the weather and it looks actually not as bad as i though first. Will keep and eye on it and if its too high when i arrive there I'll either stay a night at the bothy or return to glenfinnan and think about how to reroute, possibly via Mallaig and the ferry to Inverie.

How far upstream is the spot where its easier and safer to cross?
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