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Escapism by planning Connecting Skye and WHL,any advice??

Escapism by planning Connecting Skye and WHL,any advice??

Postby CamdenJayce » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:07 am

I'd wager a guess and say that I'm not alone in spending my time thinking about and planning what I'll be doing as soon as this lockdown is lifted. I'd just resigned from my job to go travelling/trekking for 6 months when this hit so I'm really living for it.

Part of my plan was to do some long distance hiking and I'm trying to put together a route that connects most of the national parks in the UK but starting up north, in Skye, with the Skye trail. From there the plan was to connect with the West Highlands Way but I haven't been able to find anything established between Broadford and Fort William and having never been up that far North, have no idea where to look.

Does anyone have any suggestions for routes or resources to have a look at connecting the two?

Much appreciated and hope everyone is staying safe
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Re: Escapism by planning Connecting Skye and WHL,any advice?

Postby Tringa » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:41 pm

Although I know the area fairly well I don't know the trails so I might be talking rubbish.

The problem seems to be between Broadford at the end of the Skye Trail and Morvich at the head of Loch Duich. From Morvich you could follow the Cape Wrath Trail to Fort William.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to avoid a far bit of road walking between Broadford and Morvich. The possible 'best' option could be heading from Broadford to Kylerhea for the ferry and then on to Morvich. It is all on road but at least a fair bit is on minor roads.

I have no idea what the trail are like but there is info on this site and elsewhere and others might have better suggestions.

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Re: Escapism by planning Connecting Skye and WHL,any advice?

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:05 pm

Perhaps Tom Weir's stravaiging in the West Highlands in the footsteps of Prince Charles Edward Stuart could be of some help? The land between Broadford and Armadale is a rough slog, unless you bite the bullet and hitch or get the bus. The coast would be a rough way too; canoeing is dependent on the often terrible weather and clinging to tidal debris is too haphazard by far. You might end up in Applecross, were they still point at aeroplanes. The ferry from Armadale to Mallaig takes you to much nicer places but it is still a long way to Fort William. If you were to slog through the hills to Loch Arkaig it could make it more of an exciting mountain experience, then through the Dark Mile to Loch Lochy, on to the Caledonian Canal which you could follow to Neptune's Staircase, and so to Fort Bill.
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Re: Escapism by planning Connecting Skye and WHL,any advice?

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:52 pm

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Re: Escapism by planning Connecting Skye and WHL,any advice?

Postby al78 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:58 pm

I've just had a look on Streetmap. There are two routes to the mainland that look vaguely feasible:

1. Starting at Broadford walk about four miles along the A87 to the airstrip, then turn right onto a single track unclassified road. That takes you to the Kylerhea ferry terminal where you can cross to the mainland. If you miss the ferry you do know how to swim, don't you?

2. Walk along the A87 for about a mile then walk along the A851. There are tracks marked on the map which run parallel to the road, and mean you can avoid most of the road walking. Eventually you pass a right turn to Drumfearn. about 3/4 km further on turn left onto a track (might be signposted Kinloch lodge hotel). This track goes past the hotel and follows the water above the shoreline. When the shoreline bends left there is a path marked which takes you to the ferry terminal following the shoreline at altitude. Take the ferry or swim to the mainland.

Once on the mainland, walk to Glenelg (might be somewhere to stock up on food here), then you need to follow the shoreline along an unclassified road. After about a mile, you reach a river and a glen (Gleann Beag), turn and head up the glen keeping to the road until it ends and degenerates into a track. You will reach some power lines and at a small woodland inside a broad bend in the river, there is a marked path which follows the power lines over a bealach. Keep walking and following the power lines and you will (eventually) end up at Kinloch Hourn.

When you reach an unclassified road turn right to head along a path along the south side of Loch Hourn (it goes up and down a couple of times). That brings you to Barrisdale bay where there is a campsite. Carry on inland and take a right fork over the Mam Barrisdale (450m). At the top of the pass turn right and climb to the highest point you can see (Luinne Bheinn). Follow the ridge down and right and head over Meall Coire na Gaoithe n Ear (839m) and up to Meall Buidhe (946m). Turn ESE down to a bealach then turn right (SSW) to another bealach then head down a long descent SE to Carnoch. Cross the bridge and follow the river to the head of the sea loch you can see if you look SW. Follow the shoreline around a shoulder (which leads up to Sgurr na Ciche) past a bothy (Sourlies) and follow the path heading along a rough narrow glen past some small lochans. The glen eventually gets deeper and wider with woodland and you just keep following it past Upper Glendessarry, Glendessarry, and Strathan, where there is a cluster of buildings. Turn right here onto a track through the woodland along a river, and look for a path to your left which goes over a bridge. Follow this path up a steep sided glen to another bealach (471m) and head downhill. Cross another bridge where the path becomes a track which turns slightly left following the glen (Glen Finnan). You will pass Corryhully bothy and Glenfinnan lodge, keep going for another two miles to the viaduct and shortly after the main road between Mallaig and Fort William (A830).

From here you can take the train to Fort William or if you want to walk the full distance, turn left onto the main road and walk along it for a mile and look for a track on your right, which provides access to a car park. This track follows the Callop river and heads up a glen eventually turning into a path. Head up the glen to a bealach and at the path summit the path turns left, heading downhill at an angle to the side of the glen (Cona glen). The path becomes a track, follow it along the river (a long walk), until you get to some buildings and a road. Turn left onto the road and follow it heading NW. Eventually you'll reach a passenger ferry terminal from where a ferry will take you to the south side of Fort William. Again, if you miss the ferry, it is not far to swim.

If you don't want to walk over the Knoydart munros you can instead head to Inverie then head back along another path which takes you overr the bealach before you drop down to Carnoch.

If you like the idea of taking the high road, from Sourlies bothy, you can take the ridge to Sgur na Ciche and you can carry on and follow a big ridge that parallels Glen Dessarry, which if you follow to the end you can drop down off Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoidh to Glendessarry. You could also instead of taking the low road up Gleann a Chaorainn, head up and over Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan before dropping down to Corryhully bothy.
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