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Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below


Postby dogplodder » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:40 pm

Route description: North Kessock and Kilmuir circuit

Date walked: 10/07/2020

Distance: 12 km

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When we walked this route I wasn't aware Walkhighlands had a description for it. It came about from looking across the Moray Firth and thinking a walk from North Kessock to Kilmuir would be good to do with a return over Ord Hill - all visible from our kitchen window. So we checked it was low tide and parked by the lifeboat station, directly under the Kessock bridge.

A noisy place to stand with traffic thundering overhead
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When the bridge was built houses near to it were compensated. Someone we know used the money to build a conservatory with small swimming pool to make up for the arrival of noise pollution.

Over the firth to west Inverness and the hill of Craig Phadrig
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Zoomed up Beauly Firth to the hills of Mullardoch and Strathfarrar
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Along the coast to Kilmuir
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We set off along the narrow tarmac lane in the direction of Kilmuir. It's a delightful stretch of quiet road I once drove my mother along to see the bluebells in the woods. I always think of her when I walk there now.

As we neared Croft Downie we took a left fork uphill to meet another track where we turned right, passing above Croft Downie before heading back down to the shoreline. With cliffs on the left this wouldn't be passable at high tide and with the tide out the seaweed-covered stones are lethally slippy. Once closer to Kilmuir it becomes easier underfoot.

Nearing the hamlet of Kilmuir
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Kilmuir is an attractive row of houses with pretty gardens along the seafront and a scattering of larger houses on the hillside. A friend's daughter lives in Kilmuir and says you need a 4 wheel drive or at least snow tyres to get up the hill in winter as the road isn't a priority for gritting.

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Nestled at the foot of Ord Hill
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The phone box the locals protected from removal (according to Gordie)
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After breathing in the peace of this sleepy little place we took the only way out that we could see (apart from continuing further along the coast or returning the way we had come). We headed up the road and passed the John o' Groats Trail turn off to the right and looked out for where it joins the road from the left higher up. This grassy track leads past buildings at Craigbeck Farm and rows of small conifers with coloured labels.

Christmas tree farm
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We remembered the track as waterlogged from when we had previously done the JOGT, but it wasn't so bad this time.

Previously wet track
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Reaching the gate we turned left on the circular track round Ord Hill which was busy with walkers, children and dogs, a popular walk for Invernesians. It would have been quicker for us to have gone anticlockwise except that the views are better from this side. But it had clouded over and was such poor light the next three photos were taken six months earlier.

Kilmuir from Ord Hill
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Kessock bridge from Ord Hill
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West from Ord Hill in winter
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West from Ord hill on the day of this walk
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After that it began raining steadily so the camera went away. We continued round the track to the car park and out to rejoin the Kilmuir road. We had decided on this longer route so we didn't have to cross the A9 which is busy with speeding traffic in summer, otherwise known as tourist season. This took us on to the Drumsmittal road where we turned left and stayed on it as it took us under the A9 and past the new housing, then down the hill to the original seafront village of North Kessock. When I was a small child (and long before the existence of the bridge) I remember the excitement of taking the ferry across with my granny to visit her friend who lived on the waterfront, which I particularly liked doing as she had hens.

Two weeks later I was back on a sunnier day, which meant brighter photos and another swim for the dog.

North Kessock's seaside garden
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Old ferry jetty
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Kessock bridge and lifeboat station
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The way to Kilmuir again
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Having a dip
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What is puzzling about the 7 existing user reports for this walk is that they're not about the North Kessock and Kilmuir circuit but all about Loch nam Bonnach near Beauly. I vaguely remember there being a WH description for that route and wonder if it was removed due to the attitude of the estate towards walkers? This would fit with the experience Moira and I had there in July 2018. A pity as it's a lovely walk.

Loch nam Bonnach
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Postby helenw » Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:13 am

Great report Dogplodder and some lovely sunny photos - thanks for pointing out the link to the wrong walk reports - the N Kessock route replaced the other one that was removed mainly due to parking and some other access issues.
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helenw
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Re: Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Postby gld73 » Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:25 pm

Beautiful photos; you'd never think somewhere so pretty could be just a hop across a bridge from the Longman industrial estate :lol:
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Re: Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:33 pm

Had to laugh at this - you often give me ideas for my future walks, but this one was actively being panned: telepathy or just covid restrictions? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Postby dogplodder » Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:03 pm

helenw wrote:Great report Dogplodder and some lovely sunny photos - thanks for pointing out the link to the wrong walk reports - the N Kessock route replaced the other one that was removed mainly due to parking and some other access issues.


Thanks Helen. I thought it must have been something like that. 8)
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Postby dogplodder » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:24 pm

gld73 wrote:Beautiful photos; you'd never think somewhere so pretty could be just a hop across a bridge from the Longman industrial estate :lol:


We're so well off for bonny places it's made travel restrictions that much easier to live with. 8)
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Pretty coastal hamlet from above and below

Postby dogplodder » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:27 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Had to laugh at this - you often give me ideas for my future walks, but this one was actively being panned: telepathy or just covid restrictions? :lol: :lol: :lol:


A bit of both maybe. :wink:
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