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Broch and ringing stone

Broch and ringing stone


Postby Tazman » Wed May 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Route description: The Ringing Stone and Dun Mor broch, Traigh Mhor

Date walked: 01/05/2013

Time taken: 2.75 hours

Distance: 10 km

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On this lovely island, we start the route from Vaul where there is plenty room to park your car or chain your bike to some rusting farm equipment with a nice view along Vaul Bay. In addition, this gives you the chance to walk off your lunch on the final leg of the route if you have planned for the Elephant’s End at the Lodge Hotel.
From the parking area with the newly-built Tiree-esque house, we proceeded north through the gap in the wall following the track all the way round the coast watching for Otters (none found) but plenty of Ringed Plover and Oyster Catchers etc (and sheep).
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A couple of very isolated houses are also found along the coast. After climbing over a stile, it was a short walk up to the Dun Mor Broch which although not as intact as the Brochs at Glenelg or Carloway on Lewis, is well worth a visit.
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I know it requires time and money but why oh why can’t these structures be rebuilt to a good safety standard which would be a big tourist puller and provide a better insight to what life was like in that era instead of just reading an information board with pictures? SNH and NTS please note. Tiree seems to provide information boards more than we found on Coll but Tiree has a bit more to offer, and more accommodation, maybe why it attracts more tourists (not meaning to be derogatory to Coll which is a lovely island with superb walks and beaches). Having said that, the disused buildings on the flat ground to the west of Ben Hough didn’t have any information boards though I assume they were either for the abandoned kelp industry or military for the old radar station.
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Corrections to this assumption are most welcome.

Anyway, back to this route and continuing along the sheep track through the open fields, we eventually reach the Ringing Stone at NM0271 4872, a huge lump of rock obviously named, deposited by glacial activity in a lovely area that deserves some time to just sit and chill to enjoy the scenery and solitude.
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From here, we followed a track crossing a narrow stream with ease on the way becoming a vehicle track heading towards a couple of small lochs which is a lovely part of the walk leading to Gott Bay.
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After passing the farm buildings, we are now on single track blacktop. At this point, a Defender comes towards us where the elderly gent stopped his vehicle to chat and offered us a lift to Vaul to our bikes; a show of real hospitality seldom seen outside the highlands and islands. Reminded us of the time on Islay when we walked the short distance from the rented cottage to the hotel for an evening meal. By the time we were leaving, it was coming down by the bucket load and the owners offered to get the chef to drive us home. I’m off on a tangent again.

Following the blacktop, we now reach the incredibly beautiful Gott Bay where we see a guy kite-boarding enjoying the open water.
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Only a short skip and jump now to our planned lunch stop for some well-earned nourishment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as the chef had a family crisis that day so no meals. Thankfully, we had a couple of cereal bars left to tide us over for a while longer. Then when we were between the hotel and the junction back to Vaul out in the open, the rain starts. Only a light shower which didn’t last for more than a few minutes. Turning left at the junction to Vaul, we are now passing the Tiree Golf Course which is also used for grazing sheep. Very unusual but at least they keep the fairway trimmed, LOL. Nearly 3 hours after the start, we are now back at our bikes but hungry so cycle to Scarinish for a lovely roll and bacon at Sam’s Snack Bar then the local butchers and supermarket for that night’s meal.
When are we going back there? Soon I hope. Definitely one of the best holidays; up there with Islay… and Mull… and Arran… and not forgetting the Outer Hebrides. :thumbup:
Tazman
 
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Re: Broch and ringing stone

Postby BoyVertiginous » Thu May 23, 2013 2:14 pm

Very interesting, Tazman. Last visit to Tiree was in early May 2009 for us, had a bit of a mixed bag on the weather-front too. We did this route while we were there and managed to sit and watch an otter work the rocky shore of Traigh Bahalla.

The fences around the greens of the golf course also brought a smile!

On another day, walking along the sands of Gott Bay in a heavy shower, we turned to see another otter bounding along the beach behind us. It was about this time someone stopped on the road and shouted over to us and waved. We walked over as we thought something was wrong and the lady was offering us a lift as it was raining (felt bad about refusing but we were kitted-out for the weather and the shower had almost passed...plus we'd already had a couple of lifts from others in the preceding days)!

Heard, but did not see, Corncrakes. Ate at Elephant's End...mouth-watering lobster. Happy days, great pics and report, thanks for the memories.
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