LOCAL WALKS IN AND AROUND ASSYNT

KNOCKAN CRAG TRAIL

Distance 2km/1.25 miles                  Time 1 Hour                 Ascent 185m                                     DIFFICULTY *

This interpretative trail brings the geology of the Moine Thrust to life as the path climbs past the exposed rocks and up onto the top of the Knockan Crag. From here there are spectacular views over Assynt. The trail includes sculptures and poetry as well as places to sit and a treasure hunt for younger children.

TERRAIN

Easy to follow trail with some sections of rocky steps. As the path climbs to the top of the crag it can be exposed and therefore waterproofs and good footwear are needed.

STARTING POINT

Knockan Crag visitor centre on A837 just south of Elphin.  Start Grid Ref NC188091

 

LEITIR EASAIDH ALL-ABILITIES PATH, LITTLE ASSYNT

Distance 2.5km/1.5 miles                 Time 45 minutes       Ascent 25m                                       DIFFICULTY *

There are few walks in the northwest set-up for wheelchairs (and those who don't want to get wet boots!) so Leitir Easaidh is all the more welcome. This trail visits two lochs with shelters and toilets, and has stunning views across this wild landscape to the surrounding mountains.

TERRAIN

Excellent constructed path with easy gradients; suitable for wheelchairs and prams. Toilet facilities at two points on the walk.

STARTING POINT

Leitir Easaidh car park, A837


CLACHTOL BEACH AND THE BROCH

Distance 3km/2 miles                        Time 1 - 1.5 hours            Ascent 40m                                       DIFFICULTY *

This lovely short walk includes a visit to Clachtoll beach with its beautiful white sand and the crumbling iron-age broch of An Dun.

TERRAIN

Close-cropped grassy coast to the broch; bouldery shore edge beyond then minor road.

STARTING POINT

Clachtoll beach car park.  Start Grid Ref NC039273

 

CULAG WOODS

Distance 3km/2 miles                       Time 1 hour                      Ascent 120m                                     DIFFICULTY *

Culag Woods on the edge of Lochinver are owned and managed by a local community trust and have been made into an excellent facility for short walks. They give lovely views and contain several sculptures and surprises.

TERRAIN

Woodland paths, rough underfoot. The section up to the viewpoint can be muddy.

STARTING POINT

Road up beside football pitch, near pier in Lochinver.  Start Grid Ref NC092222


UAMH AN TARTAIR, KNOCKAN, ELPHIN

Distance 3.75km/2.25 miles             Time 1 - 1.5 hours         Ascent 78m                                       DIFFICULTY *

Uamh an Tartair - the Cave of the Roaring - is a spectacular pot hole with a cave below, into which pour the waters of the Abhainn a' Chnocain above Knockan. The cave should not be confused with another of the same name above Inchnadamph.

TERRAIN

Track at first, then very boggy moorland path marked by posts.

STARTING POINT

Elphin.  Start Grid Ref NC214104


ACHMELVICH BEACH AND ALLTAN’ABRADHAN

Distance 6km / 3.75 miles                          Time 2 hours       Ascent 170m                                               DIFFICULTY *

Achmelvich bay has a stunning and popular beach with beautiful white sand and is perfect for swimming – if you can brave the cold! The walk to Alltan’abradhan is along a good path to visit a ruined old mill and hidden cove, there is also a small beach if you walk down after the mill.  There is also the option to hunt for the hidden Scott's 'castle' located on private property behind The Shore Caravan Site – SORRY NO DOGS ALLOWED

TERRAIN

Good path to Alltan'abradhan. There is no definitive path to Scott’s Castle, please ask at the site reception for directions.

STARTING POINT

Achmelvich Beach car park.  Start Grid Ref NC058248


BONE CAVES CIRCUIT, NEAR INCHNADAMPH

Distance 4.5km / 2.75 miles              Time 1.5 - 2 hours     Ascent 210m                                     DIFFICULTY **

Beautiful and popular walk in a limestone valley to the dramatic bone caves. These cave openings part way up a steep side of the valley are where the remains have been found of species such as lynx, reindeer and polar bear which once roamed here.

TERRAIN

Straightforward walk on a clear path which is narrow and steep at times near the caves. The insides of the caves themselves can be wet and slippery.

STARTING POINT

Car park on the A837 between Elphin and Inchnadamph.  Start Grid Ref NC254179

 

LOCH AN T-SABHAIL CIRCUIT, LITTLE ASSYNT

Distance 4.5km / 2.75 miles              Time 1.5 - 2 hours     Ascent 150m                                     DIFFICULTY **

Assynt's interior is a wild landscape of rough and rocky moorland, speckled with crags and hillocks and dotted with hundreds of lochans. Away from the monolithic mountains it is little visited; this route gives a good introduction to this wilderness.

TERRAIN

Clear, constructed path

STARTING POINT

Little Assynt Field car park.  Start Grid Ref NC153251


FALLS OF KIRCAIG, INVERKIRCAIG

Distance 7km / 4.5 miles                  Time 2.5 - 3 hours      Ascent 165m                                     DIFFICULTY **

A walk up a beautiful wooded glen to the moorland above for a visit to the impressive Falls of Kirkaig.  There is also a bookshop & café at the start of the walk called Achins

TERRAIN

Well marked path, rocky in places. The descent to view the falls is very steep and rocky with a dangerous drop - great care is needed.

STARTING POINT

Inverkirkaig car park.  Start Grid Ref NC085193

 

TRALIGILL CAVES, INCHNADAMPH

Distance 7km / 4.5 miles                  Time 2 - 2.5 hours       Ascent 242m                                     DIFFICULTY **

This walk up the Traligill Glen visits the impressive entrances of the largest cave system in Scotland. The views of the surrounding mountains are excellent.

TERRAIN

Track and then a path; slightly wet for a short section. The caves are dangerous and should not be entered - and keep away from the edges of the pothole.

STARTING POINT

Car park near Inchnadamph Hotel.  Start Grid Ref NC251216


RIVER INVER AND GLENCANISP CIRCUIT

Distance 7.5km / 4.75 miles              Time 2.5 - 3 hours         Ascent 210m                                     DIFFICULTY **

This superb circuit heads up the beautifully wooded River Inver before following an old path across the moors to reach a beautiful loch with amazing mountain views.

TERRAIN

Good paths though faint at times.

STARTING POINT

Lochinver village centre.  Start Grid Ref NC093226

 

THE OLD MAN OF STOER AND THE POINT

Distance 7km / 4.5 miles                  Time 2.5 - 3.5 hours        Ascent 360m                                     DIFFICULTY ***

A visit to the Old Man of Stoer, a spectacular sea-stack. The walking is rough but the coastal scenery impressive; the return is over a low hill with fantastic views in clear weather. This is the best walk in Assynt for whale and dolphin spotting.

TERRAIN

Rough and wet walking along the coast, pathless at times. Return over the hill probably gives easier going. Care is needed by the cliff edges.

STARTING POINT

Car park just short of the Stoer Lighthouse.  Start Grid Ref NC004327


EAS A’ CHUAL ALUINN – BRITAIN’S HIGHEST WATERFALL

Distance 9.75km / 6 miles                 Time 4.5 - 5.5 hours       Ascent 521m                                     DIFFICULTY ***

This rough walk takes you into the heart of Assynt's rocky landscape, past pretty lochans and streams to reach the top of Britain's highest waterfall, Eas a' Chual Aluinn. The route leads to the best vantage point near the top of the falls, although the entire drop into the deep glen below cannot be seen.

TERRAIN

Very boggy near start, then clear path, but rocky and rough. Care should be taken near the falls as this area is very dangerous.

STARTING POINT

Parking area on bend on A894 between Kylesku and Lochinver junction near north end of Loch na Gainmhich.  Start Grid Ref NC239292

 

ACROSS ASSYNT: ELPHIN TO LOCHINVER

Distance 19km / 12 miles                  Time 5 - 7 hours              Ascent 298m                                     DIFFICULTY ***

This superb linear cross-country walk heads right through the wild heart of Assynt, passing between its remarkable mountains. The walk as described assumes transport will be arranged but there is also an infrequent bus service.

TERRAIN

Path or track for almost whole route; indistinct at times. Outflow of Lochan Fada may be tricky to cross in spate.

STARTING POINT

Footpath sign / parking spot on A835 between Elphin and Ledmore junction.  Start Grid Ref NC233121

 


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