Lochmaddy - Sponish Farm - A865 - Lochmaddy

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk. Join or log in above if you are already a member. Access is available to Walkingworld subscribers or you can buy the walk individually for £1.95 once you are logged in.

The Hut of the Shadows is a grass-roofed stone hut, almost like a huge cairn. It houses a camera obscura which projects, by means of hidden mirrors, the view of the loch in front of the hut onto the back interior wall. You are supposed to be able to see passing boats etc by this means. This didn’t work for me but I was probably too impatient and did not wait for my eyes to become accustomed to the dark.

The route to the hut starts in Lochmaddy and heads north, partly following the shoreline and giving opportunity to look for birds and otters. The large austere-looking house you pass after crossing the footbridge is Sponish House, built in 1803 for Lord MacDonald's sheriff.
Soon after visiting the hut the route heads inland along a farm track, crosses grazing land and returns to Lochmaddy via the A865. Although this is an 'A' road it is quiet except at ferry times.

Those wanting a shorter walk may prefer to walk to the hut and return via the same route (total distance 4.5km or 2.8 miles).

The footbridge at Waymark 5 has a notice suggesting it may be unsafe and that people cross it at their own risk. It seemed fine to me. As the tourist information office could offer no information(!) I enquired about the background to this at my B & B accommodation. Apparently the bridge had needed repairing and there was a dispute between the landowner and the local authority about who should pay for it. So some locals had carried out an 'unofficial repair' and the bridge had since been used on a daily basis by local folk walking to and from Lochmaddy without incident.
I returned and looked at the bridge again. The actual span of the bridge appeared solid and safe. However, the original handrails had gone and had been replaced by farm hurdles etc tied together – presumably the unofficial repair. I think it's fine to walk over – just don’t lean on the sides!
Note to dog-owners: there are no stiles and the possibility of sheep between Waymarks 5 and 7.

Scotland - Highlands and Islands - Outer Hebrides - The Uists and Barra

Features

Birds, Cafe, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Pub, Sea, Toilets, Wildlife