The (not so) Rough Bounds of Moidart

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The 'Rough Bounds' describes an area that includes Moidart and Knoydart in the west Highlands and bounds don't come much rougher than this. We are talking about wilderness areas without tracks or habitation – very intimidating.

Fortunately, this walk is of the 'not so rough' category. The walk starts alongside a sea loch, with views to Castle Tioram (pronounced 'Cheerum' – honestly). The castle is linked to the land by a narrow isthmus, which is passable at any time other than when the tide is completely in. (The name means dry, meaning that the castle could be reached dry-shod). In fact the castle looks at its best when surrounded by water.

After the castle, the path continues east around the coast. This is probably the roughest part of the walk, but the roughness is of the 'rugged and interesting' type. Because of this, it's worth wearing boots rather than shoes and reasonable agility is called for – this is the Highlands, after all. After about 2km the path heads upwards, away from the coast. The walking from hereon is quite straightforward.

After about 250m you reach the remains of a ruined village. The village was deserted in the mid- 19th Century, when the landlord transported the occupants to the colonies to develop the deerstalking and there's a sombre feel to the place. After the village the path continues easily upwards, before descending to a pair of small lochs in an idyllic setting.

The path rises again for a short distance before descending by another small loch, which is a reservoir; the dam is at the far end on our direction of travel. The views out to sea are superb. From there it's easily downhill to the quiet road that leads to the car park, which was the start point.

You probably wouldn't drive all the way to Castle Tioram just to do this walk, but it would make a great walk out if staying in the area, or as a leg-stretch if passing through. The coast path is full of interest and the kind of route that youngsters would love, whilst the adults would enjoy the sea and mountain scenery later in the walk.

So, something for everyone; include it in a driving tour round Ardnamurchan, use it as a short walk to fill a few spare hours, or as a rest day from the bigger hills, or do it to lap up the views and the history of the place. Whatever the reason, this short walk is well worth the visit.

Scotland - Highlands and Islands - Highland - Lochaber


Ancient Monument, Birds, Castle, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, River, Sea, Wildlife, Woodland
6/28/2015 - Paul Shorrock

Jean’s comment is a good illustration of the dilemmas that contributors sometimes face. A 5.2km walk in Surrey would probably be an easy stroll, but this is the Highlands where the scale is always larger, and with this route the reality is a rough, ‘scrambly’ start on the coast and a height gain of 305 metres on the inland section. Likewise, although the facilities are not on the actual route, these are the only facilities you will find in the area. It’s probably a good idea to read my route description, then to carefully read Jean’s comment of 15/6/2015 – the extra information given by her should help you plan your walk. Paul Shorrock

6/15/2015 - Jean Shepherd

Did this walk on 11/06/2015, a bright & breezy day. Good walk & good directions. As 'interesting' as Paul says! I found navigation a bit difficult after the ruined village - there's a marshy section & it's difficult to pick up on the proper path again as it's quite faint. In view of this & the acknowledged roughness of the first section I did wonder at the 'easy' grade...I would have thought 'moderate' more appropriate. Also I thought it a bit misleading to include toilet & refreshment facilities as these are not on the route but 4 miles away. What's the official line on this ? Have I been doing it incorrectly?