A trip to Easter Ross. Rogie Falls & Tollie Red Kites

The plan on Tuesday was to walk the Shenavall Circuit, a walk we have been longing to do for some time but never quite got around to it. Monday night was spent preparing our pack lunch, packing the rucksack, charging the camera battery & checking the weather reports which were forecasting a dry day with patchy cloud but alas we woke to very low cloud & drizzle boo! Not the weather for admiring the dramatic scenery of An Teallach & the Fisherfield Forest.

So to Plan B.

We decided to head further east to see if the weather was any better over there. Rogie falls on the beautiful Black Water river just outside Garve on the A835 is somewhere that we have driven past many times but never visited, so we thought after the recent snow that dusted the area for just a few days, the river levels would be fairly high.

We weren’t disappointed. The river was very high & the water thundered over the rocks. The trees were soaked from the spray & the noise was incredible, it was all very impressive.

The spot is a well know place for watching wild salmon leap up the ladder during August & September. The suspension bridge hangs directly over the falls & the salmon ladder so it’s a great viewing platform. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a salmon if the river is this fierce during the spawning season.

From the waterfall there are several different tracks heading through the forest. This time we decided to follow our nose (which doesn’t always work) heading in the general direction of  Contin. This took us through the Torrachilty Forest. There are numerous routes running through the forest that are suitable for walkers and mountain bikers alike and its a great location managed by the Forestry Commission.

On  route to Contin we stumbled across Loch na Crann a beautiful wee lochan that was so secluded that it acted like a mirror lake. It was the only time of the day that the sun decided to pop its head out so we were really lucky with our timing. There was also a slight mist hanging over the water which gave it a really atmospheric feeling. We could have spent more time there but we had Charlie, our working cocker spaniel with us, who can’t sit still for more than a couple of minutes so we had to keep moving- or get barked at!!


Having spent a good 4 hours exploring the woods we decided to take the short 10 minute drive up the road to Tollie to see if the red kites were about. Unfortunately our timing was slightly askew & we arrived half an hour after the RSPB warden had put some food out for them. Apparently it was quite an impressive show with 10 kites coming down to feed. It’s a shame we hadn’t arrived sooner. We weren’t to be wholly disappointed though as 2 were still sitting in the trees close by. No doubt digesting their lunch or rubbing it in for 2 late arrivals! We will certainly return but on the next occasion we will make sure that we arrive before feeding time.



Whilst leaving Tollie we came across this handsome gent posing for us. He was too busy calling out to the ladies to be the least bit bothered by us.


We had a great day out. Its only 1 hour from the house and is certainly an area to explore again. Next time the weather is brighter on the East side we will no doubt head off again to explore some more of what Contin & Tollie has to offer.

A walk to Loch a’Bhraoin Bothy.

We are pleased to report that the aforementioned bothy on this occasion didn’t live up to it’s name. Loch a’Bhraoin translates as “place of rain showers”. On a beautiful crisp morning we headed north to explore a little of the route into the Fisherfield Forest.

Parking is located on the A832 – Destitution Road – so named because of the Potato famine which began in 1843. The road was built by desperate highland crofters who had been forced to search the coastline for any form of food. In exchange for their labour crofters were given oatmeal rations. It’s difficult to imagine the suffering that took place during the famine.


The track into the Fisherfields is very clear from the road & heads towards Loch a’Bhraoin. On reaching the loch side a ruin & boathouse have a sheltered spot & great aspect. It has been suggested that in time the estate will be rebuilding the ruin.

The track that leads away from the ruin and follows the loch edge is an easy vehicle track although there are several streams that flow down from the hills into the loch, after a period of heavy rain these streams may be a little tricky to cross but today we were in luck, there hasn’t been a lot of rain lately so the streams flowing over the track were mere trickles.


Some of those trickles were a little on the icy side.

Charlie didn’t mind though, he enjoyed a little skate her & there.


The hills surrounding this particular part of the walk are all easily accessible. Meall an t-sithe is 601m, Sron na Leitir Fhearna 650m, Creag Rainich 620m. The track can be used to reach one of Britains most impressive munros, An Teallach. An overnight stay at Shenavall bothy would be required though. It is also the area of of one of the toughest circular walks in Britain, known as the Fisherfield Five (it used to be six but Beinn a’Chlaidheimh was demoted in 2012 to Corbet status as it was remeasured at 2998ft – 2 feet short of a munro!). This incredibly tough walk takes in Five of the remotest munros in Britain. I’m not sure we’re quite ready for epic expeditions just yet!

On reaching the estate cottage & bothy we had to have a little poke around so we ventured inside the bothy to check out the lovely home comforts!

I’m sure after a hard days walking this place is a welcome site. The visitor book was full of comments from recent guests, the last visitor was on Boxing Day who was using the bothy to avoid storm Barbara.

We hit the end of the track and the view looking back over Loch a’Bhraoin was fantastic.

Yet another great walk that we shall do again but next time we plan to take a little hike up Creag Rainich to see the amazing views from the summit.


Back in the car & heading along destitution road we stopped to take a quick snap of An Teallach looking what one of us would say was inviting & the other would say was frightening.


Sailors Ahoy

A few of these little fellas were washed up on the beach by Udrigle house today. They are Valella’s or more commonly known as ‘by the wind sailors’. They are free floating tiny jellyfish type organisms, they float on the surface of the ocean collecting plankton by dangling their tentacles into the water. They get around by their small rigid sail which projects into the air & catches the wind.

Nature is full amazing things.


The photos below are courtesy of Jellywatch.org