Recent weeks have been spent organising the b&b for the forthcoming season so with it being such a lovely day a much needed walk was on the agenda. We decided to keep it local and so headed the 2 miles down the road to begin the walk for Slaggan Bay and Greenstone Point. Slaggan Bay is a beautiful spot, often deserted with just sheep & birds for company.
The walk to Slaggan Bay is just 5km from the road to Mellon Udrigle and follows a very straightforward vehicle track. The whole circular walk is approximately 15km.
The track passes the very picturesque Loch na h’Innse Gairbhe & Loch an t’ Slagain
Overlooking Slaggan Bay is a ruined settlement with the gable ends of a house still standing. In the 18th century Slaggan was renowned for a certain resident named ‘The Great Bard of Slaggan’ a Mr Alexander Grant. Apparently the title of the great bard was given to him mainly for his “enormous stature and strength” rather than his poetic abilities.
The beautiful bay overlooks the minch towards the Isle of Skye & the Western Isles.
On this occasion we couldn’t spare the time to venture onto the lovely white sands. So we admired the beach from the cliff tops and then followed the path along the headland hugging the coastline heading in the direction of Greenstone Point.
Along the coastline there are numerous areas of peat hags which are fairly easy to maneuver around but look very inhospitable. But beware, the spots of lovely soft looking moss inbetween the hags are not pretty bouncy tufts of moss, but boot sucking swamps!
There was a fair breeze along the cliff tops which created some great crashing waves. We shall certainly return on a stormy day to watch the sea pound the rocks.
Along the coastline are several little lochans dotted here and there. One that we passed alongside had fairly substantial Otter spraints on the edge of the loch and looked as though the area was used pretty frequently. We had a good nosey around looking for the otter but alas we were out of luck on this occasion.
Looking behind us back toward Slaggan Bay, the weather looked as though it was building up for a hefty downpour, fortunately it passed us by and we continued on in dry clothes…….
……. until we spotted a group of Cormorants and had the great idea of diving down onto the damp grass to take photographs before they spotted us.
As fascinating as the Cormorants were we could only stomach the aroma for so long. It was rather pungent to say the least.
As we left the Cormorants gazing out to sea we could see in the distance a fairly large bird heading our way, it turned out to be a juvenile white tailed sea eagle heading in the direction of the cormorants, hopefully they had a team on the lookout behind them as well as out to see.
Greenstone Point appeared ahead, keeping guard over the headland. After a little climb to the top to take in the fantastic views of the Coigachs, Suilven and the Summer Isles we came across a lovely quiet bay with quite a few sunbathing residents.
They looked thoroughly content lounging in the sunshine. As quiet as we were trying to be, unfortunately they sensed our arrival and immediately dived into the water.
The didn’t disappear completely though, they hung around in the water to watch us from a distance.
Reluctantly tearing ourselves away from the curious seals we approached the last leg of the walk to find a great view of the hamlet of Opinan and Mellon Udrigle in the distance.
Just as we were completing the circular walk and reaching the starting point, this chap was standing guard over Loch na Beiste. Honestly it really is called Loch na ‘Beastie’, quite appropriate we think!
Yet another fantastic walk in the wonderful Wester Ross and an excellent reason to spend time exploring areas along the North Coast 500.