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Eating out with the Devil

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Loch Hourn translates from the Gaelic as the Devils Lakeyoull get there if you take the minor road form Shiel Bridge on the A87 at the bottom of Glen Shiel you'll be able to travel over Britains second highest pass (Bealach na Mam Ratagan) to Glenelg. Take a moment at the top and pull into the wee car park to admire the view into Kintail, the full vista of the Five Sisters is to your right, Ben Fada (Long Hill) straight ahead and Loch Duich below. When you've had your fill of this spectacular view mosey on over the top and down the other side (not quite so steep as coming up). Don't worry the whole journey is negotiated easily in the largest of motorhomes, just take it slow.

Carry on down the snaking sometimes bumpy, often single track road. Youre now in Glen More (big valley), past the cattle grid see the welcome to Glenelg sign. Three quarters of the way down the glen on the way to Glenelg village (Baile Glenelg) you'll come to a turning to Moyle, a scattered hamlet and good mountain bike/walking country along the forestry track's. If you are in a camper, pulling a caravan or in a motorhome the Moyle Park caravan site is at the end of this road about a mile. Its small but perfectly formed and run by the friendly and helpful Ronnie MacDonald. You might even be able to get a haircut as Ronnies daughter Katie runs a hair cutting salon in the Bothy next to the site entrance and shes very good.

If you're looking for a berth for the night and you have your own accommodation its a nice place to stay, otherwise, its time to carry on down Glen More past several crofts and a holidal chalet patk called Lamont Chalet's. Follow the single track road until it gets onto level ground. Just past the cemetary is a t-junction. There with the Old School on your right and the Old Smithy on your left take the turning to Glenelg, Arnisdale and Corran. The main road (as such) carries on to the Kyle Rea ferry. Continue into and through Glenelg, there's a cafe in the village hall but its a bit ordinary, the pub is alright though and there's always a friendly hello. Going through to the hamlet of Ellenreach at the mouth of the river Glenbeag. Glen Beag (little valley) itself can be accessed via the sign posted road just before the bridge over the river.

What's to see in Glen Beag? Well quite a lot, firstly the two best preserved Broch's on mainland Scotland Dun Telve and Dun Troddan. Brochs are approximately 2,000 year old structures and can only be found in Scotland mainly west and north of the Great Glen, built in the bronze age for reasons not fully understood, although there are several theories, hundreds exist. Further into Glen Beag, you'll have to walk a little way to see this one, is another stone built structure resembling the two Broch's but it is much older. It resembles Dun Telve and Dun Troddan in many ways and not in others (it isn't completely round to start with) its different. Its called Dun Grugaig and is known as a pre Broch, possibly Stone Age, Neolithic or even mesolithic. The fourth thing in Glen Beag you could visit sits on the opposite side of the road to Dun Telve and it's the small, well run and open three times a week Dun Brewery, a nice place to stop that thirst. By the way Dun is the Gaelic word for fort or any stucture and sometimes .

Going on from Ellenreach bridge some way along after you've had your fill of the views of Skye across the The sound of Sleite and Sleite Peninsula towards the Cuillin Hills in the distance you'll come to an area known as Sandaig, adjacent are the Sandaig Islands an area once occupied and owned by Gavin Maxwell author of the book, A Ring of Bright Water about Midge the otter. The T.V. naturalsit Terry Nutkins was once one of Maxwells otter keepers and returned later in his life to live nearby until his death in 2012. The cottage, Camusfearna, Maxwell once lived in has long ago burnt down and to see where it stood is an approximate mile and a quarter walk, there and back, so if you don't fancy a two and a half mile round trip lets stay on the road to Corran.

You can't get lost as its the only road and it soon runs along the side of Loch Hourn, up and down the steep rise into the village of Arnisdale on the shores of the loch, under the slopes of the Munro Ben Sgritheall (Pronounced Sgriol) and home to about 30 (40 houses spread out) permanent residents. Carry on through at your leisure and past Arnisdale House a hunting lodge built for wealthy banker Valentine Fleming, father of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Valentine was killed only a year after it was finished a victim of WWI. Drive the two sharp bends which take you around Arnisdale House and the half mile onto Corran a hamlet of about 20 houses at the end of the road. It looks over the dark, forbidding waters of Loch Hourn to the Knoydart Peninsula the only area of Scotland that has no roads in and no roads out. three Munro's are visible Ladhar (hoof) Beinn, Meall Buidhe (yellow bald bumpy hill) and Luine (angry) Beinn (pronounced, Leuven or Larven) and at the loch mouth to your right as you stand the Corbett, Ben na Cainnich (old woman's hill)

At Corran the road ends but there's car park you can pull into, its next the village hall for Arnisdale and Corran, there are loo's. Walk into Corran over the bridge and to the end of the path which skirts the river. Turning the corner you will see, Sheena's tea hut, serving some of the best fish and chips and all day snacks around (they close on Saturdays). you can eat inside the wee hut if there's room or, if the day is nice al fresco on the deck under the tree. Its nice experience one which the locals probably use more than visitors and a nice place to watch the sun setting over Skye at the end of your nice day out.

Oh and the Devil? He might turn up, then again, he might not.

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