Just after lockdown was relaxed here in Scotland, and just as the first hotels, B & Bs and hostels were allowed to open, I decided to finally do this walk; one of the long distanced paths here in the UK and in particular Scotland. More information can be found here.
It was one that has intrigued me for some time, due to its remoteness and beauty. Along with the fact, that it is possible to stay at the most remote (almost a mountain hut) youth hostel that there is in the UK. Well, due to the lockdown, it was closed, so we had to tent it; which was quite enjoyable and warm (amazingly!).
On our first day, we started from Drumnadrochit, and after several diversions, arrived after an entire day walking, in the small village of Cannich (which itself was almost closed down). I have to admit, that the final two hours were terrible, as there existed no trail (this needs to be rectified immediately!) and so we were on the small, but dangerous asphalt B-Road into Cannich – this was NOT enjoyable. After which, barely making the Co-op for food, we went to our nearby guesthouse for the night.
The following morning, we were kindly given a lift to the third stage of the walk (bypassing Stage 2), and started from the Loch Affric Circuit Car Park, situated between Loch Affric (to the west) and Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin (to the east). I think this was the correct call, as the trail between here and Cannich I’ve done before, and found it both rudimentary and slightly dull. This day was actually quite easy, and in no time, we came by and passed both the possible accommodation options at the end of Loch Affric (Strawberry Cottage – run, I believe, by a walking group from Aberdeen University? and a “Trees for Life” bothy, that is fairly modern). Just past these, in another 45 minutes, we came to the said youth hostel, where we stayed for small break. And then, after just a kilometre more, we camped for the night.
The next day, after finally lighting our gas stove (PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING MATCHES OR A FIRE STARTER!), we were off, where in an hour or so we had a break in the Canban Bothy. From here it was all downhill, both altitude and weather! It rained and rained and then, rained even more. The river (the River Croe) was in full spate, and we finally, after another entire day, arrived in Morvich to be picked up by our previous hotelier. After taking us back to Drumadrochit to collect our car in the central car park (next to the Tourist Information Centre), we had a lovely fish supper and a pint!