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Glen Orchy

Photo by Marco Guizzardi

Glen Orchy Maps

Tour Scotland, Glen Orchy

Loch Tulla Photograph Scotland

Scots pines at Loch Tulla, Scotland. 10x8 Photograph (25x20cm) Scots pines at Loch Tulla from Robert Harding.

South from the Black Mount and the bleak edge of the Moor of Rannoch, the new road from the north joins the old just south of Loch Tulla at the village known as Bridge of Orchy. Loch Tulla has, beyond its eastern shores, vestiges of what are believed to be the few remaining
pine trees of the old Caledonian Forest. Many of the great pines in this region were ruthlessly cut down during the 19th century and only in recent decades has any re-establishment of their numbers taken place.

The river Orchy which flows south from the loch is joined, just below the village, by a stream that is fed from the
slopes of Beinn Bhreac-Liath (2,653 feet), overlooking Tyndrum, and from the gulleys and corries of majestic Beinn Dorain (3,523 feet) and neighbouring Beinn Dothaidh (3,283 feet). Beinn Dorain is unique among these great hills in that its shapely mass inspired a poem
by the Gaelic bard Duncan Ban Maclntyre which praised its dominance and beauty.

The confluence of these waters marks the head of Glen Orchy which is itself the largest of three ‘fingers’ which probe inland from Dalmally at the head of Loch Awe. The northern ‘finger’ is Glen Strae on whose western flanks tower great hills like Beinn Eunaich (3,242 feet), Beinn Lurachan (2,348 feet) and, greatest of all, Ben Cruachan (3,689 feet). This latter mountain group takes its name
from the war cry of the Campbells and the local name, Cruachan Beann, translates as Haunch of the Peaks. In
fact this great massif has some eight peaks towering over the Pass of Brander that leads up towards Oban on the coast and they all command splendid views out toward the Isle of Mull and the Firth of Lorn.

The southern ‘finger’ is formed by Glen Lochy, the line of which is followed by the main road link between Oban
and Tyndrum and the railway from the south. Here also the glen is hemmed in by some noble mountains. Ben Lui (3,708 feet), the most dominant, is flanked by others only slightly less grand, Ben Oss (3,374 feet) across a deep and narrow cleft, and Beinn Dubhchraige (3,204
feet), leading away to Glen Falloch and its famous falls.
Glen Orchy itself, between these northern and southern ‘fingers’, is separated from them by Beinn Udla (2,529 feet) and Beinn Bhreac-liath (2,653 feet) to the south and Beinn Donachain (2,217 feet) and Beinn Mhic-Mhonaidh (2,602 feet) to the north. This glen is notable for the excellence of its salmon fishing as well as for its
outstandingly glorious scenery.

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