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Tour Scotland, Liathach

Torridon Liathach Photograph Scotland

Torridon village beneath Liathach mountain range, Scotland. 10x8 Photograph (25x20cm) Torridon village beneath Liathach mountain range from Robert Harding.

South-East from Braemore between Sgurr Ban and Sgurr Mor through the trackless valley of Lochhaidh Bhroain is Kinlochewe at the head of Loch Maree. This small town
is a good centre for both climbers and fishermen with good catches of sea-trout, salmon and brown trout to be had locally. It guards the entrance to Glen Torridon and if we proceed south-east, an area of really outstanding scenic beauty opens up on either side.

To the north are the towering peaks of Ben Eighe while four miles down from the town is beautiful Loch Clair set
amidst pine trees. Ben Eighe is part of the first National Nature Reserve to be set up in Britain, having been founded in 1951. It extends for over 10,000 acres of
the wilder part of Wester Ross and contains an enormous variety of wildlife. Here can be found the wild cat, the pine martin and the red deer as well as the golden eagle. Ben Eighe rears up impressively to a height of 3,309 feet,
displaying red sandstone flanks powdered with white quartzite.

Perhaps even more impressive is Liathach, pronounced Lee-a-Gach, which means ‘The Grey One’. Glen Torridon is reputed to be the oldest glen in the world and to have the oldest mountains rising from its floor, and when the gaunt peaks of Liathach are seen one can believe this to be true. The mountain range has an extreme height of
3,546 feet and climbers following the ridge along its rugged length, over pinnacles and buttresses with dizzy drops either side, and along the precipitous crags, find it exhilarating but it is not a route that should be tried by an amateur.

The whole of the Glen is flanked by such peaks and among the others crowding hard around it and the shores of the sea-loch are Beinn Alligin (3,323 feet), Beinn Dearg (2,995 feet) and Maol (3,060 feet) to the south beyond the Coulin Forest. Glen Coulin connects with Glen Carron which contains another lovely loch at the neck of which stands Strome Ferry.

On the north side of Loch Carron is the town which bears its name and from here can be reached Shieldaig on the
southern shore of Loch Torridon and the Balgy ‘Gap’ beyond, served by a new road. To the west a turn at Tornapress opens up the wild scenic grandeur of the
Applecross Forest, a peninsula that borders on the inner Sound with superb views across to the isle of Skye. The town of Applecross rejoices in being one of the most inaccessible places in Britain and to reach it the single road negotiates a long succession of hairpin bends between fearsome black cliffs, rising to a height of
2,054 feet, which makes the pass of Bealach-nam-BO, the Pass of the Cattle, the second highest in the land.

From the heights the Sgurr a’ Chavrachain (3,452 feet) can be seen and the frowning summit of Ben Sgriol south
across the water above Arnisdale, while to the west are the small islands of Rona and Raasay. The coast north of
Applecross is moorland crossed by a pathway to the head of Loch Torridon at Rubha na Fearn which then turns back to Shieldaig.

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