The A896 which runs southwest of Kinlochewe to Torridon is single track with passing places. It runs past the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve which has a woodland restoration scheme nearby. The road passes Loch Coulin and Loch Clair by which time it was very cloudy with drizzle. The Torridon Estate is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. There are lots of hillwalking paths and mountains to climb in better weather. The A896 enters Glen Torridon with the river running on the left and near the loch, a minor road runs into Torridon.
We stopped at the Community Centre which runs the Wee Whistlestop Café: a great place for a drink and snack. Upstairs is a gallery with art works for sale of many kinds by local artists. There is also a gym and some work spaces.
The minor road continues all the way up to Diabaig and from there is a path to Red Point. The first community it reached is Fasaig, a short distance away. Just behind the community centre are the remains of Doire na Fuaran which means ‘field of the springs’. 45 families used to live here. It was cleared in 1845 so that the landlord could use the area for more profitable sheep farming. Some of the residents moved to the seashore in what is now Fasaig, others emigrated. A path runs to the ruined former crofts on the hillside.
However, we carried on towards Shieldaig on the A road which was now two lanes. It passes through Annat and then there were two viewpoints overlooking Loch Torridon and the surrounding countryside.
A minor loop road runs through Shieldaig and we soon found our campsite with good views
and with neighbouring sheep.
After settling in we had a walk down to the seafront where most of the town lies. White-tailed eagles disappeared over 100 years ago but two returned to Shieldaig, nesting on the island in 2009.
Work is underway in conjunction with the RSPB to increase the population and has so far been successful. On the seafront was a Vintage Tractor Run which was raising money for the Highland Hospice.
We popped into the smoked salmon business to buy some. They are the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament people in town. The slogan translates as ‘I hope for a free Scotland without a bomb, without Boris’. We have got rid of Boris but no guarantee of getting rid of the bombs.
From the seafront there are views over to Loch Shieldaig which is an offshoot of Loch Torridon.
I found a huge amount of sea glass on the beach.
Later we took a walk up a short hill path past an abandoned church which gave views over towards Loch Torridon.
When we came back down, we had a good conversation with one of the locals. Tonight’s meal will be in the local hotel restaurant and we will head off early in the morning because there will be a cycle race on one of the roads we need to travel back home on and we need to get past that one before it starts.