We awoke to a very sunny morning in Lochcarron and set off on the A896 round the head of the loch where the River Carron enters it. The A890 runs through Strathcarron over the level crossing near the station and down the other side of the loch along with the railway.
Attadale Station is near Attadale House and Gardens which you can visit. There is also a car park for anyone wishing to do any of the walking trails up the glen and on the surrounding hills. The road and railway then passes through a concrete tunnel which acts as an avalanche shelter and is then surrounded by coniferous forests. Stromeferry boomed when the railway arrived in 1870 but its importance diminished when the line was extended to Kyle. From a viewpoint in the forest above the town you can see Strome Castle and North Strome.
Just past Stromeferry we took the minor road to Plockton. It passes through some small communities including Achmore, Craig, Duncraig station and into the Balmacara Estate. The Estate spans the Kyle peninsula and since 2000 has been under the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
Plockton was a planned village developed in the early 1800s by Sir Hugh Innes for fishing and to house the crofters cleared from better agricultural land elsewhere on the estate. Life for them became very hard and Plockton was once known as baile nam bochd, village of the poor. There is an open air church site which arose after the disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. The Free Church had no place to worship and met outdoors. We entered past the station, the High School (where children from Applecross go to and like my high school in Callander, there is a hostel for those who live along way from it) and the primary school before parking down near the waterfront.
After a coffee we had a wander around
before picking up the minor road which runs to Kyle. It passes through Duirinish which has a station, Drumbuie, over some hills, through Erbusaig and Badicaul before entering Kyle of Lochalsh. After stocking up with supplies we drove over the Skye Bridge for the first time (our last visit to Skye was so long ago the bridge had not been built). There were good views from the other side.
Back on the Kyle side we continued on the A87 down the side of Loch Alsh where there are several viewpoints and eventually arrived at Balmacara. The road into the village is opposite Balmacara House and runs to what is called the square. There is a pond in the centre
and among other things: a visitors centre and an art gallery which we had a look in. There is also an old mill which they are trying to raise funds to renovate. Reraig campsite is just a little further on and we settled in. In the field next door, a shinty match was under way. It reminded me of while on my first medical house job in Inverness in late 1984, Saturday evenings would be busy for A&E with shinty facial injuries. Unlike hockey where you cannot lift the stick above your shoulder, you can in shinty.