The evening before we left Arisaig I watched the sun go down from the beach.
The following morning was calm and sunny when we departed. After following the A380 to Lochailort, we took the A861 which runs down the side of Loch Ailort.
Like many roads in Scotland, it is bordered with woodland containing purple rhododendrons. They were first introduced into Scotland in the 1700s and have become the most invasive plant. The road descends to the Sound of Arisaig which has views over to Eigg and Rhum.
Further on it ascends Glen Uig and then runs down to Loch Moidart.
Near Kinlochmoidart several kayakers were getting ready to get into the still water. The road then continues up Drynie Hill before descending past Dalnabreck and Mingarry Park (which has a wild venison shop) to Shiel Bridge which sits at the foot of the Five Sisters of Kintail mountains. After crossing the bridge, we stopped at Acharacle for a coffee. We then continued to Salen and Loch Sunart. Beyond Laga and Glenborrodale is Ardnamurchan Distillery.
The road then turned inland and descends to Kilchoan. Several classic cars passed us on the way down who were presumably heading to an event. Before settling into the campsite, we drove out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on the British mainland.
The lighthouse was built in 1849 by Alan Stevenson in an Egyptian style. It is 36 metres high. There is a café and you can take a tour to the top of the building
or just admire the views.
We settled into our campsite at Ormsaigbeg which lies to the west of the main village. The last time we were in Kilchoan was our honeymoon in 1987. The next morning, we walked towards the centre. There are views across to Mull from the road and we then entered Kilchoan Bay where the jetty is located. Small boats and kayaks use this.
Further on, past the road to the lighthouse, is the school and the road down to the pier. Pier Road passes the community centre which has a café and then descends to Mingary Pier where the ferry runs to Tobermory on Mull. One had just left as we got there.
There was an interesting information board about the geology of Ardnamurchan. It is comprised of three overlapping rings from three volcanic centres. There are plenty of volcanic rocks around.
Just before we left, we heard James Crawford talking about his latest book: Wild History: journeys into lost Scotland at Toppings Bookshop in Edinburgh. The only place in Ardnamurchan in the book is a Viking boat burial in Swordle Bay on the north coast of the peninsula. He says that the name Swordle is derived from a Norse word for ‘green valley. The Vikings arrived at some point in the 10th century and buried the boat and one dead member. This was not discovered until 2011. We will not be able to get round there on this trip.