An Ard, Gairloch Beach and Flowerdale.

Start. Gairloch Golf Club.

Route. Gairloch Golf Club - Gairloch Beach - An Dun - An Ard - Charlestown - Flowerdale - Ord na h-Eaglaise - Cemetery - Gairloch Golf Club.

Notes. This short walk gifts the lucky rambler with a wee slice of everything the coast of Wester Ross has to offer. Way-marked paths guided us through woodland, flower meadows and stunning coastal scenery, a short visit to a working harbour and an ancient fort, possibly Viking, all this and wonderful views on another rare sunny Highland day.

We parked on the public car park at Gairloch Golf Club, easily found on a sharp bend between Charlestown and Gairloch, if you approach the corner too fast you'll easily find it, just slide into a vacant parking space. From the car park a board walk path lead down to the beach, with sand under foot we headed south (left) towards the rocky outcrop of An Dun, site of an ancient fort. An easy ascent of An Ard followed, this small scrub and birch covered hill gifted us with wonderful views over Loch Gairloch and south to the mountains of Torridon, dominating the scene the dark mass of Baosbhein. After a short descent we stepped onto tarmac at Charlestown, a perfect opportunity for lunch in the Harbour Lights Café.

Lunch over we left the harbour, crossing the main road before striding out on the path into Flowerdale, after passing a pond a finger-post invited us to walk the Flowerdale Arboretum Circuit, we obliged ascending through a pine plantation, green way-markers guided us to the summit of Ord na h-haglaise to be greeted by a bench, gifting us with stunning views out to sea over the lush green links of Gairloch Golf Club. The bench accommodated us a while before we descended through woodland alive with rhododendrons, emerging from the trees into a wonderful flower meadow, after crossing the meadow we turned left, a good path guided us along the edge of the meadow, passed the cemetery then back to the parked car.

view route map.


Heading to the beach.

Looking to An Dun "The Fort" with the hills above Badachro dark across the skyline.

Viewing the white washed houses of Strath and Gairloch across the waters of Loch Gairloch.

Gairloch Beach looking to the craggy face of Meall Achadh Deisteil.

Stunning views across Loch Gairloch.

An Dun at the western end of Gairloch Beach, once a hill fort believed to have been Viking.

Just drinking in the views from the summit of An Ard, the mountains of Torridon with the dark wedge of Baosbhein dominating the scene.

In the other direction, An Dun with Gairloch and Strath on the far shore of the loch.

To the west melting into the horizon, the Isle of Skye.

Charlestown Harbour, once a prolific cod fishery, fish were processed before being transported to Badachro for drying and exporting to Spain, sadly the cod have gone, crab, lobster and prawn are the principle catch now, also exported to Spain.

Looking to An Groban above Flowerdale.

Viewing the old road bridge with Flowerdale House peering through the trees behind,

The waters of Abhainn Ghlas backed by An Groban.

The pond marks the entrance to Flowerdale.

Ascending Ord na h-Eaglaise to be greeted by .....

.....this view, Loch Gairloch over Gairloch Golf Course.

They used to be a lot of this stuff growing in the lanes and waste land around my home, I haven't seen any for years, wild rhubarb or butterbur because the leaves were once used to wrap pats of butter.

Flowerdale looking south.

My back garden looks like this!, with a few brambles thrown in, a little slice of home in Scotland.

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