Castle Tioram and the Silver Trail.

Start. Castle Tioram car park

Route. Castle Tioram car park - Castle Tioram - Cil Doirlinn - The Silver Walk - Sgriobaid Dubh - Briagh - Lochan na Fola - Dam - Bealach Sgairt Dea-uisge - Castle car park.

Notes. I thought this was a superb short walk, starting at a mighty keep accessible only at low water, cliff paths guided us safely along the shore of Loch Moidart on a route known as The Silver Walk. The Silver Walk gets it's name from a hoard of Elizabethan coins unearthed during the construction of the path. We trekked through small water courses lined with alder, birch, ash and willow, over moorland and heathland, visited the deserted settlement of Briaigh, cleared in 1846 to make way for a large sheep farm, the people may have gone but the settlement they were evicted from remains, giving an incite into a past way of life.

Our day started after what seemed like a long two mile drive over the surface of a narrow tarmac road, the public car park at the conclusion of said road marked our starting point. North along the foreshore track we wandered, passed Cul Doirlinn House to access the tidal strip that allows for a dry shod approach to the castle, it was still partially submerged, so we continued round the corner to join a superb path honed from the cliff face sometime in the 19th century, this was part of The Silver Walk.

Above Loch Moidart we walked this wonderful path under foot, exposed in places this superb path guided us to to a stoney beach, here a small cairn marked a path junction. We turned our backs on the loch ascending through birch and oak woods, this narrow path guided us to Briaigh or Briaig, you choose. A small cluster of houses and animal shelters, the inhabitants evicted in 1846 by the lairds who should have been caring for them, a poignant reminder of a past way of life, there are many such reminders across the Highlands and Islands.

We continued climbing, a cairn with wonderful views marked the head of the bealach (col), our descent route guided us to two small lochan's, on reaching the first, Lochan na Fola we turned right, passed a splendid example of a hawthorn tree to access a narrow valley. The most technical section of the whole walk followed, a narrow traverse on a path skirting the shore of a small reservoir, without taking a dip we reached the outflow. Down hill all the way back from here, a stoney path and redundant pipeline to guide us. Through woodland of mainly alder, birch, ash and willow we descended, gaps in the trees gifted us with wonderful views to The Small Isles, we soon spilled out onto the narrow road we drove in on, the short walk back over tarmac was an equal delight, a good day had by both, it was now time to visit the castle.

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The gaunt ruins of Castle Tioram stand proud on Eilean Tioram (the Dry Island).

This small bay marks the start of The Silver Walk, the path cuts along the cliff face above the high water line, it's not visible but take my word it's there, and it's a fabulous walk.

Loch Moidart on view from near Castle Tioram.

There's a lot going on in this picture, that's Sue eager to stretch her legs along the shore of Loch Moidart.

Strategically placed, there has been a castle on this island where the waters of the River Shiel and Loch Moidart meet since the 11th century.

Sue strides out above the waters of Loch Moidart.

Cruach na Cuilidh Bige seen over Loch Moidart.

On a beautiful Highland day views over Loch Moidart to Glenuig Hill.

We stopped for our lunch here, a perfect spot to view the islands in Loch Moidart.

Clinging to a reassuring path, ascending through woodland of birch with this view to look back on.

Whispers of a lost generation, the cleared settlement of Briagh.

Exploring the ruins of Briagh with this view across Loch Moidart for company.

This cairn marks the top of the bealach, another excuse to stop and drink in magnificent views.

Descending to Lochan na Fola with Loch Blain peeping through the trees.

Unnamed dam with stunning views through Bealach Sgairt Dea-uisge.

A jaw-dropping view from the start of our descent, the nearer and darker Meall Bun na-h-Aibhne, with the much easier to pronounce Carn Mor rising behind, on the far horizon The Small Isles.

A gap in the trees gifts us with this wonderful view, the mouth of Loch Moidart with Eigg visible over the shoulder of Eilean Shona.

Back in the trees for the final descent to the valley bottom.

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