Dun Charlabhaigh.

Start. The Doune Braes Hotel.

Route. Doune Braes Hotel - A858 - Dun Charlabhaigh - A858 - Doune Braes Hotel.

Notes. Brochs are among Scotland's most impressive prehistoric buildings, they can be found all over the northwest of the country, it must be said in various states of decay, from piles of rubble to the excellent examples at Glenelg on the mainland, and Dun Charlabhaigh on the west coast of Lewis. These stone round houses date from about 2,300 to 1,900 years ago, primarily a dwelling place for the principle family in the area, probably built to reflect the prestige and status of their inhabitants. They would have provided some protection from spasmodic raiding but were primary places to live. Having said that the broch at Dun Charlabhaigh commands a fine defensive position.

You may have looked at the route map and wonder what's going on, the weather today was horrendous, eighty mile an hour winds driving horizontal rain in off the Atlantic Ocean. We originally went to the Butt Of Lewis and never even bothered getting out of the car, we're now in the eye of the storm so to speak. Finding ourselves at the Doune Braes Hotel for an early dinner we decided to don the walking boots first, attempt a short circular walk taking in Dun Charlabhaigh Broch, Loch an Duir , Loch Thonagro, Loch a' Charnain Mhor before making a short return over Carnan Mor.

We left the hotel heading north over the surface of the A858, after about a mile of road walking a sign directed us to Dun Charlabhaigh, we visited the broch before taking some local advice. It turned out we had two burns to ford and a good stretch of peaty ground to cross, not advisable after almost 24 hours of heavy rain. It must be said from our vantage point of the broch it didn't look that wet along our route, we re-traced our steps like the cowards we are. If you follow in our footfall the red trace is the route we intended to follow, I am assured the burns are crossed by stepping stones and under foot it's not normally too wet, and I know the Doune Braes Hotel serves exellent food at a reasonable price.

view route map.


Seen from the Visitors Centre, Dun Charlabhaigh Broch.

Seen from the restored remains of the Broch, Loch a Duir, Loch Rog an Ear with Great Bernara backed by the hills of Harris.

Looking to our intended route, across the outflow of Loch an Duir, then behind the dark ridge of Carnan Beag visiting two small lochens en route.

Looking to Carnan Beag over Loch an Duin.

Sue poses for a picture, the sun may be shining but the wind is howling and it's bloody freezing, welcome to May on Lewis.

Sue soaks up the views, Carnan Beag leading to Carnan Mor.

Dun Charlabhaigh Broch seen from the north.

The small community of Dun Charlabhaigh, a few modern bungalows and ruined croft's scattered along the lane to the head of Loch an Duin.

Viewing Chreag Mhor and the islands off the west coast of Lewis.

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