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www.scottishhills.com :: View topic - 272. Laid to Hope Bridge
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272. Laid to Hope Bridge

 
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OwdJockey
Big Grey Man
Big Grey Man


Joined: Aug 31, 2007
Posts: 4023
Location: Telford, Shropshire

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: 272. Laid to Hope Bridge Reply with quote

TRIP REPORT: Show trip details

272. Laid to Hope Bridge - 13th June, 2019

I had spent the night in the car, in a small off-road parking slot that shielded me from the worst of the winds at the head of Loch Eriboll. I wanted to get an early start on the road, so was up and away by 06:30.

Todayís walk was along the A838 and because of the absence of public transport I would have to do an out and back using my bike. The early start would mean I would have the road to myself for the first couple of hours, before the NC500 brigade finished their breakfasts and put foot/hand to throttle. I must admit I don't mind road walking, itís generally dry underfoot and you can make good progress as well as enjoying some amazing scenery, itís just when you are constantly verge-hopping that it becomes a pain. I drove to a small pull-in I had detected on Streetview on the open moor about a mile east of Hope Bridge. This would be point where I would set off across the moorland towards Whiten Head on my next walk, but today was getting around Loch Eriboll. I got the bike out of the car and set off back down the road towards Laid.

I arrived in Laid, by the tea rooms and immediately turned around. The weather had improved slightly with a drop in wind, but the persistent showers continued. I started pushing my bike along the A838 towards Hope Bridge. Most of the higher hills around me where still cloaked in cloud. I started thinking and planning how I would tackle the remaining sections to John O'Groats. It looked like for most of the way I could keep off the main road and after reaching Tongue public transport would not become an issue.

After passing through the small hamlet of Eriboll and just approaching Ard Neakie, a small piece of land connected to the shore by a narrow isthmus, the camper vans and motorcycle convoys began. The road climbed steeply out of Loch Eriboll and eastwards down towards Loch Hope and Hope Bridge. By the time I reached my car I was soaked and a bit cheesed off.

I drove into Tongue to get a drink and contemplate what to do next. The persistent showers continued. As I waited in a car park on the Tongue Bridge, with the rain continuing and the forecast of more of the same tomorrow, I decided to call it a day and headed home.


Near the head of Loch Eriboll looking east



Cranstackie totally clouded out



Fish farm near Eriboll



Looking north up Loch Eriboll



A piebald Cob near Eriboll



Looking back down Loch Eriboll



Ard Neakie



Limekilns and small quarry on Ard Neakie



Looking down on Loch Ach'an Lochaidh from Torr na Bithe



At Hope Bridge looking towards Loch Hope



Looking back westwards towards Loch Hope


Distance today = 14.5 miles
Total distance = 4,926.5 miles


Route Map

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1JgqwgVAfhlEDeVRCZ0dSfiHOhv5BLeET&w=640&h=480]
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Squiz
Sir Hugh
Sir Hugh


Joined: Jun 20, 2008
Posts: 11356
Location: Fife

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had been wondering how you would find this bit of the walk. Daughter and I cursed at what seemed the totally unnecessary circuit of Loch Eriboll (why no bridge?) as we pedaled slowly towards Thurso in 1981. The populating of the area by petrol-heads had yet to come.
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Byrdman
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Joined: Dec 17, 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I first came to this area at the end of a Lands-End John O Groats ride after my A-levels. Doing a huge detour round the NW corner was the best bit of the whole trip. Unliike Squiz, I loved the detour to the head of Loch Eriboll. A special place.
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LB
Yeti
Yeti


Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: Aberdeen

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pity the weather postponed further progress especially as it is for you such a long way to travel.
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pinnacle
Walker
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Joined: May 17, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry you were unable to get more settled weather on this trip. A magnificent area we try to visit each year. From the head of Loch Eriboll I'm keen to try to walk to Achfary via Meall Horn. This would be a day for settled weather though!
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OwdJockey
Big Grey Man
Big Grey Man


Joined: Aug 31, 2007
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Location: Telford, Shropshire

Logged:
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Donalds: 89
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Sub 2000s: 23


PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Hi Pinnacle, this is a view from Meall Horn across to Foinavon (left), Cranstackie and Beinn Spoinnaidh (centre) and the head of of Loch Eriboll top right taken on a trip to both Arkle and Meall Horn back in 2012.

If you could arrange transport it would make an excellent traverse to travel from Loch Eriboll over Meall Horn and down doen to the Laxford Bridge road.
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