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www.scottishhills.com :: View topic - 275. Bettyhill to Coldbackie
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275. Bettyhill to Coldbackie

 
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OwdJockey
Big Grey Man
Big Grey Man


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

Logged:
Munros: 282
Corbetts: 221
Grahams: 36
Donalds: 89
New Donalds: 118
Sub 2000s: 23


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:04 am    Post subject: 275. Bettyhill to Coldbackie Reply with quote

TRIP REPORT: Show trip details

275. Bettyhill to Coldbackie - 27th June, 2019

The heatwave forecast for the UK finally hit the far north of Scotland as I woke up to clear blue skies. As I was staying in Thurso, I had a long drive over to Coldbackie to catch the #803 bus service to Bettyhill. The minibus was full of school children on their way to Farr High School in Bettyhill.

After getting off the bus in Bettyhill I set off down the A836 for the short distance to the bridge over the River Naver. Immediately after crossing over the bridge I went through a gate and headed along the river out towards the estuary. The tide was well out, revealing large sand banks / dunes and unusual flora. Although I could have walked around the headland into the next bay, I opted to walk and over the Druim Chuibhe which I thought would be quicker. Descending into the next bay I could see most of the landmarks that would take me on towards Skerray. I could see the footbridge over the River Borgie, but not the bridge (which was not marked on the map) for a small stream that I also needed to cross. I was finding it very difficult to even get down to the stream, as the bracken and gorse seemed to block all ways forward. I followed the small burn upstream for about 600m before I was able to get past the bracken and gorse. I was really annoyed at not being able to find the bridge. As I retraced my steps, but on the opposite bank I was able to see the bridge amongst the bracken and gorse.


Looking acros to Torrisdale Bay from Bettyhil



Heading to the bridge over the River Naver



Heading up the shore of the River Naver



Heading across the Torrisdale Estuary



Looking down on The River Naver from Druim Chiubhe



Looking towards Skerray across The River Borgie from the Druim Chuibhe



Looking out towards Torrisdale Bay



Crossing The River Borgie



Looking out towards Torrisdale Bay

I joined a narrow road that was very quiet. The sun was now very hot and I started to think about my water consumption, I decided the remaining 500ml would see me to the end of the walk. I passed through a myriad of tiny hamlets including Skerray, Torrisdale, Torroy, Lamoig and Strathan. Skerray was the largest settlement, with a Post Office doubling up as an Art Gallery. I was also amazed to see that Skerray also had street lighting. I hopped between footpaths, green lanes and roads as I passed through these hamlets.


Vintage sign in Skerray



Street lighting in Skerray



Multi-functional establishment in Skerray



Verdant scenery near Skerray

I eventually arrived at Strathan, where I donned my walking boots before setting off along a marked path out to the ruins of Sletell. Although the settlement may have been initially 'Cleared', the hamlet was certainly re-settled, as the last occupant of the three crofts left in 1960. An impressive iron cooking hearth was still set within one of the croft's chimneys. Researching Sletell later at the B&B there are a number of geocaches at the site, including written memories of someone who actually lived there! I wish I had known at the time. Itís always very poignant, for me, when visiting these ruined houses, be they 'cleared' or abandoned, as they were once somebodyís home.


Looking towards Port an t-Strathain



Looking westwards to Melness and Ben Hutig across the Rabbit Islands



Ruined croft at Sletell



Sletell



Fireplace and stove at Sletell

I climbed south away from Sletell and picked up a sheep track. The views over Tongue Bay towards Melness were amazing. The path came and went and I had to climb to get around a geo with very impressive cliffs. I descended across grassy terrain to arrive at the end of the public road at Skullomie. I could see my car parked in a layby about 600m away across a small v-shaped valley. I picked up a marked footpath which had Coldbackie 1km away. Unfortunately, for the second time on this walk I failed to pick up a small bridge which was heavily covered in vegetation. I ended up walking 2km to get back to Coldbackie. A tough walk today but some fantastic scenery.


Looking back at Sletell



The island of Eileann nan Ron



Heading south along Tongue Bay with Ben Hope in the far distance



Heading towards Skullomie



Heading towards Skullomie



Looking across to Coldbackie with the impressive peak of Cnoc an Fhreiceadain behind


Distance today = 14 miles
Total distance = 4,981 miles



Route Map
[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1r5WZ4D68k_MtlhFLfahfuyNf6EY5Or9r&w=640&h=480]
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Byrdman
Mountaineer
Mountaineer


Joined: Dec 17, 2012
Posts: 1190
Location: Ilkley

Logged:
Munros: 272 (2nd round)
Corbetts: 84
Grahams: 0
Donalds: 6
New Donalds: 6
Sub 2000s: 0


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there's Ben Hope again!

The stove and fireplace warrant a respectful bow of the head.
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OwdJockey
Big Grey Man
Big Grey Man


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

Logged:
Munros: 282
Corbetts: 221
Grahams: 36
Donalds: 89
New Donalds: 118
Sub 2000s: 23


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I touched the mantle piece wondering what was ever placed on there....candles, photos etc.....This particular croft was different or affluent having decorative granite corner stones and lintels. The mantle piece is granite also.

Ben Loyal and Ben Hope seem to be prevalent in most of my shots on this trip. Did'nt see a thing when I climbed Ben Hope 16 years ago. Very Happy Very Happy
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vuirich
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Joined: Mar 28, 2010
Posts: 1770
Location: South Lanarkshire

Logged:
Munros: 95 (2nd round)
Corbetts: 50
Grahams: 70
Donalds: 89
New Donalds: 118
Sub 2000s: 165


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice coastal scenery, and some fine beaches.

Nearly 5,000 miles. Very Happy Cool
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