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Looking across the bay to Gairloch from the headland between the beach and the harbour
Looking across the bay to Gairloch from the headland between the beach and the harbour

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Route No. 823 - Tuesday 29 September 2020
Gaineamh Mhor, headland to Gairloch Harbour,
return along the roadside footpath - 2.3km circuit
Gairloch, Wester Ross, Scotland . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 434 Gairloch & Loch Ewe

Note: this walk can easily be joined to route no 824
to make a walk of about 6.5km

Setting off from the car park along the path to the beach
Setting off from the car park along the path to the beach

This week my wife and I are staying in a holiday cottage overlooking Lock Ewe on the north western coast of Scotland. The scenery is wonderful with the shapes of the craggy mountains all around us. This morning we drove over the ridge from Poolewe to Gairloch and parked, opposite Gairloch Church of Scotland, in the car park next to Gairloch beach, called Gaineamh Mhor or 'Great Sands' at map ref. NG 807 756.

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Path from the car park to the beach
Path from the car park to the beach

Crossing the beach to the sea
Crossing the beach to the sea

Heading south across the beach
Heading south across the beach

As we neared the far end of the beach we could see a few steps up off the beach with a red life belt on a stand at the top of the steps. At the top of the steps there was the path across the dunes that could be used if the beach is flooded by the tide.

We followed the path from the car park down to the beach. The tide was well out and so we walked across the sands near the water's edge. (If the tide is in there is a path along the dunes) There were many dead jellyfish left on the sand by the ebbing tide.

At the beach
At the beach

Hooded Crow on the beach
Hooded Crow on the beach

One of many dead jellyfish stranded on the beach
One of many dead jellyfish stranded on the beach

Steps from the beach to the path up the headland
Steps from the beach to the path up the headland

There was a good path leading up the headland
There was a good path leading up the headland

Boardwalk into the trees
Boardwalk into the trees

There were even sign posts on the path
There were even sign posts on the path

Almost at the top of the headland
Almost at the top of the headland

After a while the path led us out of the trees to some open rocky ground on top of the headland with a fine view of Gairloch across the bay.

We turned right to follow the path starting to climb up the headland. We continued up the path to the trees near the top of the headland where there was a board walk over some rough wet ground through the trees.

Clear path leading us up to the trees
Clear path leading us up to the trees

Still a good path through the trees
Still a good path through the trees

Almost at the top of the headland
Almost at the top of the headland

At the top
At the top

Looking across the bay from the top of the headland
Looking across the bay from the top of the headland

Srating the descent to the harbour
Starting the descent to the harbour

The wooded bank was very pretty in the sunshine
The wooded bank was very pretty in the sunshine

A glimpse of the pier at the harbour
A glimpse of the pier at the harbour

Nearing the bottom of the descent to the harbour
Nearing the bottom of the descent to the harbour

We emerged from the trees through a yard onto the road by Gairloch Harbour. At the road we turned left to walk along the road. There was a cafe up some steps on our left where we stopped (complete with our face masks against the virus) for our lunch.

We followed the path across the top of the headland to the trees on the far side where the path began to descend through the trees towards the harbour. It was quite a long descent with some steps at the steepest point.

The descent was quite steep in places
The descent was quite steep in places

The wooded bank was very pretty in the sunshine
The wooded bank was very pretty in the sunshine

We kept to the right hand fork going downhill
We kept to the right hand fork going downhill

Steps to the yard by the road at the harbour
Steps to the yard by the road at the harbour

Cafe at the roadside where we stopped for lunch
Cafe at the roadside where we stopped for lunch

Harbour road heading for the junction with the A832
Harbour road heading for the junction with the A832

Golf links to the left of the road
Golf links to the left of the road

The golf links between the road and the beach
The golf links between the road and the beach

From the road junction we turned left to walk along the roadside footway back to the car park above the beach and the end of our walk. The whole route was only 2.3km but it was a very pretty and enjoyable walk.

After our lunch we continued along the road to the junction with the A832. (At the road junction there is a car park opposite where route824 starts and ends ( there will be a link here soon). That route can be added to today's route for a longer walk.)

The A832 heading back to the car park
The A832 heading back to the car park

The A832 heading back to the car park
The A832 heading back to the car park

Gairloch Church of Scotland opposite the car park entrance
Gairloch Church of Scotland opposite the car park entrance

Returning to the beach car park at the end of our walk
Returning to the beach car park at the end of our walk

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