Walks preview

You must book your place in advance with the Leader. Members can access full details here using their password (those members who have yet to receive a password or need a reminder should contact the Secretary.)

Non-members should contact the Secretary.

Welcome to the summer walking program. As we move into a new phase of living with Covid, some things have changed, while others stay the same. Please read the following notes carefully.

Car Sharing

As many of you know, it used to be normal to meet at a rendezvous point (often the UHI offices on Ness Walk – the old Royal Infirmary building) before proceeding to share transport to the start of a walk. This reduced overall petrol use and parking congestion at the start point: it also allowed members with no transport to participate.

As Covid restrictions ease, we have to consider whether this practice should resume. There is no easy answer: Covid is still with us, and car-sharing carries a significantly higher risk of transmission than outdoor activities. New, more aggressive versions of the virus may yet appear.

Some of our walks (see programme) now specify a rendezvous point as well as a start point, which will facilitate car sharing. The ground rules are:

  • Walkers can still choose to travel directly to the start point (parking space permitting).
  • Drivers must not be pressurised to offer lifts. Those drivers (or transport bubbles) who choose not to share their car with others may prefer to travel direct to the start point to avoid awkwardness.
  • Neither the Leader not the Club can police Covid testing or vaccination status. Those who decide to car share do so at their own risk.
  • All walkers must pre-book with the Leader. Please say when booking whether you intend to meet at the rendezvous point or go directly to the start. You should aim to arrive 15 minutes or so before the advertised time.

Contribution to transport costs

When sharing a car, walkers should contribute to transport costs. The recommended rate has now increased to 30p per mile, divided among the number of occupants of the vehicle.

If you aren’t able to locate the starting point on an OS map, open http://streetmap.co.uk/ and enter the grid reference in the search field (2 letters, 6 digits, no spaces). It may also be possible to search on some Satnav devices – see manufacturer’s instructions.

Other information

Please click to access walk gradings and safety information.

Date: Sat 2nd July   Walk Grade:      A      
Start time: 09:30   
Title:  Shenavall Circuit
 OS:  19                         Grid ref: NH114850
Directions:  Tore roundabout A835 Ullapool/Dingwall to Maryburgh. Maryburgh roundabout A835 Ullapool to Braemore Junction.  Braemore Junction left for Dundonnell/Aultbea – approximately 12 miles Corrie Hallie, parking on right side of road – PARKING  VERY  LIMITED
Description: starting walking at 9.30am this fabulous, though strenuous circular walk commences at Corrie Hallie ascending steadily on rough tracks up Gleann Chaorachair to ford a stream (or alternatively via nearby foot bridge).  Tumbling waterfalls are visible in the distance before finally reaching a marker cairn at the top of the ascent and welcome coffee break.  Heading for the well-known Shenavall bothy and lunch there is a long and gradual descent requiring care in places.  We then head SE and easy walking taking us into Strath na Sealga and Achnegie.  A long, fairly steep, gradual ascent on good tracks then takes us up the northern slopes of the Strath eventually returning to the marker cairn of our outward route. Over the final two miles we descend and retrace out footsteps returning to Corrie Hallie, the  whole route having been among the most spectacular remote west coast mountain scenery.   The pace will be steady but comfortable.  Please bring a high energy snack to eat prior to starting the walk.  
Distance:  18.5kms   11.5 miles            Ascent: 740m 2427ft
Date: Sun 10th July                   Walk Grade:   A                    
Meet UHI 08:30 Start time: 10:15
Title:  Ben & Meall Horn
 OS:   17                           Grid ref: NC 800048
Description: From large wind farm traffic lay by at Bridge of Horn we take track up to loch, then rough path to summit of Ben Horn. Descend fairly steeply, then up and down Meall Horn, with another steepish heathery traversing descent to loch side. A lovely wee path takes us round anticlockwise to track
Distance:   9.5kms  6  miles            Ascent: 550m 1800 ft
 Date: Sat 16th July                             
Walk 1
Walk Grade:   A+          
Start time: 10:35
Title:  Fuar Tholl
 OS:   25                          Grid ref: NH003485
 Description: Fuar Tholl is a Corbett situated to the south of Ben Liath Mhor. Starting from Achnashellach Station crossing the rail line on a track heading WNW for a few hundred metres before taking a well worn path W that turns NW to N, leaving the forestry. After 1.2km with Ben Liath Mhor in front of us a path branches W. This crosses River Lair at a ford, not passable if river is in spate. The path heads roughly WSW for just over 3km to just past 705m spot height on OS map. From here heading S to approach Craig Mainnrichean on the steep western slopes. A short steep section takes us from 750 to 800m before following the ridge round past Mainreachan Buttress to the summit and trig point at 907m. Reverse route to return.The route has some stunning views with the cliffs of Sgorr Ruaidh and Fuar Tholl on the walk in and views right across Strath Carron from the summit.
This route is planned around train times from Inverness with the 0855 to Kyle of Lochalsh arriving at 1036. The last return train to Inverness is at 1805. To allow for the greatest chance of reaching summit for those taking the train, could those taking car please ensure they are ready to walk as soon as the train arrives.
Distance:  14.5kms    9 miles             Ascent:991m  3251 ft
Date: Sat 16th July   
Walk 2
Walk Grade:    C                      
Start time: 10:00              
Title:  Coylumbridge Loch an Eilein
 OS:  36                            Grid ref: NH915107
Description: From the beginning of the Lairig Ghru pass through moorland and Caledonian pine woods round Loch Gamhna, returning by and Whitewell and Tullochgrue. Good paths throughout .
Distance:  14.4kms   9 miles            Ascent: 152m 500 ft
Date: Sun 24th July              Walk Grade:    B                     
Start time: 09:30
Title:  Cnoc Croite na Moile and Loch nam Bonnach Circuit
 OS:   26                           Grid ref: NH527501
Description: Starting at Muir of Ord railway station we walk up Corry Road for about 2 miles until we reach the footpath to Ord Hill. A short climb takes us to the top where there is a trig point. Heading west we descend the hill by a different path which becomes quite faint in places. We pass through a gap in the trees and turn left at a clearing where there are supposed to be the remains of an Iron Age hut circle (although we could not find it!). A new forestry road has been constructed. We take this for a short distance before turning right through the trees and come down to a fence. Following this fence, we then cross it via a stile and walk above Loch nam Bonnach where we will have lunch. We continue through a gate along a path for a short distance before turning left on to a narrower path leading to a view of the Beauly Firth and the Kessock Bridge in the distance. This path eventually leads us back to the start of the footpath up the hill. We walk back down the road to the railway station.
Cars may not be required as the start point is Muir of Ord station so train travel might be possible depending on timetable.
Distance: 13.4kms 8.3  miles            Ascent: 373m  1224 ft
Date: Sat 30th July       Walk Grade:   C+       Meet UHI 08:45     Start time: 10:00
Title:  Munlochy to Inverness
 OS:      26                        Grid ref: NH646532
 Description: Meet at UHI at 08:45 and walk to the bus station and catch the No 26 bus at 0920. (bus passes optional!) Alighting in Munlochy, we follow the JoG Trail back to Inverness round Munlochy Bay. Skirting Ord Hill we cross the Kessock Bridge and back to the city via Stadium Road.
Distance:  14kms   8.7 miles            Ascent: 350m 1148 ft
Date: Sun 7th Aug                         Walk Grade:  C                     
Start time: 10:30 
Title: River Nairn and beach walk
OS: 27                                       Grid ref: NJ 885559
Description: Those travelling from Inverness have the option of travelling by train from Inverness train station.The train leaves at 10am and you are responsible for purchasing your own ticket. Alternatively, park at the playing fields off Mill Road, Nairn and meet us at 10:30am for our tea stop. We will take a gentle stroll up the river Nairn, crossing at Firhall Bridge and following the River Nairn circuit back towards the harbour. From here we will walk along the front and stop for lunch on the beach with time for sandcastles, skimming stones, and beach combing. We will return along the river path passing through the playing fields off Mill Road and returning to the train station in time for the 14:51 train to return to Inverness.
Distance: 7kms  4.5 miles            Ascent: 30m 100 ft
Date: Sat 13th Aug           Walk Grade:  B                    
Meet UHI time: 09:00
Title:  Orrin Wind farm walk
 OS:   26                         Grid ref: NH437544
Description: Park at the large entrance to the wind farm at the side of Loch Achonachie.  Ascend to the control building and then roughly 1.5kms of bog and heather stepping to the trig point.  Then a meandering leisurely return downhill among the turbines
Distance: 11kms  6.83 miles            Ascent: 360m   1181 ft
Date: Sun 21st Aug          Walk Grade:    A              
Meet: North Kessock Ferry Car Park, 07:30
Title:  Coire Lair & Easan Dorcha Circuit
 OS:       25                       Grid ref: NH 004483
 Description: Circular walk with good mountain views. We’ll walk up and over Coire Lair on a good stalkers path, down into a beautiful Scots pine wood and Easan Dorcha waterfall. Then a steady ascent through the Coulin Pass and return to start point, taking in views of Lochcarron and the sea.
Distance: 15kms  9.25 miles            Ascent: 560m 1800 ft
Date:  Sat 27th Aug     Walk Grade:  B        
Meet: 09:00 UHI       Start time: 10:00
Title:  Reverse walk of Ruthven Barracks Circular
 OS:  35                            Grid ref: NN 765995
Description: Walk starts at the  Ruthven Barracks car park. Walk short distance on road heading  to Knappoch, we turn up farm track heading to woods were we have good path. We then head for open ground over heather wet terrain until we pick up Argo track which leads between Creag nam Bodach and Creag Druim Gheallorgaidh, possible lunch stop. We  then carry on the track which can be quite wet in places until we meet a junction, when we keep left on good path but again can be very wet in places. We arrive at a ford which may require feetzs or rubble bags to be put on. Then a short distance back to the cars.
Distance:  12 kms   7.5miles            Ascent: 300m 1000ft
Date: Sun 4th Sept       Walk Grade:  B          
Meet 09:00 UHI      Start time: 10:00
Title:  Grantown to Nethybridge
 OS:     36                      Grid ref: NJ 035275
 Description: We park at Anagach Wood, along the lane beside the golf course.  From there we walk down to Spey bridge through Ladies Garden Wood and cross over the bridge.  The Speyside Way starts close to the old Smokehouse building, which we follow on a level, sometimes muddy track, to Nethy Bridge.  Good views and potential of wildlife.  Return on same route.
Distance:  18.5kms    11.5 miles         Ascent: m ft  negligible
Date: Sat 10th Sept               Walk Grade:    B                     
Start time: 10:00
Title:  Drynachan Circular
 OS:  27                        Grid ref: NH866397
Description:  Parking in field near Drynachan Lodge, we cross the River Findhorn and walk east along south bank as far as Dalbuie then uphill along good tracks. We then follow Rhilean Burn and windmill roads, passing by Carn Maol an Tailleir. na Sguabaich and Creag a Bhothain, back to starting point.
Distance:   14.5kms   9 miles            Ascent: 366m 1200 ft
Date: Sun 18th Sept                     Walk Grade:  B+                        
Start time: 10:00
Title:  2 Coires Circuit
 OS:    36                          Grid ref: NH 989060
Description: From ski centre car park we go into Coire an Lochan, retreat slightly to go round base of Fiacaill Ridge, then join lower path into Coire an’t Sneachda. We take the higher path out to join bottom section of Fiacaill a Choire Chais. Mostly good path but some rough walking, including boulders, and hopefully terrific views.
Distance: 11kms  7  miles            Ascent: 400m  1300 ft
Fri 23rd  – 26th Sept Weekend away. Details to follow
Date: Sun 2nd Oct                    Walk Grade:  B+                     
Meet 09:00 UHI         Start time: 10:00
Title:  Stac Gorm and Loch Ruthven
 OS:      35                        Grid ref: NH 638281
Description: Park at RSPB car park at Loch Ruthven. A short sharp climb to the top of Stac Gorm with some scrambling over big steps is followed by some fine views at the summit. We take a ridge walk to top of Craig Ruthven then a scrambling descent to the shores of the loch. The path back to the car park can be muddy. 
Distance: 10kms   6 miles            Ascent: 300m   1000ft
Date: Sat 8th Oct         Walk Grade:  C    
Meet UHI 09:00            Start time: 10:00
Title:  Wildcat Trail Newtonmore
 OS:  35                        Grid ref: NN 716984
 Description: A circular, waymarked route that feels much more “out in the wilds” than it actually is. Very varied terrain (riverside, ravine, woods, open country with good views) on good paths. Some steep sections but they’re short. Start/finish at Newtonmore railway station (patchy train service, parking available but please don’t block local houses). Cross the railway and walk to River Spey, following it upstream until it divides, then following River Calder through a narrow ravine, climbing past Banchor Cemetery to open country. Then through alternating woods and open country with good views above Newtonmore to Strone (on this section, a slight detour to a good viewpoint over the Spey valley is worthwhile). Drop down past the Highland Folk Museum to the River Spey again, following it to where the original path leads back to the railway station.
Distance:   10.25kms   6.25miles            Ascent: 122m  400ft
Date:  Sun 16th Oct   Walk Grade: C+    
Meet time: UHI 09:00   Start time: 10:00
Title:  Achederson, Aultgowrie to Hangman’s Cottage.
 OS:   26                           Grid ref: NH 478516
Description: Walk begins at Aultgowrie Farmhouse, parking for 6 cars, so car sharing advisable. Walk a short distance on road towards Achederson. Gradual ascent on tracks and path on Fairburn Estate. Muddy in places, gaiters advisable, also poles. River crossing to reach cottage. If river is high it maybe a difficult crossing. Change of footwear or feetz recommended. Interesting display in outbuildings explaining the history of the settlement. Fine views over Black Isle on descent.
Distance: 14kms   9 miles            Ascent: 250m  830 ft
Sat 22nd Oct Chris Birt    Details to follow
Date:30th Oct                 Walk Grade:   C                      
Start time: 10:00
Title:  Culbokie, Findon and Oakwood Walks
 OS:    26/21                         Grid ref: NH 611598
Description: Starting at the car park at the end of Culbokie village, beside the football pitch we enter Culbokie Wood. Soon coming to the wee Lochan and then walking on varied paths through the wood till we reach the remains of a Dun in Glasgairn Wood. A good coffee stop! Then after a loop we partially retrace our steps through the wood to a tarred road, with lovely views over to Ben Wyvis, we pass the old grain mill and enter Findon wood and following a burn till we come to the waterfall. Continuing through the mixed wood, walking down onto the Cromarty road we enter a further ancient woodland running down beside the Findon burn and tide permitting we will have lunch on the beach! Then retrace our steps back up through the woods and back to our cars. This is a linear walk with a couple of loops, and half mile of road walking on quiet roads, split into 4 short sections, between the woods.
Distance:   10.5kms  6.5 miles            Ascent: 153m  500 ft