Trek the Cape Wrath Trail with a Cicerone guide

Cover of The Cape Wrath Trail
Availability
Published
Published
10 Apr 2013
ISBN
9781852846671
Edition
First
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
Weight
250g
Pages
176
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The Cape Wrath Trail

by Iain Harper
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook for walking this long-distance trek through the Scottish Highlands from Fort William to Cape Wrath. The Cape Wrath Trail is a 200 mile, three-week challenge through wild and magnificent landscapes, such as Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt. Crossing such empty country, it is for the experienced backpacker only.

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Description

Widely regarded as the toughest backpacking trail in Britain, the Cape Wrath Trail is a 3-week, 200-mile epic from Fort William to the most north-westerly point of the mainland, crossing real wilderness and rugged terrain. Winding through beautiful glens, lochs and mountains, it takes you through some of Scotland’s finest country including Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, before a spectacular finale at Cape Wrath.

The inspiring sights range from the deep blue mirrors of hidden lochs to the unkempt expanse of mountain and moor, to the final cliff-top view of pewter sea. To reach them you will travel on ancient drover paths, through forested glens and across quintessential Highland bogs.

The Cape Wrath Trail offers an unparalleled level of freedom and adventure to an experienced trekker; with flexible routes, camping and days spent in inaccessible wilderness.

A cautionary note – it is with some justification that Cape Wrath is regarded as Britain’s toughest backpacking trail. It crosses rough, unforgiving parts of Scotland that should not be underestimated. There are no pack-carrying services and often there are not even any clear paths, only bogs and leg-sapping terrain. Limited re-supply points require self-sufficiency for much of the journey, and there will be stretches during which you’ll need to carry many days’ supplies. This is absolutely not a route for beginners or those unfamiliar with remote, rugged mountain areas.

This guidebook describes the route in detail over 14 stages, although the route may well take three weeks to complete. The guide covers information about all the facilities and accommodation options en route, as well as guidance on preparation, planning and navigation. It offers a wide range of variations, recognising that there can be no definitive path suitable for all.

  • 14 main stages described, with 6 alternative options
  • illustrated with OS map extracts and profiles
  • includes full information about bothies along the route
  • Seasons
    April, May and June are ideal months to walk the trail. September and October are also good, but there may be diversions due to deer stalking and military operations at the cape. In July and August the days are superbly long and the weather can be fine, but midges will be in full flight. The limited accommodation along the trail may also be booked at this time of year
  • Centres
    Fort William, Glenfinnan, Barisdale, Kinloch Hourn, Shiel Bridge, Strathcarron, Kinlochewe, Dundonnell, Ullapool, Bridge of Orchy, Inchnadamph, Kylesku, Rhiconich, Kinlochbervie, Durness
  • Difficulty
    The Cape Wrath Trail is regarded as the toughest long distance backpacking trail in Britain. It crosses remote, sparsely populated, potentially dangerous mountain country. There are no pack carrying services and often there are not even any clear paths. Limited re-supply points require self sufficiency for many days together. Not a route for beginners or those unfamiliar with remote, rugged mountain areas
  • Must See
    Glenfinnan monument and viaduct, the gloriously remote rough bounds of Knoydart, Barisdale, Forcan ridge, Falls of Glomach, Beinn Eighe, Lochan Fada, Shenavall, An Teallach, Glen Douchary, Glen Oykel, Ben More, Glencoul, Arkle, Foinaven, Sandwood Bay, Cape Wrath lighthouse
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Contents

Contents
Introduction
Geology and wildlife
Getting there
Getting around
When to go
Accommodation
Safety
Emergencies
Money and communications
Preparation and planning
What to take
Waywarking and access
Maps and navigation
Using this guide
1 Fort William to Strathcarron
Stage 1 Fort William to Glenfinnan
Stage 2 Glenfinnan to Glen Dessarry
Stage 3 Glen Dessarry to Barisdale
Stage 4 Barisdale to Morvich (near Shiel Bridge)
Alternative Stage 1 Fort William to Laggan
Alternative Stage 2 Laggan to Cluanie
Alternative Stage 3 Cluanie to Morvich (near Shiel Bridge)
Stage 5 Morvich (near Shiel Bridge) to Strathcarron
2 Strathcarron to Inverlael (near Ullapool)
Stage 6 Strathcarron to Kinlochewe
Alternative Stage 6 Bendronaig to Kinlochewe
Stage 7 Kinlochewe to Strath na Sealga
Stage 8 Strath na Sealga to Inverlael (near Ullapool)
3 Inverlael to Cape Wrath
Stage 9 Inverlael (near Ullapool) to Oykel Bridge
Alternative Stage 9 Ullapool to Oykel Bridge
Stage 10 Oykel Bridge to Inchnadamph (or Loch Ailsh)
Stage 11 Inchnadamph to Glendhu
Alternative Stage 11 Loch Ailsh to Glendhu
Stage 12 Glendhu to Rhiconich
Stage 13 Rhiconich to Sandwood Bay
Stage 14 Sandwood Bay to Cape Wrath
 
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C Shops, cafés and Post Offices
Appendix D Useful websites
Appendix E Maps
Appendix F Further reading
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