Friday, 21 September 2012

A Short Circular Walk from Mallaig

Friday 21st September

A wander around Mallaig harbour and short walk into the hills behind the village, followed by a trip to the Silver Sands of Morar in the afternoon.

Distance: 4.5km; Ascent:140m; Sunny; with Isabel

It was Lynsey's turn for a day's Munro bagging today and she had chosen the lone peak of Gulvain, so therefore I planned a short morning's walk with Isabel.  The handy Highland Council brochure: "Walks around Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig" had a pleasant sounding short walk from Mallaig entitled "The Circular Walk".  The tracks all sounded good, so I decided to see if it was suitable for the ATP.

Mallaig Harbour
As Lynsey had the car, we took the morning train from Morar into Mallaig with the intention of walking back to Morar after our walk round Mallaig (as the trains aren't particularly frequent and it's only 4km on foot).  We had a slow wander (Isabel was walking) around the harbour to the viewpoint, where we spent a while watching boats coming and going (including the Skye and Knoydart ferries).

Mallaig Harbour in front of the Skye Cuillin and Blaven
The Calmac Ferry Coming Back From Skye
After twenty minutes or so we continued with our walk, now with Isabel in her pushchair, along the quiet minor road that leads to Malaig Bheag.  The views were good as we gained height above the sea and soon we could see Inverie and part of Knoydart.

Eigg and Rum from the Minor Road to Malaig Bheag
Knoydart from Malaig Bheag
In Malaig Bheag we left the road at a clear signpost to follow a vehicle track for a few hundred metres, before forking off onto a stony path.  The going was OK, although I did have to lock the front wheel due to the rockiness in places.  I had previously inspected the other end of this path and found it finishes down a narrow section, complete with a few steps, which looked like it would be much easier to come down with an ATP rather than go up!  Hence why we were doing the walk in this direction :-)

The Circular Walk Through the Hills
The Circular Walk meets a New Path
Shortly after passing the high point of the track I came upon an unexpected track junction with a very new looking gravel path.  Thinking that this might just lead to a viewpoint at the top of the small hill nearby, I took it but was pleasantly pleased to discover that it offered an alternative route back into Mallaig; hence we followed it.

Eigg, Rum and Mallaig Harbour
The path deposited us in the middle of a housing estate, but it was an easy matter to follow the various roads and paths back down to the harbour.  Again there were excellent views across to Eigg and Rum.  Upon reaching the village centre, there was a bus waiting at the bus stop.  Concluding that this almost certainly would go to Morar (given the lack of roads in any other direction!), I asked the driver if he could put the pushchair in the boot (as it was a coach rather than a local bus) and a few minutes later he dropped us off back in Morar.

Eigg, Rum and Mallaig Harbour
Later that afternoon we went out for another wander, this time down to the Silver Sands of Morar for an hour or so.  Here's a couple of photos from the afternoon:

River Morar
Silver Sands of Morar

N.B. 30/10/12 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 21/09/12, (from 30/09/12)

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