Thursday, 21 April 2011


With our family visiting from Suffolk, we walked yesterday across the hills to the village of Bourblaige. Bourblaige is an eerie place, particularly on a grey, overcast day, for all around are the memories of the people who were evicted around 1829, their homes destroyed by the Factor's men to free the land for sheep farming.

Many of the houses, however small, show evidence that their interiors were divided by walls built of stone. The one above seems to have been separated into three rooms. This is very much at odds with descriptions The Diary has read of traditional houses.

While the life for Bourblaige's inhabitants must have been hard, one cannot imagine a more beautiful place to live, for around every corner there are views - this one looking from the village to the entrance of the bay at Camas nan Geall, and on down Loch Sunart to the hills of Morvern.

A small stream which rises on the slopes of Ben Hiant and would have served the people for water, passes through the centre of the village and follows this valley to the sea. Its banks are decorated at this time of year with masses of primroses and the sound of its small waterfalls is ever-present.

Having picnicked in the village we walked down to a mirror-calm sea, and along the beach towards Camas nan Geall. With the tide low, the rocks that form the wave-cut platform were exposed. These are Moinian schists and gneisses, rocks over a billion years old, which show the most wonderful fold structures formed when the area was uplifted as part of a great mountain chain.

For those ladies amongst The Diary's readers who worry about this year's out-door fashion, grand-daughter Hebe is seen here modelling the latest in hill-walking outfits.

This walk, and many others, is described in one of our booklets, Walks Around West Ardnamurchan. For each walk, the booklet suggests a route to be followed and gives a history of the places passed through.

Booklets are available form most retailers on West Ardnamurchan.

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