Tuesday, 15 March 2016

South of the Lighthouse

To the south of the lighthouse lies a great expanse of wild, empty land visited by no-one except the occasional walker and the person who makes these stone monuments which resemble the Inuit people's 'inukshuk' figures. They've been erected beside the small, lonely white sand beach which can be seen from the lighthouse.

We walked south along this coast yesterday in summer weather - the thermometer in our front garden topped 18C. This is Port Min, a deep bay with its own little sand beach which, in the days of sail, must have been a welcome haven for sailors who were caught in a sudden squall off the point.

Beyond the beach is a ridge which runs for a couple of miles forming a rim around the southwest coast of Ardnamurchan, one of the many high points which had a name which, sadly, wasn't recorded on the OS maps.

Port Min is one of those wonderfully peaceful places, somewhere to sit and let time slip by, disturbed by nothing except the slop of the waves on the beach and the occasional call of a sea bird.

The bay wasn't always like this. The remains of a house stand just to the south of it, and the land which today is grass close-cropped by the few sheep that wander the area was once worked for crops.

From Port Min it's a steep climb to the top of the un-named ridge from which there are superb views north across the lighthouse to Rum, Muck, Eigg and Skye. Although the lighthouse occupies the 'Point of Ardnamurchan', the blunt headland in the foreground, Corrachadh Mor, is the most westerly point on the British mainland. The beach of Port Min is visible at right, and the hill beyond it is Beinn Buidhe.

A well-worn sheep track runs along the summit of the ridge, and can be followed all the way round to the next bay, An Acairseid, which was once the port for the small settlement of Reidh-dhail; and, if one cares to keep walking, there's not a fence between Reidh-dhail and the common grazings boundary fence of Ormsaigbeg.


  1. An early OS map names the ridge as Garbhlach Mhor. Jon

  2. Thanks Jon. Love to read your diary which allows me back to a place I long to be. Due our 10th trip back to Ardnamurchan next year. I shall add that little bay as list to do.
    Louise x

  3. Hi Jon. Another regular visitor & viewer here. Thanks for keeping this going. It's so good to be reminded how special Ardnamurchan is. This looks like a great walk for my visit in June too. John.

  4. Many thanks to both of you for your kind comments - much appreciated. Yes, this is a super walk, definitely one for a day when you have lots of time. Jon