Sunday, 15 January 2017

Fascadale in the Drizzle

On a day of persistent low cloud and blown drizzle, we drove to the north shore of the peninsula, to Achateny, the site of one of Ardnamurchan's clachans which was cleared in the mid-nineteenth century to make way for a sheep farm - the picture shows the farm buildings and the two houses, left, both of which are available to rent from Ardnamurchan Estate. There's a history of Achateny on the new Heritage Ardnamurchan site here.

It not being a day for the hills, we walked along the road which winds its way westwards from Achateny to Fascadale. For most of its distance it runs through birch woodland with, to the right.... extensive area of flat land between it and the sea cliffs, from where a small group of hinds watched us, and....

....the hills to the left, their summits lost in low cloud.

It's a pretty walk even in the rain, with the burns in spate - we've had 25mm of rain in the last twenty-four hours - and plenty to notice, like the witch's broom hanging in the trees.

Fascadale too used to be the site of a clachan and, after it was cleared, the site of a large salmon fishing operation. Today, the place is deserted except for three Estate letting houses - this one, emerging out of the mist, is Fascadale Cottage.

Beyond the cottage is Fascadale bay. We walked to a small headland near the cottage which has an unusually well-built cairn on it, from where one can....

....look into the bay. At the back of the beach is the ice house once used to keep the salmon fresh until they could be transported to market, beyond which are the other two Estate houses. This was as far as we had intended to walk so we were about to turn back when, looking down....

....we saw an otter below us with a large crab in its mouth.

The Ardnamurchan Estate website is here.


  1. The cairn at Fascadale was raised in memory of Mark James who had the salmon fisheries in the 80/90s and who disappeared, presumed drowned, off Rubha Aird Druimnich on Thursday, August 29th 1991

  2. Many thanks, westernfalcon - I didn't know that. It's a fine memorial. Jon