North Coast 500 Adventure – Part 3

Achmelvich Beach

Achmelvich Beach

Our next couple of days were spent exploring the beaches, lochs and hills around Lochinver – part of the ‘official’ NC500 route, but definitely not recommended for larger camper vans! Some of the nicest scenery we saw all trip here…  Just outside Lochinver, Achmelvich is well signposted, and like all the beaches we visited, has good free parking and easy accessibility down to the beach. Truly beautiful and the whitest sand you will see on any beach in the UK, with rocks and cliffs to explore and get a higher viewpoint.  From here it was just a few miles further on to Clachtoll beach – just off the road, and with a camping and caravan site close by.  Despite that, at 11am we were the only people on the beach!

Stoer LighthouseWe next took a lengthy diversion to the lighthouse near Stoer Point – more great views and the option to walk the 2 miles to Stoer Point for the more adventurous. Very rural around here – lots of derelict farmhouses and agricultural machinery, and one (working) smallholding had a dead fox hung up on the fence by the house! Needless to say we didn’t hang around here for long… 

Secret Tea GardenGetting peckish by then we were on the lookout for a nice spot for our picnic lunch (ordered from the hotel the night previous) and found yet another glorious beach, just by the side of the road at Clashnessie.  Just a few steps down onto the beach, spread out the picnic blanket on the white sand, nicely sheltered from the wind by the sand dunes and we were made up!  Like most of our trip, the weather was again dry, and it was great to feel the sun on our faces. Come mid-afternoon, we found ourselves in the village of Drumbeg – great views again out to sea, and we found a quirky little spot for an afternoon cuppa – the Secret Tea Garden. With a delightful little patio seating area, and home made cakes, what’s not to like! Just worth noting – the place doesn’t have a loo, so best stop at the public facilities at the viewpoint in Drumbeg Village just up the road… 

Ardvreck Castle

Ardvreck Castle

More very narrow and steep roads took us back to the main road near Unapool, and back via the shores of Loch Assynt to our hotel. After this very hectic and actually quite tiring day, we were glad to spend the next day checking out the beaches again!

Our next stop on our way north was Ardvreck Castle – just a ruin now, but superbly positioned overlooking Loch Assynt – definitely worth exploring and a good spot for photos.  On then to Kylesku, and its beautiful curved bridge. Kylesku BridgeFrom here it’s up to Scourie, and although the beach was ‘so-so’, the rocky headland was well worth exploring and we saw many different sea birds.  Earlier in the trip, some friendly visitors we got talking to had recommended we find the beach at Oldshoremore, just outside Kinlochbervie, so that was our next stop.  Kinlochbervie itself was pretty unimpressive – just a working fishing port, but the beach we were looking for was awesome! With the tide out, it must have been a good 200 yards from sand dunes down to the sea, and I guess the beach was over a mile wide – again with rocky headlands at each end. During the hour or so we were there, we only saw 2 other people on the beach. Fair to say that the beaches in Scotland are truly superb!

Kyle of Tongue & Ben Loyal

Kyle of Tongue & Ben Loyal

A quick spot of lunch at The Old School restaurant near Kinlochbervie – a characterful place with good food and drink (and it has rooms too apparently), and back onto the main route towards the far north west. After several more stops to take in the views of lochs, sea and mountains, we decided to skip the detour to Cape Wrath, and press on to our next hotel. Stunning views all the way – my favourite view from this part of the trip was from the causeway over the Kyle of Tongue, looking across to Ben Loyal.

Advertisements

About nigelyoungblog

Just a bearded bloke from Shropshire with a camera.
This entry was posted in locations, personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s