Duartbeg

The double track road and the remoteness is a sense of false security as this is just the beginning of a journey through the most remote and sometimes desolate part of Mainland Britain.


Duartmore Forrest, planted by the Duke of Westminster in the 1950’s covers about six square miles of land interspread with small lochans. Three miles north of Kylestrome, the road through the forest, cuts across Loch Duartmore at the old Duartmore Bridge. A path goes northeast from here towards Ben Stack and joins the A838 at Loch Stack Lodge. The forest extends down to the coast. It is managed by the Forestry Commission and conifers thrive here. The River Duart drains Loch Yucal to the east of the Duartmore Bridge and then into Loch Duartmore and to the sea at Duartmore Bay.

Just beyond the mouth of the river are two islands Calbha Mor and Calbha Beag at the entrance to Loch Cairnbawn. To the uninitiated it may seem wild but the hills around are gently rolling and the vast moorlands encountered in other parts are not visible here. As the drive takes some steep inclines and the summits reveal the distant and spectacular vast open landscape it starts to be come apparent that a special place has been entered. The old road has been abandoned and often follows quite a different alignment as it strikes 15km towards the next village of Scourie. Prior to Scourie a loop in the road allows a visit to Duartbeg.

 

DUARTBEG

 

An old road unsuitable for cars loops towards Duartbeg south of Badcall off the route following the A894. This starts off as a good single-track road as far as a little slipway beside a beautiful creek which leads to the sea. A very narrow clapper gate has to be negotiated. There then followes a superb section of path, which followed the old tarmac road which was now mostly covered by plants. This section had some great views out to sea over Loch Duartbeg, with the islands out to sea to the west highly visible in the glistening sea. The path ends at a minor road by Duartbeg Lodge, and the next stretch of road also had some great views out to sea and Eddrachilles Bay passing through the National Nature Reserve of Loch a Mhuillain Wood where oak trees grow at the most northern limit in Britain before rejoining the main A894.