Durness Walking Network

Paths and tracks from short walks around the village to more extensive coastal and hill routes.
 
The area covered by the Durness path network may seem largely wild and remote in character but it remains a working landscape that is also highly important for wildlife and plants. Most of the routes pass through extensively grazed areas, including open hill and heath, where dogs should be kept under close control particularly before and during lambing season and through the breeding season for birds – most of which are ground nesting in this area. Common sense with regards to young livestock is necessary and areas with calves and lambs should be avoided. Please keep to the routes as described in the booklet and respect the areas life and work. The routes as described in this booklet are largely traditional routes and tracks, many of which have not been ‘improved’ to make a surfaced path. In many cases, such as the Kyle and Aodann routes, there is merely rudimentary waymarking to guide people at certain points. This approach has been agreed locally to limit the impact of the path network on the landscape, people and wildlife and it is hoped that this approach is understood and appreciated by visitors
 

Please ensure all gates are closed.and dogs kept under control

 

Bhlair Duie

Start as Meadaidh on well defined tract. Before reaching Loch Meadidh cross the burn and follow the tract towards the Beinne cannabeinne. As the tract starts to climb it is joined by a tract that returns to the village at Lerinmore. This is the Bhlair Duie tract.

The Meadaidh Walk
The Meadaidh walk is a low level walk which will take you out into moorland. It is approximately 5 kilometres and will take about two hours. Most of the walk is on well-defined track but suitable protective footwear is advised.  The route is marked and the walk can be accomplished from both directions. Leave the Tourist Information Centre car park turning left and walk up the Caa, the steep brae. Leave the road at the track on the right. Continue on this until you reach Loch Meadaidh. The track becomes a path at this point.

The Kyle of Durness Walk

From the TIC walk to the village square and follow the road to Balnakeil.

 

Alternatively drive to Balnakeil. From the car park at the church walk past the church to the golf course. Enter through the gate and follow the sign for walkers and the route marked by boulders. Follow the coast leaving the defined track at the gate exiting the golf course.

 

Continue to walk along the coast keeping first Balnakeil Bay and then the Kyle of Durness on your right and in view and you can safely walk all the way to the Cape Wrath Ferry pier on the west side of the Kyle of Durness. From the pier follow the road back to Durness.

If you have left your car at Balnakeil take the track on the left about a mile from the Pier and return by the old manse and Balnakeil Craft village. Depending on the variation this walk can take between 3-5 hours and is over rough ground. Suitable clothing and footwear should be worn.

 

The Faraid Head Walk

From the car park at Balnakeil walk to the other end of the beach from where at tract leads through the dunes. Leave the track and follow the coastline to the to the western end of the peninsula and back to the track.

The most northerly end of the Faraid is fenced off and belongs to the MOD. At the fence turn right and make for the cairn on the summit and follow the eastern side of the peninsula back to the dunes and the track. At low tide you can walk on the beach round the point to the second beach at the end of the dunes. Return along Balnakeil Beach to the old church and mansion house of Balnakeil.

 

The return  to Sangomore can be direct by the road or one of the alternative suggested walk to Balnakeil via the Eden's.

 

Faraid Head is Balnakeil farm land and walkers are requested to respect all aspects of the environment, Do not disturb livestock and walk through fields of crops or areas of conservation.

 

The Geodha Brat Walk

Small HeadingFrom the information centre walk along the headland toward the view point overlooking Sango Bay with the campsite on the left and the third inlet of the bay on your right. Cross the burn and follow the coast with Shore Park on the left. Cross the style and follow the fence toward and Geodha Brat beach. Cross the style and over the field to another style in the corner near the dry stane dyke. On the coastal side follow the curve of the wall to the gate leading back to a well-defined track that leads to the Durine. Turn left toward the village square and straight on to Sangomore.
 
This walk will take about 45 minutes and is relatively easy but does involve climbing styles. The path is narrow at parts with a step drop to the coastal side and therefore care should be taken.
Bealach/ Ceannabeinne

Start as Meadaidh on well defined tract. Before reaching Loch Meadidh cross the burn and follow the tract towards the Beinne cannabeinne. As the tract starts to climb it is joined by a tract that returns to the village at Lerinmore.

This walk gives the easiest access to the summit of Beinne Ceannabeinne and spectacular views from the ridge over Loch Eriboll and Laid. This is an ancient road through the parish and still used by crofters and shepherds to day

The Old Manse Walk

This is an easy walk on road and track. It is about 3 kilometres and will take about an hour and a quarter.

 

Take a right turn from the Tourist Information car park toward the village square. Veer right on the road to Balnakeil. Past the craft village on the corner turn left through the gate on the manse track with Loch Croispol on the right and Balnakeil craft Village on the left.  Continue past the junction but a deviation down to the loch and the school ruin is an interesting deviation. Return to the track and continue on to the road. Turn left  to enter Durness form the south.  At the village square turn right back to Sango

The Edens Walk

From the information centre walk along the headland to ward the view point overlooking Sango Bay with the campsite on the left and the third inlet of the bay on your right. Cross the burn and follow the coast with Shore Park on the left. Cross the style and follow the fence toward and Geodha Brat beach. The path is narrow at parts with a step drop to the coastal side and therefore care should be taken. Cross the style and over the field to another style in the corner near the dry stane dyke. On the coastal side follow the curve of the wall to the gate leading back to a well defined track that leads to the Durine. 

 

This walk can be started from the Durine following the track form the road.  This joins with the route from Sango. On the brow  of the hill to the right are disused military buildings. Walk toward these aiming slightly to the right over the area known as Aodann Mhor (The Edens). For the return follow the line of the fence down to the gate and make for the large house and farm steading along keeping the wall and fence to the left and passing the field set aside for corncrakes. From the old church walk back to Durness by the road. As the walk progresses up the hill look back at the views over Balnakeil and Faraid Head.

 

Although this is not  a hard walk it does require climbing styles and walking on a narrow path and a small incline is encountered. Suitable foot ware should be worn. The walk is about 4 and a half miles should take about two and a quarter hours.

 

 

The Caladail Walk

The Caladail walk is s simple walk  within the confides of Durness. It is mostly on the quiet pavements and a track to Loch Caladail. It is approximately 2 kilometres and can be strolled in under an hour.

 

Turn right toward the village square on leaving the Tourist Information car park and walk up to Mackay’s Rooms and Resturant and turn left. Follow the mail road and turn left on School Road between the Health Centre and the School. Follow the road past the playing field on the left, past the houses to the hut of the volunteer fire brigade. Leave the road and take a right along the tract “Caol” to ward Loch Caladail. At the foot of the hill follow the fence and the track back to Sangomore beside the Sarsgrum Burn.

 

An alternative route avoiding walking on any track is to remain on the road at the fire station and continue along school road to Sangomore.

The area covered by the Durness path network may seem largely wild and remote in character but it remains a working landscape that is also highly important for wildlife and plants. Most of the routes pass through extensively grazed areas, including open hill and heath, where dogs should be kept under close control particularly before and during lambing season and through the breeding season for birds – most of which are ground nesting in this area. Common sense with regards to young livestock is necessary and areas with calves and lambs should be avoided. Please keep to the routes as described in the booklet and respect the areas life and work. The routes as described in this booklet are largely traditional routes and tracks, many of which have not been ‘improved’ to make a surfaced path. In many cases, such as the Kyle and Aodann routes, there is merely rudimentary waymarking to guide people at certain points. This approach has been agreed locally to limit the impact of the path network on the landscape, people and wildlife and it is hoped that this approach is understood and appreciated by visitors.