North Coast 500 — An Alternative View

The NC500 is a travesty. The idea of car touring holidays harkens back to the environmental ignorance of mid 20th century and is wholly unfit for these days of an unfolding environmental catastrophe. VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, and all those who lend their name to promoting this anachronism, should be ashamed of themselves. »

Eagle Rock and Ben More Assynt

The south ridge of Ben More Assynt has been on my mind for a while, ever since I laid eyes on it a few years back from the summit. It's a fine line. Today is perhaps not the ideal day for it, it's fairly windy and likely to rain for a bit, but at least for now the cloud base is, just, above the Conival summit. »

Assynt Ashes

Today I walked through one of my favourite Assynt places, off the path well trodden, just me, birds, deer ... and ash from a recent wild fire. I couldn't but think of MacCaig's frogs and toads, always abundant around here, yet today conspicuous by their absence.

A flashback to earlier this year: I am just the other side of this little rise, watching a pair of soaring eagles, beyond the reach of my telephoto lens. »

Coigach Horseshoe

The Coigach hills provide perhaps the single best short run in the entire Coigach / Assynt area. The running is easy on excellent ground (if at places exposed -- not recommended on a windy day!), the views are magnificent in all directions, and the caffe in the Achiltibuie Piping School provides excellent post-run cakes! »

The Assynt Traverse: Blow by blow

It's 2:55am and the day, which is supposed to be a culmination of a three year long dream, is being (un)ceremonially drummed in by rain on a skylight window in Inchnadamph Lodge Hostel. »

Assynt Reflection

Every time I pass through the grassy bowl north of Beinn an Fhurain, a shiver runs down my spine. Here a temporal singularity is created by the intersection of the merciless nature of these 'wee hills' of ours with the brokenness of the world we have created for ourselves on the one hand, and the cruelty of fate on the other.

It's 13 April 1941. An RAF Avro Anson on a training flight suffers a second engine failure over the quartzite ridge above Inchnadamph. »

Assynt Runs: Glen Canisp

Glen Canisp provides the easiest off road gateway into the heart of Assynt's hill country, including the iconic Suilven. The rough and undulating landy track that runs from the Canisp Lodge to Loch na Gainimh provides for excellent running, and access to both Suilven and Canisp. »

Assynt Runs: Inchnadamph

The Inchnadamph hamlet, at the head of Loch Assynt and directly below Conival, and Ben More Assynt, lies in a limestone depression that is an intrinsic part of Assynt's fascinating geology and (very) ancient history. It is also a departure point for a number of excellent runs, whether it is something short and fast you are after, or whether you are in the mood for remoteness and solitude, or whether you are just interested in some stunning views. »

Assynt Runs: Kirkaig Falls

I have fallen in love with Assynt on my first visit a few years back, and have been coming back at every opportunity since. Assynt is, without any doubt, the leading contender for the most beautiful and unspoiled area in the whole of Scotland. It also provides some excellent off road (and more often than not, off track) running opportunities, usually in complete solitude, just in the company
of deer and golden eagles. »