North Coast 500 – day 6 – Corrieshalloch Gorge, Knockan Crag and Lochinver Larder

Corrieshalloch Gorge

North Coast 500 part 4 of 7.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Corrieshalloch Gorge

In the morning we set off bright and early to continue our journey. Our first stop-off point was the magnificent Corrieshalloch Gorge, formed 2.6 million years ago by ice age meltwater. These photographs do not remotely do justice to the stunning drama of this deep chasm.

Corrieshalloch is Gaelic for “ugly hollow”. But tastes had changed by 1874 when a suspension bridge was built in order to bring tourists to this beauty spot.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

The bridge was designed by John Fowler, who went on to design the Forth Bridge a few years later. However, this bridge doesn’t feel so sturdy. Perhaps it was the sign warning that the only a maximum of six people should be on the bridge at a time. But as the bridge shoogled when a few too many people got on, I scarpered off — though the movement is probably perfectly normal.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

We took a walk along the adjacent trails, which afforded some magnificent views out to Loch Broom. It was very warm and sunny, so the short walk felt hard going. But the views made this far from a chore. Stunning stuff.


Onwards we went to Ullapool. This would be the last major town we would visit for a while. So it was a good opportunity to stock up on supplies and make sure we had enough cash to see us through the next few days.

Ullapool reminds me a lot of Oban. It is a functional town centred on its ferry port. A smattering of shops line the waterfront. But there seems to be little reason to visit Ullapool itself, other than as a stopping off point to your next destination.

However, we would recommend the Frigate cafe, which served excellent food and sold us some local prize-winning eggs.

Knockan Crag

Knockan Crag

Heading north from Ullapool, you soon enter the North West Highlands Geopark, recognised by Unesco for its geological significance.

Knockan Crag played a major role in the history of geology. Here you can see the moine thrust, where older rock has been pushed on top of younger rock by the forces of nature.

Knockan Crag

A remarkable and well-designed outdoor exhibition tells you the story while taking you on a walk up the hill. Some fun pieces of public art are also to be found.

Knockan Crag

This would be a great place to take kids. The walk is not too difficult, but you get some cracking views. Best of all, you can learn about the marvels of geology and the history of the earth.

Lochinver Larder

We went back the way we came to rejoin the coastal road. Skirting around the stunning Stac Pollaidh, this was the scenic route to our campsite for the night.

But before that, we had to eat dinner somewhere on the way. The perfect opportunity, therefore, to visit Lochinver Larder.

This restaurant is known for its pies, both savoury and sweet. I had a haggis pie, and Alex had manchego and chorizo. The pies were so good that we took a sweet one to take with us to the campsite — rhubarb and strawberry.

If you’re in the area, pop in and have a pie… or two.


Clachtoll beach

We had just a few miles to go to our final destination for the day, Clachtoll Beach Campsite. This was a well-run and bustling campsite with good facilities.

But best of all, it was in yet another stunning location. We sat at the beach and watched the sun set while eating our Lochinver pie.

Our neighbours on the campsite were quite old, and they had a really cool vintage tent. It looked really sleek, but it had a million pegs. Best of all, they had brought a duvet and pillows. No sleeping bags required.


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