Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ardnamurchan Northern Route

Here are some photos of a ride I did 2 summers ago. This is a route from Acharacle out to Sanna Bay on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in North West Scotland.

I did this route after some peering at maps and figuring out that there were paths, tracks, and roads that could be joined up to get out to the end of the peninsula without going on the 'main' road.

The route goes through Arivaigig, Gortenfern / Singing Sands, Ockle, Achateny, Fascadale, Glendrian, Achnaha, to Sanna Bay.

This is a good route if you are up for a bit of a ramble. There is some hike a bike and tough going / boggy sections, but nothing that is never-ending. It is still quite slow going. I'd guess the outward route is about 20 miles. I took the road back to Acharacle, which is longer, I think overall it was about 45 miles. The route out is slow, the whole thing took me about 7 hours, but I was taking photos, fixing punctures, eating lunch etc.

This is the overall route. Note that after Sanna Bay, I did not go out South West, but went back on the road through Achnaha.

This is the first section, Arivaigig to out past Gortenfern / the Singing Sands.

Gate at Arivaigig - Unexploded Munitions Warning !

View from Arivaigig gate, looking South

Track to the Singing Sands

Hand-carved Ockle Signpost

At this point, the firm landrover track turns to single track path. The going is reasonable, but was quite overgrown with fern. It was really hot and muggy on this July day, stopping for any length of time I was covered in sweat, as well as a lot of horsefly!

This next section is continuing the singletrack path to Ockle, then road to Achateny and Fascadale.

Looking over to Eigg and Rùm

Path To Ockle

Ockle and Gortenfern Signpost

Track to Ockle

Ockle Bridge - nice and cool whilst I fixed a slow puncture!

 Ockle to Fascadale is firm track then road. The road is very quiet, good cycling, but I didn't take any pictures!

 After Fascadale, the route to Glendrian is over moorland. I was worried it was going to be all bog and heavy going, but it was a bit better than expected, but still slow, and still on and off the bike, and yes there are boggy sections.

Moorland between Fascadale and Glendrian

Pass to Glendrian

Glendrian is an abandoned crofting township. It was quite moving to walk about here and imagine all the people that used to call this home, and now to see it abandoned and in ruins. It is an interesting place and worth a visit for sure, there is more information online about it.

Glendrian approach


 Finally, a landrover track leads out of Glendrian and onto the road, right to Achnaha and onto Sanna Bay for a well deserved lunch!

At Sanna Bay

Sanna Bay

I love this part of the world. It always feels like you have it to yourself, I didn't see anyone the whole way until Achnaha. The day was very hot and I was kinda tired by the time I got back to Acharacle. Well worth it though, looking at the photos, I want to do it again!


  1. Great trip & pictures it looks like you had a great time. Memo

  2. Thanks for sharing this - my ancestors lived in Ockle in 1851 and Gortenfern in 1861 ... I've been to Ockle but didn't realise tehre was a track to Gortenfern ... maybe next time.