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(9 m.), and Gairloch, 18 m. This is
the best way of seeing the wild and
savage ranges of mountains that rise
from its banks — to Loch Torridon 10
m., and Shieldag {j)ost).

N.B. — The right of fishing on
Loch Maree can be obtained at the
Inn, and Boats — 10s. to Isle Maree ;
20s. to Poolewe.

[A rough road from Kinlochewe
runs over the hills to join the Loch
Carron Road, near Craig Inn, 8 m. ]

Distances from Kinlochewe. — Tor-
ridon Lake, 10 m. ; Shieldag, 14m.;
Achnasheen, 10 m. ; Loch Roshk,
9 m. ; Talladale Inn, % m. ; Pool-
ewe, 191 m. ; Gau'loch, 18.

The road to Gairloch nms along
the side of Loch Maree, and is very
beautiful, passing through groves of
indigenous v^oods which shade the

road and hang high on the brows of
the hills, and having in full view the
bare sides of Ben Slioch.

Loch Maree (St, Maolmbba's Lake)
is 18 m. in length and 2 in breadth,
and, while possessing many of the
ordinary features of the Scottish
lakes, has some very distinguishing
ones, such as the abmpt way in
which the mountains shoot up, the
beautiful vegetation which in some
places, especially on the S., festoons
the rocks, and the cluster of islands,
2 4 in number, in the centre of the lake.
And yet, taken as a whole, the sides
of Loch Maree are bare, owing pro-
bably to the establishment of some
iron-smelting works about a century
ago, and the extensive cutting down
of the timber consequent thereon.
The most striking object in the
scenery is Ben Slioch or Sliabhoch
(4000 ft.), which rises up in such an
uninterrupted mass, nearly straight
from the water's edge, that the tourist
can scan its gi-eat rifts and gullies
from base to summit at one glance.
To the 1. , near Kinlochewe, the tra-
veller gets good views of the curiously
white quartz summits of Ben Eay
and the hills near Loch Torridon.
The scenery is particularly sti-iking
at the Bridge of Grudie, looking up
the Glen of Grudie. Nearly opposite
is Lettereioe, an estate of 69,800
acres (Meyrick Bankes, Esq.), where
the ironworks just mentioned were
carried on. Their remains may still
be seen, as also a cemetery called
Clach-na-Sassenach, or the English-
man's Grave. Continuing farther W.
is a spacious amphitheatre of moun-
tains, rising range above range, their
summits grey and bare, with varied
fonns, but all with graceful easy out-
lines, though sharp and jagged to-
wards the top.

9i m. Talladale. A large and
handsome Hotel, built in 1872 by
Sir K. Mackenzie of Gairloch, on a
height commanding a grand view of
lake and mountain. It will be a

Scotland. Route 63. — Slatfadale; Gairloch.


great convenience to travellers, being
almost the only house between Kin-
lochewe and Gairloch.

11 m. Slattadale, where the lake
trends to the IST.W,, and the road
turns due AV. The lake here, in-
creased to its greatest breadth, is
crowded with islands, and a more
distant view of the mountains is ob-
tained in either direction. In the
centre is Eilean Marce, crowned
with woods and thickets, upon which
it is said that St. Maree lived as an
anchorite ; it is now used as a ceme-
tery by some of the families in the
neighbourhood. Close by is a little
well, once celebrated for its healing
virtues, and considered infallible in
cases of insanity ; but the use of the
water of the well had to be preceded
by submersion of the patient in the

By driving from Kinlochewe as
far as Slattadale, all the finest part
of the scenery of the lake is disclosed.

At Slattadale a path branches to
rt., following the bend of Loch
Maree to Poolewe at the head of
Loch Ewe, 74 m.

The road to Gairloch now ascends
1. for Ig m. a considerable hill, from
which there is a magnificent retro-
spective view, and soon turns W.,
descending a narrow and romantic
glen, a fracture in the slate rock,
traversed by the river Kerrie, pass-
ing Loch Padhascally. A little far-
ther on is a most picturesque water-
fall. Kerrisdale is a charming glen,
in its lower course completely grown
up with firs and pines, over which
peeps the summit of Bershuin.

18 m. from KinlocheAve, Gairloch
Inn: a handsome large inn, built
1872. This pretty village has the
same name as the Bay of the Sea,
round whose shore its houses are
spread. It is furnished with a Pier,
at which the Stcanurs from Portree
in Skye touch three times a-week,
and from Glasgow once. It nestles

at the head of the inlet, and close
by the embouchure of a brawling
stream. A little Avay up the glen
is Floicerdah, an old-fashioned but
comfortable house, built in the last
century, in a nook surrounded by
thriving plantations. It is a seat of
Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, the possessor
of 164,680 acres in the Loch Maree
district. It is well protected on the
N. by a bank of rock, covered by
trees, and serAang as a rampart against
the winds from the Atlantic. Beyond
it are the present parish ch., and the
ruins of its predecessor. Gairloch
was the district in which so much of
Hugh Miller's early life was spent,
as related in "My Schools and

Conveyances from Gairloch. — Coach
every day to Aclmasheen Stat.

Distances. — Kinlochewe, 18 m. ;
Achnasheen, 30 ; Talladale Inn, 9 ;
Poolewe, 6 ; Loch Torridon (Shiel-
dag), across the hills, 16.

The road to Poolewe runs plea-
santly along the high banks over-
looking the Gairloch and a wide ex-
panse of sea, with the northernmost
promontory of Skye, and the islands
of Lewis and Harris. It then crosses
a ridge of hills, and descends to Loch
Ewe at

6 m. Pooleice {Inn comfortable)
is prettily placed at the mouth of the
Ewe, a fine salmon river, which has
but a short course from Loch Maree.

5 m. X.E., under the precipices of
Ben Lairg lies LocJi Fruin (or Finn),
where Salmo ferox may be caught.
Inquire at Poolewe Inn about boat
and guide (6s. a day), charge, 3s. 6d.
per rod.

[From Gairloch the pedestrian may
reach Loch Torridon and Shieldag,
without retracing his steps to Kin-
lochewe by a fine walk across the
mountains, about 16 m. There is no
continuous path, and the way is
difiicult to find. Following the road
from Gairloch to Loch Maree for


Route 63. — Loch Torridon ; Shieldag.

Sect. VI.

about a mile, before penetrating into
Kerrisdale, a path on rt. leaves the
main road, and in about 3 m. arrives
at a hamlet called Shieldag Gairloch.
There secure a guid-e if you can, at
least inquire for the path to Mr.
Beatson's lodge, which follow into
the mountains until a considerable
loch is reached. The path passes a
short distance to the 1. of it. The
tourist Avill then have Ben Alligin on
his 1. and in front of him a low coni-
cal hill called Tombuie. Make for
this latter, and keep to the rt. shoul-
der, descending on liOch Eelugan.
It is difficult to strike the right path,
owing to the number of sheets of
water, among which it is hard to dis-
tinguish Loch Relugan. Cross an
intervening ridge and descend to the
sea to a hamlet calTed Diabag, where
a boat may be got for Shieldag.
There is no inn at Diabag, but at
Shieldag a decent small inn, with 3

The views on the Gairloch side of
the Pass are remarkably fine, over to
the island of Lewis, the mountain
ranges of which are very conspicuous,
but they are not to be compared with
those round Loch Torridon, Avhich
for abruptness, singularity of form,
and extraordinary gleaming surface,
present landscapes equal to anything
in the Highlands.]

Kinlocliewe to Loch Torridon
(10 m.) thence to Shieldag (6 m. by

A good carriage-road turns W.
from the inn, up the vale of the
Garry, under the white quartz crags
of Ben Eay, which remind one of
dolomite or chalk cliff's. The stream
flows out of Loch Clair, where Sir
Ivor Guest has a deer forest and
shooting-lodge (Coulin). Now looms
into view the grand form of Ben
Liugach^ whose dark mural preci-
pices, rising in places 2000 ft. above
the road, are skirted by it for a
space of 3 m. It forms the grand

predominant feature of this journey ;
its colossal lines, seamed with hori-
zontal lines of stratification, resemble
a series of terraces. The road at pre-
sent ends at the shore of Loch Torri-
don, where there is a poor fishing-
hamlet, not far from Torridon House
(Duncan Darroch, Esq.), an estate of
32,000 acres. There is a humble
public-house on the shore.

Boats, rather dirty, with 4 rowers,
may be hired here to Shieldag, 6 m.,
for 12s., H 111'- (depending on the
tide). It will save time to land 1 m,
short of Shieldag, and walk a mile,
as the tide runs strong round the
point. Loch Torridon, though very
little visited, is better worth seeing
than most of the Scotch lakes, and
it is to be regretted that the country
is so wild and the accommodation so
scanty that it precludes many tour-
ists from approaching it. It consists
really of three inlets, the outer or
lower loch, and the upper loch, be-
tween which branches Loch Shieldag,
separated from the others by a very
narrow entrance. The mountains
which girdle Loch Torridon consist
of dull red Cambrian sandstones,
capped with quartz rock, which
" may be seen stealing up the backs
of the mountains, even to their very
summits, and as they are marked by
a snowy whiteness, the contrasting
hues of the two rocks give rise to
some of the most unexpected features
in the scenery of these districts." —

The surrounding mountains sup-
port very little verdure, so that the
prevailing tint of the landscape is
grey, not green. The rocky knob
rising at the back of Shieldag is of
gneiss, and commands fine views.

Shieldag is a quiet little village,
circling round the bay, with ch. and
manse, inhabited by fishermen, and
containing a clean small Inn, furnish-
ing 3 beds ; and, by giving previous
notice, good meals ; but meat and
bread come from a distance, and


Route 63. — Apj^lecross ; Kishorn.


there is uot a horse or cart within
9 m. Its situation is very sechided,
being just under the hill of Stron
Nea, which rises up to the height of
1667 ft.

Distances from Shield ag to Torri-
don House, 6 m. (footpath, no road).
Capital carriage-road to Courtown,
14 m.[; Stroma Ferry, 20 ; Loch
Carron, 20 ; Strathcarron Stat, on
Skye Rly., where horses and cars
can be had, 24 m. {see Ete. 62), but
by a mountain path it may be
reached in a walk of 10 m.

[If the traveller has time, it is a
beautiful excursion to Applecross.
A good road runs S. through Glen
Shieldag to Kishorn and Loch Car-
ron, 16 m. The traveller can either
take this, or, if a pedestrian, can
cross to the farm of Durinear, on the
"W. shore of Loch Shieldag, and then
strike over the hills to Applecross.
The walk is difficult, and the path
indistinct, but once the central
plateau is gained, there is a good
landmark in Loch Lundie, which
must be kept well to the 1. Eight in
front the path may be seen breasting
the steep mounta,in, on the other side
of which is Applecross, the domain
of Lord Middleton, 63,000 acres. It
is difficult to over-estimate the beauty
of the view from the summit of the
hill, which embraces Loch Torridon
and the mountains round Loch Maree.
To the W. the Minch and the whole
of the western islands, with Skye and
the Quiraing, are seen lying directly
underneath, while to the S. is a wide
panorama of the Highland district of
Loch Carron, Kintail, Glenshiel,
Loch Hourn, with Ben Screel, and on
a clear day Ben In evis.

One would scarcely expect to find
any architectural remains m such an
out of the way district as this, but
in former times Applecross [Inn) was
selected as one of the earliest sites
for a religious home by the brethren
of lona, and Maolbride' s ch. was
founded here in 673. Maol— Gaelic,

bald — the equivalent of tonsured. A
slab carved with a cross is still stand-
ing near the modern ch. Other
crosses once existing have disap-
peared. It is said that the name is
derived from a belief that every apple
in the monks' garden was marked
with the sign of the cross. The real
derivation seems to be Apor or Ahcr,
river mouth, and Crosaii, cross.]

Shieldag to Strome Ferry or Strath-
carron Stats. (Skye Ely.) A good
though rather monotonous road, first
up a wooded glen next skirting a
wild open basin, crosses a ridge and
descends to the head of Loch Kishorn.
It leaves on rt. the bridge over which
the road into Applecross passes, as-
cending from which it attains the
brow of a hill, whence a magnificent
view opens of Lochs Kishorn and
Carron, with the Skye mountains
beyond, the sea, and an archipelago
of islets.

One mountain of peculiar form and
great elevation, called Bein Bhain,
especially arrests the eye. At the
point best suited to command this
view of unrivalled grandeur stands
the mansion of Courthill, Vice-Chan-
cellor Sir John Stuart, who owns
32,000 acres.

From this the road turns due E.,
threading the romantic pass of Kis-
horn, — extending to Loch Carron, in
part filled with debris of fallen rocks ;
fine views appear through its vista.
A descent in zigzag carries the road
to Loch Carron (formerly Jeantown),
a considerable village on the N. shore
of that lake, with a Church and
manse. It stands on the old mail
road running W. 5 m. to Strome
Castle, opposite Strome Ferry, the
terminus of the Sky€ Ely.

There is a mountain path direct
from Loch Cail-on to Shieldag
(10 m.) The road skirts the shore
of Loch Carron, and at its head

Strathco.rron Stat, (good Inn), on
Skye Ely. (Ete. 62).


Route 63. — KisJiorn to Apptecross.

Sect. VI.

[The road from Kishorn to Apple-
cross is wonderfully fine, in the opin-
ion of some equalling that through
Glencoe. It Avinds in a series of
slants through the truly Alpine pass
of Beallach-nam-Bo, the mountains
rising on each side to nearly 3000 ft.,
and throwing a perpetual gloom over
it. To the traveller just emerging
from its shadows, the sunniness of

Loch Kishorn affords a very welcome
and pleasant relief. Do not attempt
to cut across the estuary at the
mouth of the river, for this is
treacherous ground, and it is better
to follow the road. It winds round
the N. flank of Glen Bhain, and
keeps the large Loch Danch well on
the rt.]


Inverness — Sutherland — Caithness — Ross — Cromarty — Assynt-
Lairg — Loch Inver — Dtjnrobin — Cape Wrath.


General Information.


6i Inverness to Cromarty, by

Fortrose . . . .412

65 Inverness to Golspie and

Helmsdale, byBeauly, Ding-
wall, Tain, Bonar Bridge,
and Lairg — (Rail) . .416

65a Beauly to Shiel House Inn
and Loch Duich, by The
Druim, Chisholms Pass,
Glen Africk, and the Pass
of the Beallach of Kintail . 421

65b Bonar Bridge to Golspie, by

Dornoch . . . .424

66 Dingwall, by Garve to Ulla-

pool and Foolewe . . 425


67 Lairg to Loch Inver and Dur-

ness, by Oykel Bridge, Loch
Assynt, and Scourie .

68 Lairg to Durness, by Loch

Shin and Scourie

69 Golspie to Thurso and JFick,

by Helmsdale .

70 Helmsdale to AVick, by the

Ord of Caithness .

71 Wick to Thurso, by Huna

and John-o'-Groafs House
7lxlj?dx^ to Tongue

72 Thurso to T'ongue

73 Tongue to Cape Wrath, by

Durness and Smoo







Gexeral Information.

In a traveller's point of view, these Northern Counties contain
many objects of interest ; but, as they are somewhat scattered, the
best mode of guidance seems to be to lay down a route which will
include the most remarkable.

The singular scenery of Assynt, extending from Loch Broom, N.,
derives its character from" the geological composition and modifica-
tions of " a group of sandstone hills unique in the British Isles " —
to use the words of Hugh Miller, who spent his youth among them.
They rise abruptly as pyramids or columnar masses to a height of
2000 to 3000 ft., and include Suilven, Canisp, Quinaig, Coiilmore,
Ben More, Benilie ; all forms of peculiar grandeur in the landscape.
To these may be added, on account of their picturesque forms and
great height — in the district between Assynt and the N. coast — Ben
Hee, Ben Strome, Ben Spionn, Ben Hope, Ben Lair, and Ben
Laoghal. The Assynt mountains consist of nearly horizontal strata
of sandstone with vertical sides — looking as though regularly built
up tier over tier, like courses of masonry.

The Vale of the Beauly, in its upper portion called Strathglass
and Strath Affnck, deserves to be explored to its farthest extremity ;
[Scotland.] T

410 General In furmation. Sect. VII.

and, without fail, as far as Loch Affiick. It is one of tlie loveliest, and,
in jiarts, the grandest in the Highlands. — Route 65a.

Caithness consists of barren but elevated land, much less varied
by mountains, almost entirely bare of trees, except at Berriedale.
The geology of Caithness has become specially interesting from
Hugh Miller's account of it, and its extraordinary fossils, in his
" Old Red Sandstone." The sea-clifts about Thnrso, however, with
Dunnet Head and Holburn Head, and the singular detached rock,
the Clett, have a grandeur of their own. The sea views from Dun-
net Head to Duncansbay Head, over the furiously raging Pentland
Firth, and the clitfs of Hoy and the Orkneys, are peculiarly grand.
The Bay of Wick, the focus of the Herring-Fishery^ is an interesting
sight, morning and evening during the summer, ^\•hen a fleet of 500
to 1000 fishing-boats may be seen standing out to sea, or returning
laden with their spoil.

Travellers from the S. usually approach this district by the
Highland and other liaihcuf/s, via Inverness and Dingwall. It is
also accessible by steamers from Aberdeen to Thurso, or on the W.
coast to Ullapool and Loch Inver from Glasgow. Excellent roads
penetrate the whole district, and tolls are so rare they may be
said to be unknown.

The Inns of the district are comfurtable and clean, especially
those kept by tenants of the Duke of Sutherland, a liberal landlord,
at the same time watchful over the interests of the public. The best
inns are at Golspie, Lairg, Loch Inver, Scourie, Tongue, Dornoch,
Durness, Alt-na-harra, Helmsdale, Brora.

Lairg, besides its comfortable inn, is a good starting point, be-
cause from it set out the mail carriages, which convey the post as
well as travellers. They are a sort of open waggonettes, carrying
from four to twelve outside passengers only, but not nmch luggage.
Their courses are as follows : —

Lairg to Loch Inver, Dullness, and Scourie. — Mon., Wed., Fri.

Eeturning Tues., Thurs., Sat.
Gai've to Ullapool. — Mon., Wed., Fri. j 1 horse mail-gig daily
Ulkqjool to Garve. — Tues., Thurs., Sat. [ (except Sat.)
Lairg to Thurso. — Three times a week.
TJairso to Tongne, 45 m. in 9 hrs. — Three times a week.

At the ciiief Inns post-horses, gigs, waggonettes, etc., may be
hired at the usual charge — for one horse, Is. a mile ; two horses, Is. 6d.

A carriage and pair may be hired at the Sutherland Arms, Lairg,
for the whole tour, at the rate per diem —


General Information.


For two liorses, £l : Is. ; feed of horses, 10s. ; Driver, 6s. ; total,
£l : 17s. On rest days only 16s. a day is charged.

Sketch of a Tour.
-heaiitiful drive by Loch Assynt








Lairg — To Inchnadamff-

To Loch Inver - . - . -

To Scourie — Excursion to tlie Isle of Handa -

To Durness, Kyle Skou

[Excursion to Cape Wrath. — The Cave of Smoo is
scarce worth the trouble.]
Kound the head of Loch Eriboll. A pedestrian may

be ferried across.
To Tongue (Inn a good resting-place) — fine sea views
— fine situation under Ben Laoghal. [Excursion
to Loch Laoghal] - - -

Eeturn by Altnaharra Inn (good) to Lairg
Or, Lairg to Thurso.
Thurso to Wick, by John-o'-Groat's and Duncansbay Head. —

Grand sea views.
Berriedale. Brora.

Dunrobin and Golspie.
Lairg. Inn, 1 m. from Railway Stat.

For the Fly-fisher Sutherland and Caithness present greater at-
traction than almost any part of Scotland, from the number of their
rivers and lochs ; they are nearly countless, and abound in trout
and salmon. The fishing is private property — in some cases pre-
served for the owner, in others let by him at so much per rod.
The landlords of the various Inns have usually a right of fishing,
the enjoyment of which can be obtained by visitors stajdng in their
houses. Braal Castle, near Thurso, is a place of constant resort for

(See J. Watson Lyall's excellent " Sportsman's Guide to the
Rivers, Lochs, Moors, and Forests of Scotland.")

The county of Sutherland com-
prises a disti'ict of 1754 square
miles, 1,176,343 acres of which be-
long to the Duke of Sutherland. It
touches the sea on 3 sides, and those
parts which are near the water are
more or less cultivated ; while upon
the E. coast agriculture has been
carried to a high standard. But
the interior of the county is an ele-

vated plateau, in many parts covered
with heather, and including vast
tracts of peat divided by straths of
some fertility, and containing numer-
ous lakes embosomed in bleak and
dismal regions, and solitary mountain
peaks. This part of the county is
now wholly uninhabited, though at
one time it contained a numerous



FiOide, G4. — Inverness to Cromarty. Sect. YII.

It is divided into 35 sheep-farms,
each hearing from 1500 to 8000 sheep,
and let at an average of 3s. for every
sheep that it is able to maintain.

Previous to 1800 the interior of
the county was in a state of barbarism,
tillage being performed in the very
rudest way and on the smallest scale.
The implement used was the crass-
cron, a crooked stick shod with iron.
There were no roads, no bridges —
except at Brora and Dornoch — nor
even was there any intercourse with
the rest of Scotland. Since that time
the mountaineers have either been re-
moved to the coast, where the soil is
good enough to repay the labour ex-
pended upon it, or enabled to emi-
grate to Canada. Their huts were
pulled do\\Ti, and all cultivation
being abandoned, the ground was
thrown open to the sheep and the

Much heartburning and some in-
dignation were the result of these
wise and humane measures. But the
people Avere incapable of improve-
ment as they were, and, since the
cessation of private and clan feuds,
Avere unable to find a maintenance or
employment upon such ground. For

upwards of 20 years the whole rental
of the property was spent in these
alterations, and so successful has the
plan been, that, instead of living, as
they were obliged to do, by robbery
and violence, there is now no more
peaceable or honest population in
the kingdom than the people of
Sutherland, and strangers will be
struck with their civility and good
manners. Though Sutherland was
at an early period conquered and
partly colonised by the Danes, it is
probable that they did not, except by
occasional raids, penetrate into the
interior, but contented themselves
with the foundation and possession
of its principal toAvns and villages.
Gaelic has always been the language
of the people, but it is fast dying out,
and probably two more generations
will find it extinct in these parts.

Both roads and inns in Sutherland
are excellent.

That the Northern part of Scotland
should be called Sutherland is to be
accounted for only by the fact that the
name was giA^en by a people dAvell-
ing still farther north, in NorAvay
and the Orkney and Shetland


Inverness to Cromarty, by

Inverness {Hotels : Caledonian,
good ; Station Hotel ; Royal).

Post Office, 27 High Street.

Morel, purveyor, Church Street.
Pastrycook — Macdonald, High St.

Inverness, capital of the North
(Pop. 14,463), stands near the mouth
of the river Ness, chiefly on its rt.
bank. The river, whose course is
only 6 m. long between Loch Ness
and the sea, is crossed by a wooden
Bridge, by the Ely. bridge beloAV, and
by a light suspension bridge above
it. It is a Avell-built and prettily-
situated toAvn, Avdthout any fine

buildings ; but it is a dull one
except on market-days and county
meetings, or at the half-yearly
assizes, and at the Highland Gather-
ing in September, Avhen it is much
too full. There is not much to
be seen here. The Rly. Stat, is in
Academy Street, and opposite the
stat. runs Union Street, where are
some of the best shops. If the
stranger makes his way to a tall
Steeple, corner of Church Street, con-
taining the toAvn clock, close to the
Toton Hall, and old Cross built into

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