Aultbea Poolewe. Gairloch
Achnasheen Torridon and the River Ewe
This is one of the few circular routes in thearea and provides a delightful walk around Loch Kernsary and back along the River Ewe to Poolewe.
It can of course be followed in either direction, although clockwise from Poolewe is probably the most rewarding direction.
Pass through two swing gates 32Cattle grid at the end of the long white building alongside the road - look out for the signpost
A shorter walk along the River Ewe from Poolewe provides a gentle stroll on a very good road surface.
This allows you to go just as far as you want, then return along the same route using ordinary footware.
Car parking is available in Poolewe beside the bridge 1, on footbridge 6 across the stream. Walk towards the buildings, the road down by the river, or beside the village green & keeping the fence on your right. Pass the dog kennels, then shops. Walk along the main road and turn right over the turn right through the gate 7 at the road/track. (See the cattle grid 2, just past the long white building (look out for detailed map of Kernsary).
Follow the track past the Keeper's the sign to Kernsary). Follow the track beside the stone wall cottage, down to the ford across the river, then turn right as it passes through two swing gates 3, then threads its way along the track. From now on the route follows a good through thick clumps of gorse.
On the right is the crofting track/road all the way back to Poolewe. Just past the metal township of Lòndubh (lon'doo) the black bog. At the highest barn, look out for evidence of old settlements 8 on both point, there is a good view ahead to Loch Kernsary, with sides of the track.
The track passes alongside a Scots pine Beinn Airigh Charr (bane ary'kar) the mountain of the shieling plantation 9, before descending to the main gate over the and the Torridon Hills.
Remember to look behind you to stream 10. The next section provides good views down Loch Poolewe and Loch Ewe. You now descend to Loch Kernsary, Maree before entering a lovely wooded area 11 above over a burn with stepping stones.
The path contours along Inveran Lodge. Once through the gate 12 the path follows the hillside above the shore of the loch. The small island on the River Ewe past the remains of an old iron smelting the other side of the loch is all that remains of a Crannog 4 furnace 13 then eventually through another gate & cattle grid (ancient fortified dwelling).
The next section of the path can 14 to reach the car park beside the bridge. be boggy in places, but these areas can be skirted fairly easily. Cross the fence using the stile 5 (the worst of the boggy parts is just after the stile).
The path leads to a grassy field. Head down towards the trees to find the small
Crannogs are small defensive sites built on artificial islands or modified islands, and are sometimes linked to the land by a causeway. Most were constructed in the Iron Age around 500BC to AD100, although some continued in use for centuries later. The River Ewe is one of the shortest rivers in Scotland.
Declining trout and salmon numbers in the area have seen a reduction in fishing over the last decade in both LochMaree and the River Ewe. In the early 17th century Iron smelting took place beside the River Ewe at the site known as the 'Red Smiddy'. There is little evidence of the original structures, but the base of the blast furnace and some mounds of slag still remain.
There is also the remains of a weir traversing the river to provide water power to drive a mechanical hammer.
The view over Loch Kernsary soon after leaving Poolewe
Please respect the environment & follow the countryside code. Dogs should always be kept under control.
Good footwear & clothing are recommended, as weather conditions can suddenly deteriorate.
The author accepts no liability for any damage or injury arising from the use of this walking guide. Jim Buchanan, Bridge Cottage, Poolewe, Ross-shire, IV22 2JU.
CopyrightJim Buchanan 2010