A couple of days ago, we decided to meander down through Torridon to Diabaig for lunch at The Gille Brighde. Despite the weather closing in on us during lunch and bringing heavy curtains of mist and driving rain (hey, this IS the NW Highlands) it was every bit as much of a visual treat as I’d hoped.
We could see the weather was changing as the mist started to close in on the tops of Beinn Eighe.
Glen Torridon is spectacular: a single-track road takes you past the mountains Beinn Eighe and Liathach, the Coulin Estate and Loch Clair as well as the Valley of A Hundred Hills (“Coire a’Cheud-chnoic” in Gaelic, I’ve just read, one of the best examples of hummocky moraines in Scotland – large mounds of sand and gravel sediment left behind by glaciers, in the 2 photos just below).
Looking across Loch Torridon towards the south and the Applecross peninsula (above).
Once you reach the village of Torridon, the stretch of single track road to Diabaig is a twisty one, taking you west for 8 miles, along the north shore of Loch Torridon.
The road climbs along the coast skirting the lower reaches of Beinn Alligin and passing some spectacular waterfalls, and wends its way along, above the villages of Inveralligin and Alligin Shuas.
Here are a few images I took on an earlier trip, from the opposite side of the sea loch, looking north, across to Diabaig, giving a much better idea of the drama and the ruggedness of the coast here.
The small community of Lower Diabaig finally appears down below, as the road drops steeply into the sheltered bay of Loch Diabaig, ending at the pier.
There aren’t any shops or tourist amenities, just a scattering of cottages, old sheds and the restaurant, The Gille Brigade, in the old schoolhouse. Oh – and a red telephone box, which brought to mind “Local Hero”, especially when it rang, as we stood near it, sheltering from a sudden squall of driving rain!
The end of the road: the pier.
The irony is, that Diabaig can be reached on foot along the coast from us, and is just a 7 mile walk from the end of our road, at Redpoint and yet it’s 45 miles by road!
Along the shoreline from the village, well below the high tideline, lies the rusting wreck of The Dayspring, an old fishing vessel, slowly being reclaimed by nature – and the sea.
Last but not least, the waterfall at the foot of Beinn Alligin (below). It was one of the most beautiful we’ve seen.