This lovely coastal walk starts in the village of Portuairk near the tip of The Ardnamurchan Peninsula and heads up over a gentle hill to the amazing beach at Sanna. Take time to admire the great views of Ardnamurchan Point and The Small Isles along the way. The dunes and machair behind the beach at Sanna Bay are a riot of colour during late Spring and a great place to look for butterflies and dragonflies. If you can tear yourself away from the magnificence of Sanna Bay then you can extend the walk to Sanna Point and to the cairns around Dun Ban.
Top Ten Walks - Ardnamurchan in a Nutshell
Ardnamurchan is a great place for a walking holiday... whether you are interested in short wildlife focused walks or more strenuous hikes into the wilderness. We have selected 10 of our favourite walks in and around the Ardnamurchan area. The walks include coastal walks, corbetts, walks to historic castles and walks through Celtic rainforest, providing an opportunity to experience some of the rugged scenery and iconic wildlife of Ardnamurchan and beyond.
The walks are simply ordered from West to East - we love them all and hope you will too when you are Wild About Ardnamurchan.
This top ten selection of walks is taken from the Wild About Lochaber website where you will find additional walks in The Ardnamurchan area as well as a wide range of wildlife focused walks from across Lochaber. Happy walking...
At 528m Ben Hiant is the largest hill on The Ardnamurchan Peninsula and the views from the summit over Loch Sunart and out toThe Small Isles are breathtaking. Most of the gentle ascent is on a fairly distinctive path though there are a couple of steeper and slightly vertiginous sections near the summit. A wonderful short hill walk and one with considerable botanical and geological interest. Look out for golden and white-tailed eagles; listen out for the roars of red deer during the Autumn rut. A lovely hill walk.
Ockle is a small settlement on the north coast of The Ardnamurchan Peninsula and is a start point for a lovely walk to the Singing Sands at Gortenfern. The walk passes over rugged and wild terrain along a track and moorland path with stunning coastal views on route. The path eventually descends to the wonderful sandy beach at Gortenfern - said to sing as the wind blows. Take time to explore the beach and then return by the same route or continue on to Kentra Bay and the small settlement of Arivegaig.
Follow the way marked trail through the RSPB reserve at Glenborrodale, one of the RSPBs most remote nature reserves and one that affords some amazing views of Loch Sunart. The walk passes through coastal Atlantic Oak woodland festooned with mosses, lichens and liverworts. In Spring, listen out for warblers, redstarts and flycatchers in the woodland canopy. Look out for pearl-bordered fritillaries in the rough grassland in early Summer. At any time of year, scan for otters along the shores of Loch Sunart and raptors in the hills, as you return along the coastal road. At the end of your walk, why not pop into the Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre for a welcome cup of tea and cake?
Step back in time and visit the old crofting village of Smirisary in Moidart, and then head out to a lovely isolated white sandy beach with wonderful views of The Small Isles and Eilean Shona. The beach is a delight at any time of year. However, the best time to visit is in Spring and Summer when the machair behind the beach is studded with orchids and other wild flowers. This is a great walk to escape the crowds and enjoy a beautiful beach.
The Singing Sands at Gortenfern on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula are famous for making a whistling sound as the wind blows or as you shuffle your feet through the dunes. This flat walk follows a gravelled track for most of the way as it skirts around Kentra bay (an SSSI) and then through plantation to some remote and beautiful beaches at Gortenfern. Take time at low tide to explore the isolated bays to the North East of the main beach and marvel at the views to The Small Isles. This is a lovely walk to a stunning beach and beyond.
Castle Tioram was the 14th Century stronghold of The Clanranalds. Ruined since the 18th Century, this romantic castle, on the tidal island of Eilean Tioram, serves as a testament to the changing fortunes of a Highland clan in Ardnamurchan and Moidart. This lovely circular walk heads into the hills, past some isolated lochans to the deserted settlement of Briaig, before desending onto The Silver Walk which skirts around the coast of Loch Moidart. Look out for otters, eagles and coastal birds along the walk. Take time to visit Castle Tioram, which is only accessible at low tide or have a picnic by the beach at Dorlin.
Follow The Gaelic Alphabet Trail around a wee lochan (Lochan Na Dunaich) and into the Atlantic Oakwoods on the shores on Loch Sunart and learn about the Gaelic Language in this land of trees. A great walk for spotting fritillary butterflies and for dragonfly stalking in the summer months. If you are lucky enough you may catch sight of the rare Northern Emerald dragonfly, one of the jewels of Ardnamurchan. This is an easy level walk around the lochan with options for woodland and upland extensions. However, take care to avoid the mythical waterhorse/kelpie that inhabits Lochan Na Dunaich, which, according to local Scottish folklore, would lure children into the loch, never to be seen again.
Ardtornish Castle is the 13th Century former stronghold of the Clan Donald sitting on the headland at Ardtornish Point on the Morvern peninsula and jutting out into the Sound of Mull. Although a ruin, Old Ardtornish Castle provides some iconic photographic opportunities and there are some wonderful views over Loch Aline and The Sound of Mull as you walk along the coast. The walk follows a well defined, generally level, track for most of the way with lots of opportunity for otter spotting along the coast and raptor spotting in the hills.
Ariundle Oakwood National Nature Reserve is a fine example of ancient Atlanticcoastal woodland and supports a huge diversity of mosses, lichens, liverworts and ferns. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the wild woods of Caledon, listening to the chirps and trills of woodland birds, watching out for pine martens and wildcats, and searching for pixies and fairies amongst the mossy hummocks. This lovely walk passes through the heart of the woods and returns along the banks of the River Strontian, with optional extensions to the old lead mines in the hills, or along the Fairy Walk to the village of Strontian.