Day 264: Ardmolich to Smirisary Hill – Seven Men of Moidart

Inverness-shire - North, Scotland

Eilean Shona from the head of Loch Moidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

Crossing Smirisary hill I’m soaked through, have a pounding headache and it’s getting dark, it’s also much steeper than I expected and I slip alarmingly a couple of times due to fatigue. I collapse exhausted on a tussock staring dead eyed at the rain streaking horizontally in the head torch beam. I need to get into some shelter urgently and decide to camp here for safety even though it’s a very poor site. It’s a struggle to put up the tent as it’s whipped out of my hand by the wind and the loose boggy ground doesn’t hold the pegs so I need to tie the guy lines to heather. I scoop water from a shallow bog to cook dinner and to rehydrate which is probably why I have a headache, it can be hard to remember to drink enough in the winter. When I’ve sorted myself out I listen to music to forget where I am and awake having had a surprisingly rejuvinating night.

Ardmolich Wood, Loch Moidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

Road to Kinlochmoidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

Survivors of the beech trees known as the Seven Men of Moidart, in commemoration of Jacobite folklore, Loch Moidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

Low tide, Loch Moidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

Shona Beag, Riska Island and Cruach nam Menn, Loch Moidart, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

Date of walk: 7/1/19


Hard to pass by this bench in Ardmolich Wood.

Life was made much easier by being able to walk below the tide line for a while near Eilena Shona.



Smirisary Hill in a rain storm having being unable to find flat ground for the tent for the previous couple of hours. I also kept getting boxed in by deer fences. I ended up descending to this valley to get out of the worst of the wind, using the fence as a ladder in parts as it was so sleep.

The slightly desperate campsite choice wouldn’t take tent pegs so I tied all the guy lines to clumps of heather.

Camp, Smirisary Hill, Lochaber, Highland, Scotland.

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British Architectural & Landscape Photographer.

5 thoughts on “Day 264: Ardmolich to Smirisary Hill – Seven Men of Moidart”

  1. Winifred Wilson says:

    I’m sure no-one else has walked the coastline as literally as you are doing, right on the shore at times! Makes me appreciate my bed!

    • Makes me appreciate mine too! I’ll take whichever is the easiest path and here the shore is so steep and overgrown the shore itself was easiest

    • it is but there’s always a great sense of achievement getting you and seizing the light when the days are so short

Whether you have comments on the photos, some knowledge or a personal story on this area you’d like to share, or you’ve spotted a typo or error, I’d love to hear your thoughts.