With a rental car we drove straight up to the northwest coast where we parked at the cemetery in Sheigra. Packed with loads of firewood that we picked up on the road we started hiking along the coast, for just a couple of hours, up north to:
Sandwood Bay (58°32’12”N, 5°03’64”W)
Overwhelmed by beauty and the good kind of isolation, we stayed for 2 nights. Little did we know of all the places yet to come.
You can find everything there – a dramatic coastline, abundance of good camp locations (make sure you pick one with a natural shelter as winds can pick up quite some speed at this coastline), and running fresh water from the adjacent Sandwood Loch.
You can continue your Hike from here towards Cape Wrath Lighthouse and on to Durness, but we decided to go back to the car, park it near the Ferry to cross the Kyle of Durness (Fjord), resupplied with more firewood – to our next destination:
Kearvaig Bothy (58°32’50”N, 4°56’25”W)
The most astonishing place you could possibly imagine. A beautiful, big and well maintained Bothy (usually small huts intended to provide shelter for anyone who got surprised by weather hazards), the most stunning and dramatic coastline and two fresh water streams running onto the sandy beach. If that’s not enough the area around the Bothy is constantly mown by peaceful busy sheep and you can even watch a small colony of Puffins living on a cliff east to the beach. Or you could just sit there and watch the tide and light change for hours.
And if that’s still not enough to make your perfect day, it was also the summer solistice! We had our very own private wonderful midsommer festival, ending at 0:00 where we began celebrating my birthday.
Thanks Scotland for this crazy good experience! Thanks Jan, Pete and Delilah for being with me!
From the Bothy you can have a 2-3 hours walk up to the Cape Wrath Lighthouse where you can enjoy the endless view over the ocean and have a lunchbreak at the ozone cafe.
After two days we headed back to Durness. The ferry wasn’t operating this day – this can happen any time, if wind or tide is against you – but we where lucky enough to meet some “Wardens of Cape Wrath” who helped us crossing the Kyle of Durness.
If you ever happen to visit this or any other Bothy during you Highland hikes, please follow some simple rules:
- Don’t invade with large groups
- Leave the place as you found / wish to find it
- Bring your own firewood and try to leave some for travelers in need
- Don’t overstay. 1-2 days is just fine, 4+ is too long.
Thanks to the hilarious Kearvaig Pipe Club for making us aware of the ongoing commercialization and abuse of scottish Bothies.