uklighthousetour

One crazy lady and a bizarre obsession = an ongoing tour of the best lighthouses the UK has to offer

Day 16: Cape Wrath to Stoer Head

on 27/05/2012

It’s been a proper adventure today! The main reason, of course, is the Cape Wrath excursion. I only managed the two lighthouses today because the journey to Cape Wrath with a bit of an epic one.

For the fourth time in a week, I was forced out of the tent by the heat. So I was up at 7.30 and ready to leave the campsite at 9.15 (after lingering a bit), but the first boat for Cape Wrath didn’t leave until 11. Anyway, I decided to go ahead and find the place, which was easy enough, and just hang out there for a while. So, I did! I was, of course, the first there, but noticed that there was another car there (I just assumed someone had gone for a walk).

The trip to Cape Wrath is a little long and begins with a trip by small boat across the Kyle of Durness. This was a short, but beautiful little ride, which was entirely uneventful (fortunately, as I can’t swim). Once we got over the other side we had to get a minibus to Cape Wrath, taking around 40 minutes. One of the main reasons the road is closed to the public is because it’s used as a firing range by the MOD, so it’s understandable that they don’t want any old Tom, Dick or Harry driving about.

So, we had all climbed into the minibus and were ready to go when the driver realised the battery was dead (the interior lights had been left on all night). Out came the jump leads and, with the help of the second minbus, we were on our way. I won’t lie and say it was a smooth journey, because it was quite the opposite. So, we bounced along all the way to the lighthouse (pictured), stopping occasionally so the driver could tell us a bit about the area. It was a lovely quiet place, which is understandable due to its remote location, aside from the sound of the air being compressed into massive containers ready to be used for the foghorn should it become necessary (I learnt all about that at the Scottish lighthouse museum, you see).

We had an hour to look around and stop in at the cafe if we wanted to before we bounced even more back to the boat (and it certainly felt more bouncy than it did on the way there). Halfway back we stopped and picked up a man who had been walking. It turned out the car I had seen this morning that was there before me belonged to him and he’d taken the boat across and the bus to the lighthouse the day before and camped there overnight. He’d just made the decision to go yesterday, so he did. Simple as that!

I followed this expedition up with another bash at one-track roads. I actually dislike them a lot, but this afternoon wasn’t so bad as I had someone in front of me who was just as cautious as me. Perfect!

The campsite I am at tonight is just north of Lochinver, about 20 minutes drive to Stoer Head. I went there earlier this evening just as everyone was clearing out for the day. I’m just constantly amazed by how beautiful the coast is and continues to be. Just when you think you’ve seen the most amazing scenery you come across something else. I started walking to the Old Man of Stoer (a big stack off of the coast), but didn’t end up walking far enough. The lighthouse was great though. It had some sheep thrown in for good measure. There are so many sheep around here! 🙂


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