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Torridonian Sandstone Area

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom Scotland Scottish Highlands Torridonian Sandstone Area

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Introduction

The Mountains, hills, islands and cliffs of the pinkish Torridonian sandstone provide some of the UK's most splendid scenery and cover a large part of north-west Scotland

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Geography

Although these are not official divisions and do not cover all Torridonian sandstone, important areas on the mainland are:

  • Applecross mountains - Bhein Bann and neigbours.
  • Torridon Giants - Beinn Eighe, Liathach and Beinn Aligin
    Beinn Aligin

    Beinn Aligin

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  • North of Loch Maree - Slioch
  • An Teallach range - near Dundonell.
  • Coigach and Assynt - Ben Mor Coigach, Stac Pollaidh, Cul Beag, Cul Mor, Suilven, canisp, Quinag.

The islands are not large but are extremely picturesque.

  • Handa - an exceptional place for sea birds - wear a hat (Skuas will attack!) - off Scourie
  • Summer Isles An archipelago of tiny, mostly uninhabited, islands off the coast of Coigach.

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Cities

  • Applecross
  • Shieldaig
  • Torridon - (Fasaig)
  • Inver Aligin
  • Lower Diabaig
  • Badachro
  • Gairloch
  • Kinlochewe
  • Poolewe
  • Dundonell
  • Achiltibuie
  • Lochinver
  • Inverkirkaig

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Sights and Activities

In such a highly scenic area, any selection of sights is bound to be subject to criticism. However it would seem a shame to miss the following:

  • Inverewe Gardens - 'What? Gardens right up there?' do I hear you say? Don't forget the effect of the Gulf Stream. You will find plenty of plants in these gardens that are more commonly associated with the tropics.
  • Handa Island - wonderful for sea birds.
  • The Summer Islands - There are regular trips to these islands in summer from Ullapool and from near Achiltibuie. The largest island, Tanera Mor, is the only one with a (microscopic) population. Strangely there is a post office on the island that sells Summer Islands stamps - valid throughout the UK!
  • Coastal walk from Torridon to Diabaig and from Diabaig to Red Point. - close views may seem like mountain tops, although you are only just above sea level.

The next two do not involve mountain tops per se though both are convenient points for ascent. They are widely regarded as the most scenic corries on the Scottish mainland:

  • Loch Coire Mich Fhearchair - below Bheinn Eighe reached from a small car park on the Torridon - Kinlochewe road.
  • Loch Toll an Lochain - below An Teallach - reached from Dundonnell.

Mountains

The first four are mountain ranges rather than single peaks:

  • Beinn Aligin - from small car park on Torridon - Aligin road
  • Liathach - from the Torridon - Kinlochewe road.
  • Beinn Eighe - numerous access points, including the first corrie above.
  • An Teallach - rivals Glencoe's Aonoch Eagach as one of the best mainland ridges

Farther north the Torridonian peaks are separate and lower but not inferior:

  • Stac Pollaidh - naturally a perfect mountain in miniature but suffers from proximity to the Achiltibuie road.
  • Suilven - a long walk from wherever you choose but a wonderfully appealing mountain - Inverkirkaig recommended as a starting point.
  • Quinag - most northerly peak of these mountains - road to Kylescu takes you to a high point that makes it an easier walk than most.

Beaches

Do take insect repellant - the midges are fearsome!

  • Achnahaird Bay
  • Achmelvich
  • Achitilbuie to Lochinver via Inverkirkaig - a drive along what must surely be one of the most picturesque roads in the UK, this road is less dangerous than it once was but take your time and enjoy.

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Weather

Anything from crippling heat to dense mist or heavy rain!

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Getting There

By Plane

Inverness has the nearest airport.

By Train

The Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh train line may be helpful.

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Sleep

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This is version 12. Last edited at 13:23 on Aug 26, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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