The skirl of the (German?!) bagpipes echo across the land….

Having said our goodbyes, we set off further north to explore some castles and maybe chase a waterfall or two. The Scottish weather was keen that any prospective falls were at their best and obliged with plenty of rain and wind – which kept the midgies at bay (mostly)….

Ardvreck Castle and the shell of Calda House sit close together on the banks of Loch Assynt. The castle is open and sits on an island, in a glorious setting, with the house a short walk away further down the Loch. Built in 1490, it changed hands a few times until 1726, eventually being torn down to provide materials for Calda House which itself burned down in 1737 and not rebuilt after the lands were seized by the Crown as payback for being on the losing side of an uprising.

That said, it still looks impressive and from the right angles, it’s setting on a small hill in a Loch, makes it somewhat magical.

We decided then to head up towards the Kylescu bridge, an impressive engineering feat spanning where Loch Glencoul and Loch Gleann Dubh join and replacing an old ferry service or a 100 mile detour should you miss the boat! Kylescu itself is the centre of Scotlands first Global Geopark, which is focussed on wildlife and watersports and has the highest waterfall in Britain Eas a’ Chual Aluinn (Waterfall of the beautiful tresses), which in full flow is 3 times higher than Niagara Falls but is only reachable by boat unless you’re made of stern stuff and fancy the trek.

However, the weather continued to be challenging and we decided it was a good time to take a break from wild camping and head to a campsite for hot showers and laundry, so we headed to Scourie, a small fishing village with lovely beaches.

After sorting our personal admin, we decided that we should backtrack to return to the vicinity of Loch Assynt and try to see the Wailing Widow Falls and we were glad we did.

The falls are easily accessible if you park on the road and take a short, if somewhat muddy walk with proper boots recommended, you can get pretty much up close to them. We turned back a couple in pristine white trainers and flip flops!

We decided to stop for a quick lunch break by the ruin of Calda House, but noticed a bit of activity that was intriguing. There appeared to be a gathering of bagpipers, a drummer and a photographer, so naturally we followed them to see what was going on. It transpired that they were German and had gathered “flash mob” style to play the pipes outside the ruins of the castle. It brought a lump to the throat…. (not really, but it was cool to watch and listen too). Turn up the volume as they play us out until our next instalment, where we decide it’s time to return to the Isle of Skye!

2 thoughts on “The skirl of the (German?!) bagpipes echo across the land….

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