Walks West Sutherland Author: Richard Hallewell
Walks West Sutherland Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks West Sutherland

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked 2018 by Richard and Maggie Legate

West Sutherland is the north-west corner of the British mainland: a wonderful area, with a rugged, indented coastline (including the dramatic Cape Wrath) and abrupt, isolated mountains rising steeply from sea level or from miles of empty moorland punctuated by numberless lochs and lochans.  The population is tiny and the roads are long, winding and often narrow.
The area has definitely increased in popularity since the arrival of the North Coast 500, and Suilven’s (see left) starring role in the recent film ‘Edie’ will undoubtedly add to visitor numbers, but this is still a big, empty landscape where solitude can be found without too much trouble.
The main settlement in the area is Lochinver, and this was our base for the week.  Most of the walks in the book are a reasonable drive from here, but the routes on the far north coast are a long haul and we opted to do them from a base further north.
Little had changed on the walks since the last check, but there have been some minor alterations to signposting, and these are reflected in the new descriptions.  Highlights through our check were the fabulous views from the summit of Ben Hope, the circuit out to Point of Stoer, and the waymarked walks at Little Assynt.
Mention of the Little Assynt walks brings out an important point.  Although the backbone of walking in this area is the famous peaks, there are still walks for everyone, including short routes (such as the path to Smoo Cave, on the north coast) which will give the visitor a taste of the extraordinary landscape.

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