Strange route markers

Family Discovery Walk Above Strontian

A Family Discovery Walk are a great way to explore the stunning environments learn a little about them as you go. Although they are geared towards children there is plenty in there for adults to do as well. And you local guide will be able to point out so many things and keep everyone discovering so many new things throughout the day.

This walk, above the head of Loch Sunart and down into Strontian, has some amazing views. Look east and you’ll see Garbh Bheinn and on to Glencoe; but look west and you’ll be looking along Loch Sunart as far as the Laudale Narrows. I won’t spoil the sense of awe you’ll get by putting pictures of the view here. I’ll leave that for you to discover yourselves (or if you want to book us for a guided walk).

Carnoch to Strontian

We recommend finishing the walk in Strontian and there is parking alongside the village green by the children’s playground. While it is a little way from here to Carnoch to the east, you do walk alongside Loch Sunart. Here you may see oyster catchers, Canada geese, curlew, heron, and even the rare black duck or an otter!

Call in at the village store or the Post Office if you need to pick up some food and snacks for the day. We take a day over it, but you could do it in half a day. If you did, you would not have enough time to admire the views or get up close with the lichens and mosses!

You could park at the entrance to the Forestry Commission Scotland land (look for the sign below alongside the main road), but you will still have to walk back here at the end.

Forestry Commission sign at Carnoch
The start of the real walk into Carnoch forest

Follow the trail around to the left and begin walking up what is a gentle slope most of the way. There is one short slightly steeper section on a bend near the radio masts. Remember these masts for later…

The incline is nothing serious and on a good track so still fairly easy walking.

Children walking on a forest track
The gentle slope on a good track makes this first part of the walk accessible to many people

Trust us, the views from up here are amazing! Do remember to look behind you otherwise you will miss the best location for photographs along Loch Sunart. No photographs from us though – if you want to see it, walk up there at sunset in early springtime as the sun dips between the hills above the Laudale Narrows and be in awe.

Into the Forest

Near the top you will enter thicker forest and the track deteriorates slightly. look out for the sign below on the post to the left of the track and wonder how long ago this sign was put up!

Walkers Welcome sign
A ‘Walkers Welcome’ sign on a deer fence post

After this, the track dips and then rises before bending right. As you climb, keep a close eye out on the left for a faint track. Where the man track widens you will need to jump off to the left, through some trees and into the open moorland above Strontian. Be warned, it is not as obvious as it sounds!

The thin trail above the forest (keep the trees on your left) is not that well used and does get overgrown with heather in the summer. Be aware of picking up ticks if you do this walk when the vegetation has grown up. Whilst it is not that obvious, it is there.

Keep your eyes out for weird fenced off things as they mark the route! ‘Things’ is the best description we come up with – unless you count ‘Death Stars on sticks’ from the children… Or ‘Lightning conductors’ from the adults!

Family Discovery Walks encounter the strangest of things
Strange balls on sticks occasionally mark the route to Strontian

If anyone knows what they are, please do let us know as we are stumped!

Descending to Strontian

As you progress along the top, you will get a feeling that you have started going downhill at last. Stay on the ridge line and keep heading towards the loch. As you approach the treeline again (see picture below) head to the right of the trees and down into the community woodland.

If you head left and into the trees, you will heading back towards the radio masts you passed much earlier. Great if you are staying at Otterburn Bed & Breakfast as you can cut back through the field above right to your accommodation.

Walking down into Strontian
A family discovery walk heading down into Strontian from Carnoch

Once down into the woodland, head through the deer gate and into the Community Woodland. From here, you can turn right and extend the walk along the Fairies Walk into the wonderful Arundel Oak Woods. This is well worth doing, but does add quite a distance. If you want to do this, you may be better to have two cars – one at Carnoch and one in the Oak Woods carpark.

Fairies Road footpath signpost
The start of the Fairies Road through the Strontian Community Woodland and into the Ariundle Oak Woods

Wind your way towards the houses at the back of Strontian and past the Sunart Campsite. Bear left and you will feel as though you are heading back into the village – which you are.

Celebrate your achievement with an ice-cream in the village shop or a tea and cake in the cafe and let the children burn off any leftover energy in the playground by the primary school.

If you did this walk without us and enjoyed it, please leave a comment below so other walkers know how you found it – especially information about where you turn off the main track.

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