So this week the weather forecast has been surprisingly accurate. Today was forecast as being a lovely sunny day and as you can see – it is! This is a walk I’ve wanted to do ever since we got here. It’s about an hours drive north from us, towards Loch Broom, and starts just out side the small village of Dundonnell. Leaving from here it walks in a fairly circular way towards Shenevall, a mountain bothy.
The initial start is a well defined track that heads up through the valley beside a river.
Past the neighbourhood goats.
Towards the top of the valley the path crosses over the river and then continues to climb fairly steeply up and over the ridge to the right of the waterfall.
The view from this point of all the mountains is pretty nice! Here the track continues to travel across the moorland and begins to head down into the next valley. The return path branches off shortly to the right.
The next valley and river comes into sight below.
Nearly at the bottom.
First glimpse of what we think is the refuge comes into sight in the distance.
Once down level with the river the track bends around sharply to the right with a fainter track going left up the valley. Our path now begins following the river down the valley towards Loch na Sealga which we visited earlier in the holiday in the rain.
The path runs close to the river crossing small streams that feed it. There is evidence of the strong winds earlier in the year with branches littering the floor and broken trees.
We come across some tiny newly hatched tadpoles.
The building comes into sight again.
On arrival we’re disappointed. It’s clearly not in use, the doors and windows are boards up a chunk of the roof is missing. Behind it however is a beautiful waterfall, a nice spot for lunch. While we’re eating I look at the map and realise that this isn’t actually the bothy, it’s a part of an old ruined village. The bothy is still further down the river, nearer the loch.
We set off again, the track quickly turning into a regular footpath.
And the we arrive at the actual bothy, described by the walking book as one of the most popular bothies in Scotland and there’s no one else there.
View from the bothy.
We have a mooch inside.
Someone, presumably from one of the associations who maintains these places, has left a visitor log book. It shows that it is a regularly frequented with people stopping or passing through nearly every day.
We the continue or walk up the hill behind the bothy by a small burn.
Fantastic views back down towards the loch and refuge.
We reach the top of the ridge and the path zigzags across boggy moorland. I can now see why attempting this walk in the mist is not recommended as it’s very easy to lose the path in the boggy patches and as you hop around trying not to get wet, you tend to come out in the wrong place.
At this point I put by foot in the bog and it nearly goes up to my knee, as I’m just wearing walking boots and leggings I am now most unimpressed. Then Lee nearly stands on a rather surprised grouse, which cheers me up as I’ve not seen one before.
After a while of the bog which gets a bit tedious the track which we went out on comes into view ahead and we know we must be nearly back on it.
From there the descent down the valley takes around 45 minutes, as ever it’s much quicker going down. Especially when you’re motivated by a soggy boot.
This is an amazing walk that I would recommend to anyone, it’s got a bit of everything and some spectacular views especially when you are as lucky with the weather as we were. I’ve got tan lines on my arms and Lee is comprehensively sunburnt in his vest.