The Vault Regulars

Monday, June 6, 2016

Corran and Sandaig

We had time to spare and chose to spend it doing a quick trip down to Corran and then a similar quick trip to Sandaig. The peaceful home of Gavin Maxwell, Author of Ring of Bright Water.
Corran is at the end of the drivable road and where an old coastal path can be found. Corran is now a quiet backwater but it used to be a bustling place during the Herring boom times.

We parked next to the Ceilidh House which is a recently built structure, unlocked and visitors are welcome to enjoy the historical information about the village.

Leaving the Ceilidh House we crossed the bridge and found Sheena's tea hut at the last house in the row of whitewashed cottages. Quite an unusual tea hut to say the least. The lady running it now is the daughter of Sheena. The "room" is basically a shed adorned with all the fixtures of an old parlour. A sofa, coffee table, lamps with shades, pictures hanging on the wall and a pot belly stove. The choice of food is quite amazing considering the position of the place and the size of it. Apart from what you would normally expect from a tea room, Sheena's does fish and chips too.
The wind rose quite a bit as we sat enjoying our tea, the pictures were rattling and eventually one crashed down. The others quickly removed for safe keeping.

The Ceilidh House left and the Old Post Office. Signpost directing to the start of the coast path.
Taken from outside the tea hut.
The old coastal path is man made although now a bit worse for wear in places. It was built during the Herring Boom but was probably there prior to that. I am told it is possible to walk the whole way to Kinloch Hourn but the pathway stops after about 2.5 miles at Allt na Larach, and having not done it myself i cannot guarantee what it's like underfoot. 

Our next port of call was Sandaig, a renowned spot for the follower of Gavin Maxwell and his otters. 
The track down to the bay from the road would once have been relatively pleasant, walking through forestry but now it is a mass of cut down trees and the detritus that is left after the logging has finished. 
On the way down to Sandaig Bay with Beinn Sgritheall just becoming clear of cloud 
for a few minutes.

The Maxwell House, no pun intended, was known as Camusfearna. This sadly burned to the ground in 1968 and there is a memorial cairn marking the position where Maxwells writing desk stood within the building. His ashes are under the great rock.

With time running out and the weather showing signs of rapid deterioration we had no time to explore, we made haste for the car. Getting to and from Sandaig Bay takes longer than it actually looks on the map and we only just made it before the heavens opened. 


2 comments:

Dawn Linney said...

So much fascinating history in so small an area. Good write up Alan.

AlanR said...

Thanks. They were only quick stops but I had wanted to visit them for ages and who knows when we would have chance again.

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