A wet yet inspiring walk across the Ardnish peninsular , north west Scotland by Climb it Range’s Richard Langley

It was a very wet day with the cloud right down…it was not really one for tackling a Munroe in Knoydart!

Instead,  I set out to cross the Ardnish peninsula from Loch Dubh  in the north to the beach at Peanmeanich on the North side of Loch Ailort for a six hour hike across the wilderness.

The route description I was following said it would be wet…it certainly was!  Incessant rain turned rocky upward paths into fast flowing torrents.


Loch Ailort coming into view
Oak and birch across Ardnish

The eight miles and 800 feet ascent was varied with oak and birch woodland trails, bog, moorland and some steep inclines giving spectacular views across the wild peninsular  visible when the mist cleared.Although a dull and sometimes misty day the colours  of the bell, ling, scabious and the now brown ferns were incredible, so vivid they were sometimes  like an impressionist painting.

Reaching the beach at Peanmeanich was the great incentive to complete the walk.

The final long approach through high grasses and bog focused on an isolated bothy at the head of the beach.

The bothy near Peanmeanich beach, Loch Ailort

The bothy was on a rise. When reaching its height the beach opened out to reveal small rocky outcrops blending together with emerald green sea. It was a breathtaking and a quite awe inspiring site…another of Scotland’s most remote and wonderful spectacles!

First view of Peanmeanich beach

Although raining, the temperature was kind making a wild swim irresistible, so I jumped in. It was amazing to be swimming in such a beautiful wilderness without a soul nearby, in fact for the complete 6 hour walk there wasn’t a soul to be seen.

After the swim, a long and an even wetter walk back to Loch Dubh, there was still much to inspire as the evening closed in with several heron, linnets and wind chats along the way.

Finally back to the car. I drove back to my  campsite where I enjoyed  a very warming £1 shower before heading off to the bar in Arisaig for a welcome meal plus a Talisker dram or two…I deserved it. It had been an exhilarating but exhausting day.



Walking across the Ardnish peninsula