The trail offers a number of activity options. This road connects a passenger ferry that crosses the Kyle of Durness with the buildings on the peninsula. The cape is separated from the rest of the mainland by the Kyle of Durness and consists of 107 square miles (280 square kilometres) of moorland wilderness known as the Parph. [27] This exposed position, however, also means severe frost is rare compared to inland locations such as Altnaharra or Kinbrace. [12], The Ministry of Defence (MoD) owns a 59 km2 (23 sq mi) area of the cape, known as the Cape Wrath Training Centre. Essential reading: The best treks in the world Cape Wrath Trail Memory Map Route File. If you decide to do this trail feel free shoot me a message if you have questions! Getting from point to point is pretty straight forward. Cape Wrath Trail is a challenging route from Fort William to Cape Wrath. Stage 4. An area of around 137 hectares (340 acres) was affected. Located in Scotland, it runs from Fort William, through the Highlands and Western Scotland, to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath, the northwestern-most point of Scotland. Cape Wrath is located in the traditional county of Sutherland within Highland Region. They converted it into a three-bedroomed home, and opened what is claimed to be Britain's most remote cafe, the Ozone Cafe, in 2009. [52] The road is marked with milestones and crosses the Allt na Guaille and Kearvaig River on contemporary arched bridges. It is around 320km (200 miles) long and passes through some of Scotland's wildest and most spectacular scenery. The Route. [2] The road was built as part of the lighthouse construction in 1828 and, in places, uses a series of rock causeways to cross peat bogs and revetments to maintain a route along steep slopes. [5][57] A minibus service operates along the road during the summer period linking the ferry slipway with the lighthouse. [10][11], Much of the area has been used for sheep grazing, a use which continues today, and shielings, shelters built for shepherds, can be found across the Cape. Now I’m a freelance, I can (kind of) afford to allow myself time to complete the Trail in my own time, at a pace that suits the conditions and my own fitness. The Cape Wrath Trail is an unofficial, unmarked and magnificently wild long distance route … [16][17] The SPA extends 2 km (1 1⁄4 mi) out to sea and includes the sea bed and marine environment which is a source of food for the bird population of the area. by Harvey Map Services Ltd | 25 Jul 2016. I will say it's one of the hardest backpacking experiences I've done mainly due to the rain we experienced, midges, and bogs bogs SO MANY BOGS. It is unmarked, but following this route will help you stay on course. Cape Wrath Trail is a hiking route that runs through the Scottish Highlands and along the west coast of Scotland.. Cross a decent wooden footbridge and follow one of several paths the to bothy at Sourlies. Strong winds can be a feature of weather conditions at the cape, with gusts of 140 mph (230 km/h) recorded. There is no single definitive route. The trail offers a number of activity options. The trail is often very far from any tryp eof services, so it is only recommended for experienced hikers and backpackers with knowledge of the route. [16] The cliffs around the cape are an internationally important nesting site for over 50000 seabirds, including colonies of puffin Fratercula arctica, razorbill Alca torda, guillemot Uria aalge, kittiwake Rissa tridactyla and fulmar Fulmarus glacialis. [10] The area declined in population in the mid-20th century and is now almost entirely unpopulated, although military and tourism use continues. [5][21][22][23] The land originally formed part of the Sutherland estates owned by the Duke of Sutherland. I walked the Cape Wrath Trail in the summer of 2017. Areas of it are also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Landscape Area. Approximately 230 miles in length, most people take 2-3 weeks to backpack the trip. [31] An area of 1,015.2 hectares (2,508 5⁄8 acres) is also designated as a Special Area of Conservation. The Cape Wrath Trail does not offer hikers the luxury of certainty: flexibility is a critical part of the trailblazer’s mountain kit. It is approximately 200 miles in length and is considered to be one of the most challenging long distance walks in the UK. [19] This area extends from Oldshoremore in the south-west to Durness in the east and includes the entire coastline of the cape area. Cape Wrath Trail: Glen Oykel to Inchnadamph is a 14.7 mile point-to-point trail located near Lairg, Highland, Scotland that features hot springs and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. It occupies a privileged position at the head of the 20km-long loch but is quite small and can quickly fill up. The Cape Wrath Trail, 200 miles (320 kilometres) through isolated country from Fort William; The Scottish National Trail, 460 miles (740 kilometres) from Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border. [34][35] The area was used originally as a naval gunnery range and was bought by the MoD in 1999. The Cape is the northern trail head of two trails. Corryhully Bothy on a gloomy morning. Cape Wrath /ˈræθ/ (Scottish Gaelic: Am Parbh, known as An Carbh in Lewis) is a cape in the Durness parish of the county of Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland. [44][46], The MoD expressed an interest in extending its land holdings on the Cape in 2012 after being given the opportunity to purchase 24 hectares (59 acres) surrounding Cape Wrath Lighthouse by the Northern Lighthouse Board. [36] The RAF uses An Garbh-eilean (Garvie Island) as a target for a range of training operations. [32] Marine species present in the area include harbour porpoise, common seal and bottle-nosed dolphin as well as species such as sea squirts and sponges. Cape Wrath Trail Complete is a 219.3 mile point-to-point trail located near Fort William, Highland, Scotland that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. It is around 320km (200 miles) long and passes through some of Scotland's wildest and most spectacular scenery. [40], Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone, Cape Wrath locals accuse MoD of land grab, My travels: Mike Carter in Cape Wrath, Scotland, Cafe at the end of the universe ... where a cup of tea is guaranteed, Divers explore WW1 wreck of HMS Caribbean,, Coasts and seas of the United Kingdom, Region 3 North-east Scotland: Cape Wrath to St. Cyrus, Assessment of Highland Special Landscape Areas, Fears over future as MoD buy-out of Cape Wrath land looms, £22.5k for Cape Wrath community land buyout, "Cape Wrath Lighthouse and Keepers' Cottages  (Category A Listed Building) (LB488)", 'Don't bomb' idea for Cape Wrath firing range, NW will play part in largest military exercise in Europe, Cape Wrath will not be closed to public, MP says, Military activities undertaken at Cape Wrath. [42][44][45] A shell fired during exercises caused concern in 2002 when it landed 8 miles (13 kilometres) off-target near the mouth of Loch Eriboll and around 1 mi (2 km) from houses. [14] The wreck was found in 2004, 35 mi (56 km; 30 nmi)[14] off Cape Wrath, in 96 metres (315 ft; 52 fathoms) of water and undisturbed except for fishing nets.[14][15]. The Cape is the northern trail head of two trails. On the 81 mile route you'll find historic Jacobite battle grounds in Kintail, beautiful Caledonian Pine forest near Kinlochewe, and traverse the Fisherfields known as the last great wilderness of the UK. [2] The road, ferry and minibus service are suspended during military training operations on the cape. [12], On 27 September 1915, while sailing for Scapa Flow, HMS Caribbean, known as RMS Dunottar Castle before being requisitioned for wartime service, foundered off Cape Wrath in bad weather. At the end of a long and (truthfully) somewhat boring walk along Loch Eil’s southern shore, I finally reached a point where I could leave the asphalted road behind and start heading north along a … Harvey Cape Wrath Trail Maps Choice of maps is a particularly important decision when planning an expedition on the Cape Wrath Trail. Cape Wrath is also the turning point for the Cape Wrath Marathon. [19] Plant species include heather Calluna vulgaris, juniper Juniperus communis and ferns. From the south, the only route to the Cape is on foot from Sandwood Bay and Kinlochbervie. It is approximately 234 miles in length. In 2020 I also walked a major part of it south to north on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk.. Cape Wrath Trail Complete is a 219.3 mile point-to-point trail located near Fort William, Highland, Scotland that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. To the east lies Garvie Island (An Garbh-eilean), one of the main targets for live firing by the military. There is no single definitive route. Inland the landscape is primarily covered in peat and is often boggy with difficult terrain and a number of lochans, the largest of which, Loch Airigh na Beinne, is around 0.6 square kilometres (1⁄4 sq mi) in area. [3][4] The lighthouse, which is a Category A listed building, is a 20-metre-tall (66 ft) white-washed tower built of granite with a single storey semi-circular base building. The Cape Wrath Trail is an unofficial long distance trail and as such it is very remote and rarely walked. Mar 16, 2014 The trail has evolved from use and is not an officially recognised National Trail. [39] Disused military vehicles are often used as targets. [36][42][43] Concern has also been raised of the effects of military exercises on nesting birds,[36] on sheep during lambing season and the effects of noise on local residents. The Great North Trail links the Pennine Bridleway with the northern tips of mainland Scotland, through some of Britain’s most stunning upland areas and four National Parks. [40][41] Firing on the range is controlled from Faraid Head close to Balnakeil. The trail has evolved from use and is not an officially recognised National Trail. Taking on the Cape Wrath Trail. [2][18][19] Sea stacks, such as Stac an Dùnain at the cape itself and Stac Clò Kearvaig to the east, rise out of the sea off the coastline, with Duslic, a reef, 5⁄8 mi (1.0 km) north of the cape. The Cape Wrath Trail is considered the hardest hiking route in the United Kingdom. The cape is part of the North West Highlands Geopark, a 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi) area with UNESCO geopark status. It takes 10 minutes but there will be several crossings depending on the amount of passengers (it can only take 10 at a time). This basic shelter maintained by volunteers from the Mountain Bothy Association; please help by carrying out any rubbish you find here, and always follow the bothy code when visiting. An amazing adventure and happy to answer any question regarding the trail! Cape Wrath is a cape in the Durness parish of the county of Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland. [39], The MoD owns a number of the surviving buildings in the area and operates observation posts and sentry posts during training. [3], A complex of buildings close to the lighthouse were built by Lloyd's of London between 1894 and 1903 as a signal station to track shipping around the Cape. The sole inhabitants of the Cape are the Ure family, renting the main building. There's lots of amenities at most stops (hostels, bed and breakfast type places) . [18], The cliff-top vegetation at sites such as Clò Mòr includes common scurvygrass Cochlearia officinalis and a wide range of habitats are present. [47] The plans were opposed by the Durness Development Group which cited concerns that historic buildings might be destroyed and that visitors may be unable to access cliff top paths. The final 4-mile (6.5-kilometre) leg of the race is run from the mainland side from the ferry dock and finishes at Durness Community Centre. [19] Just offshore is Stac Clò Kearvaig, also known as "The Cathedral" due to the appearance of two spires and a natural window created by erosion. [10] The Cape has few archaeological remains which can be dated to earlier than this, although a promontory fort at Eilean nan Caorach to the east of the headland may date to the late prehistoric age. [30] An area of 1,019.2 hectares (2,518 1⁄2 acres) is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). A slight föhn effect can also occur with the right angle of southerly winds, exemplified by the record December high of 17.7 °C (63.9 °F). The route is roughly 230 miles, and it took me 15 days to walk it north to south. Completed June/July of 2019!