Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Walk to Cravadale - 2

Last time I was on my way to Cravadale, and had just reached the misty top of the path from Hushinish known as 'The Stiomor' (possibly an Old Norse word for 'path'). Visibility was about 50 feet, and from the top of the foggy pass I slowly descended to the shore of Loch na Cleavag. The lone house of Cravadale soon came in sight on the southeast shore of the loch.

Cravadale House on Loch na Cleavag
To give you a full view of the Cravadale area here is a photo taken from the top of Scarp. You can see the white house of Cravadale on Loch na Cleavag to the right of centre. The long beach in the foreground is Traigh Mhuelein, Loch Cravadale (a sea-loch) is at the far left, and Loch a' Ghlinne can be seen in the distance, which goes about a mile up into Glen Cravadale.

Cravadale seen from the top of Scarp
There was a village at Cravadale, but the people were cleared off. All that remains is what had been a keeper's house. The house is still occasionally used, but no one was home. There had been a Side School here at one time. 

House at Cravadale
From the house I walked a short way east to the beach of Loch Cravadale. It was a beautiful spot and I had it all to myself. Just around the corner was the large Loch a' Ghlinne, which covers most of Glen Cravadale.

Beach of Loch Cravadale
Just above the beach lay a cluster of shieling ruins set next to a field of abandoned lazybeds.

Shieling ruins above the beach
All too soon it was time to return to the car. One option would be to walk a mile up Glen Cravadale to the head of Loch a' Ghlinne, then continue another three miles along a path through Glen Leosaid to Amhuinnsuidhe on the Hushinish road. I would have done that, but it also requires a six mile road walk back to Hushinish, for a total loop walk of 12 miles; too much when you also consider the long car journey. So I retraced my footsteps to Loch na Cleavag, and then climbed up into the mist to follow the path back to Hushinish. If you are looking for a great hike on Harris, this one is hard to beat.

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