With breathtaking sea views across the Sound of Mull and beyond,it is a very special place
A short walk through Caledonian pine and Atlantic oak woodland with fine views over Loch Sunart on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Other tree species on route include hazel, alder and rowan.
This is a popular spot to stop for a break when on route to Glenborrodale or Ardnamurchan point with both the car park and nearby bench providing great views over Loch Sunart. There is an interpretation board providing brief details of the history of the local area and in particular the ancient fort, Dun Ghallain (the Fort of the Storms) , built on a rocky islet some 2000 years ago, and only accessible at low tide.
There is a short circular walk through the woods to a viewpoint with a bench and another to an open ‘hide’ with views over the Iron Age fort. There are some fine examples of Scots pine and lichen covered oak trees on route; the stars of this walk.
Look out for signs and sightings of red squirrel and pine marten and listen for a range of woodland birds, including coal tits, crested tits, siskins, crossbills and golden crests. Look out for white-tailed eagle and otter on the shores of Loch Sunart.
The path is generally distinct with a descent and ascent and with route some boardwalk sections over the wetter terrain.
1. Park at the car park at Dun Ghallain, on the B8007, approximately 5km southwest of Salen on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. There is an interesting interpretation board describing the area, Iron Age fort and wildlife. There is also a pictorial map of the two routes.
For both options, follow the grassy path down to the stile over the deer fence.
2. Once over the stile, bear left skirting the edge and then through a birch-pine-oak woodland. The path soon descends through a lovely section of pinewood with some fine mature specimens of Scots pine; the real stars of this walk. The woodlands have a well developed understory community, most notably of Calluna vulgaris, Vaccinium myrtillus and Luzula sylvatica, and a diversity of ferns, with an abundance of bryophytes on the rocks and trunks of the trees.
3. At the small wooden bridge, turn left to take a short detour to a viewpoint with a welcome bench affording lovely views of Loch Sunart.
4. Return by the same route admiring the mature oak trees on the slopes, and continue on pass the bridge ascending gradually through young birch wood with some board walk sections on route. Return back to the stile and then onto the car park.
2. At the stile, you can also take the right path and cross the boardwalk to head through mature pine forest to an open viewing point (the ‘Hide’) in the woodland. The open hide, with mature trees immediately in view, overlooks the old fort (dun), situated on a knoll on a small rocky islet jutting into the Loch. It is just discernible through the trees. Listen out for coal tits, siskins, crossbills and golden crests, and look out for red squirrels.
3. Return by same route and head back via either of the loop routes to the car park. Look out for otters along the shoreline.
starting grid ref:
parking grid ref: