Walking Scotlands Coast

DAY 34 – TAIN TO DORNOCH

DAY 34

SUNDAY 13 SEPTEMBER, 2009

TAIN TO DORNOCH – 10 MILES, 4 HOURS

MORRIS, IAN, ALEX, BILLY, COLIN AND BILL

TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 535 MILES

Again we enjoyed excellent food in the comfortable Castle hotel although our stay was made a bit less enjoyable by the ongoing domestic strife between the owners which unfortunately is openly displayed in front of customers. After breakfast we travelled back to Tain for our walk to Dornoch. The good weather had deserted us and we walked out of Tain in drizzly rain leaving the town from the car park near St Mary’s well and walked west towards Glenmorangie distillery. The underfoot conditions here we not very good with no obvious path and a mixture of pebbles, mud and long grass. Although the footing was a bit difficult the rain had gone off and we walked passed the distillery to Ardjachie where we made our way up onto the A9 towards Dornoch Bridge. We were disappointed to find no pedestrian provision has been made onto the bridge and we had to walk on a rough stone filled strip beside the busy road. Strangely on reaching the bridge proper there are footpaths on both sides. The walk over the bridge (890 meters long) afforded great views west to Bonar Bridge and east towards Tarbat Ness. On reaching the north side of the bridge we were able to access a staircase on the west side down to an access road under the bridge and onto Cuthill Links. We walked for a distance on the grassy links before gorse bushes forced us onto the uncomfortable stony surface at the edge of the muddy beach. On reaching Dornoch sands the underfoot condition improved greatly and as the tide was out we were able to walk almost ‘as the crow flies’ to Dornoch Point. On rounding the point we were greeted by the amazing 1.5 miles long Dornoch sands. The draw of the sea proved to strong and it was not long before we followed Alex’s lead and, boots and socks removed, enjoyed a therapeutic paddle in the soothing sea water. The short walk from sea to minibus felt so much easier. After a brief break we made the long journey home taking the scenic route via Bonar Bridge, A836 and B9176 to Iverness.

Summary; A short day’s walk with the long journey home in mind. Difficult underfoot conditions at some parts. Very flat terrain.

Highs; The walk across the Dornoch Bridge, Dornoch sands and the paddle in the sea. Our first ferry crossing on the first of our three days and our fourth bridge crossing on the last. What more could we want?

Lows; None really, shouldn’t complain about a wee drop drizzle.

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DAY 34 ROUTE MAP

DAY 34 ROUTE MAP