Walking Scotlands Coast

DAY 36 – GOLSPIE TO HELMSDALE

DAY 36

WEDNESDAY 11TH, NOVEMBER, 2009

GOLSPIE TO HELMSDALE – 18 MILES, 7 HOURS

MORRIS, GEORGE, BILL, AND DOUGLAS

TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 567 MILES

After a very comfortable night and a hearty breakfast we departed the excellent Granite Villa Guest House for our walk to Helmsdale. The weather looked a bit unpredictable and the ground was covered with a white frost as we made our way to the sea front and followed a path out of Golspie crossing the wooden bridge over the Golspie burn. The grassy path from here along the sea edge to Dunrobin Castle was excellent. To the south over the Dornoch Firth we could clearly see the tower of the Tarbat Ness lighthouse which we had passed on Day 33 of our walk. The excellent path continued passed the Carn Liach Broch near Strathsteven, and a lovely beach waterfalls, all the way to Brora. We walked into Brora passed the harbour crossing the river Brora at the road bridge. After making our way down the north side of the river we crossed Brora Golf course to the magnificent sands of Brora beach. At the end of the sands we crossed a burn where the railway line runs very close to the sea and walked on a grass strip to avoid the very difficult pebbly beach. It was on this grass area that we narrowly missed standing on an adder which was coiled on the path requiring us to make a slight detour. Our path from here to Lothbeg Point was a mixture of difficult pebbly areas and lovely sands. On one stretch of sand we could see the tracks where seals aware of us approaching had hurriedly shuffled into the sea leaving behind one very young pup which we photographed before walking on. Just before Lothbeg Point a river runs out into the sea and is easiest crossed near the sea edge. Walking on passed the many caravans at Lothbeg Point we walked on another lovely stretch of sand near Kilmote. The walk from here to Helmsdale passed Portgower was not particularly enjoyable, The absence of any obvious path and the very difficult underfoot conditions on the pebbly beaches made the parallel A9 road very tempting but we stuck it out making slow progress to the finish at Helmsdale harbour.

Summary; Our accommodation on this trip was excellent. A mixed days walking with some excellent paths and beaches although some difficult underfoot conditions at parts. Very flat terrain.

Highs; The amazing Disney like Dunrobin Castle, Fabulous beaches not to mention the adder and seal pup.

Lows; None really, although walking on large pebbles for a few miles is tiring and frustrating,

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DAY 36 ROUTE MAP

DAY 36 ROUTE MAP