Geo-Trips :: Walk around Faraid Head

Faraid Head

A walk from Balnakeil, Tue, 7 Mar 2017 by Julian Paren

This was my first visit to Faraid Head in company with friends who regularly rent a cottage near Durness. The variety enjoyed in the walk was great. A sandy bay, a distant coastline to Cape Wrath, the sand dunes through which the military road goes to a tracking station employed when NATO attacks the rocks of Cape Wrath, good cliff scenery and a walk that was neither too short nor too long for March after a drive from the Inverness area. The area has been well visited for the Geograph project before. You can walk anywhere except into the restricted area around the Tracking Station. The six mile walk took 3 hrs 45 mins including a good stop for a picnic lunch.

The GPS track has a short break and is joined by a straight line. Please understand we did not break in to the restricted area - just walked around the perimeter fence. The GPS battery had to be replaced!

On the map below, the grey line is the GPS track from this trip. Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NC3868 : Balnakeil Bay by Julian Paren
Balnakeil Bay
With sun on some of the sand dunes of Faraid Head

NC3869 : Balnakeil Bay and the coastline towards Cape Wrath by Julian Paren
Balnakeil Bay and the coastline towards Cape Wrath
The prominent island in the distance is a prime target when NATO do bombardment... more

NC3969 : Walking the sand of Balnakeil Bay by Julian Paren
Walking the sand of Balnakeil Bay
At this stage of the tide you need to divert inland to pass the headland if you... more

NC3969 : The beach at Balnakeil Bay by Julian Paren
The beach at Balnakeil Bay
This is the second area of beach and was accessed from the military track at this... more

NC3970 : Road through the sand dunes to Faraid Head military installation by Julian Paren
Road through the sand dunes to Faraid Head military installation
The OS mapping marks this area of sand dunes most appropriately. They are a... more

NC3970 : Sheep in the sand dunes by Julian Paren
Sheep in the sand dunes
Little to eat in the sand itself, but plenty of grasses in the neighbourhood.

NC3970 : Balnakeil Bay from above the sand dunes by Julian Paren
Balnakeil Bay from above the sand dunes
Looking south towards snow-covered Beinn Spionnaidh and Foinaven.

NC3970 : East coast of Faraid Head by Julian Paren
East coast of Faraid Head
The mountain lover will notice that the snow covered peaks of Ben Loyal and Ben... more

NC3871 : Cliffs at Faraid Head by Julian Paren
Cliffs at Faraid Head
With the MOD establishment perched at the highest point in this view.

NC3771 : North coast of Faraid Head by Julian Paren
North coast of Faraid Head
I wonder how many folk rushing along the North Coast 500 that passes Durness take... more

NC3771 : Western end of Faraid Head by Julian Paren
Western end of Faraid Head
A good place to turn round and head back to Balnakeil as the cloud thickened.

NC3870 : Fishing station, Faraid Head by Julian Paren
Fishing station, Faraid Head
A time capsule? There is quite a walk to arrive at the boat and structures... more

NC3870 : Balnakeil Bay by Julian Paren
Balnakeil Bay
A change in weather as the clouds thicken from the south-west. Snow on distant hills.

NC3970 : Hard crusts in the sand dunes by Julian Paren
Hard crusts in the sand dunes
Windblown sculpture and bird nesting holes provided added interest in the sand dunes.

NC3968 : Balnakeil from the sand by Julian Paren
Balnakeil from the sand
Beinn Spionnaidh and Foinaven provide a fitting backcloth. The churchyard and... more

NC3971 : East side of Faraid Head by Julian Paren
East side of Faraid Head
All out of bounds to non-military types, as a tall fence secures the tracking... more

NC3871 : Keep Out - MOD Property by Julian Paren
Keep Out - MOD Property
The tracking station on Faraid Head for the Cape Wrath Bombardment Range. The... more

All images © Julian Paren and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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