Ardleish to Tyndrum.
Route. Ardleish - Cnap Mor - Beinglas - Falls of Fallock - Derrydaroch - Military Road - Crianlarich Forest - Kitkton Farm - St Fillan's Priory - Auchterlyre Farm - Kings Field, Dalrigh - Tyndrum Community Woodland - Tyndrum.
Notes. On a glorious morning we headed to the marina to catch the first ferry across the loch, the sun was shining we were in for a long hot day. Life in these parts runs at a slower pace than the rest of the country, nobody seems to rush, half an hour late the ferry turned up, no apology just a very good morning, insignificant at the time, this short delay was to cause major problems, in fact it was very nearly the nail in the coffin for our journey north.
With the way back under our boot soles we ascended the shoulder of Cnap Mor our destination breakfast at Beinglas Farm, after passing the ruinous settlement of Blarstainge we descended to Beinglas to find they’d stopped serving breakfast, it would be an hour at least before the bar opened for lunch. We continued north, lack of food and the long ascent out of Glen Falloch took it's toll, we slowly trudged past the Falls of Falloch before reaching the white washed cottage of Derrydaroch, we crossed the river to join a narrow gravel path. This path carried us out of the glen, after passing through a rather low cattle creep then a tunnel under the main road we ascended to the old military road above Keilator Farm, although the views were stunning we were too tired to appreciate them. On reaching a dear fence and large gate we had a choice, descend to Crianlarich for supplies or carry on to Auchtertyre Farm, we opted for the latter, a big mistake.
We found ourselves wandering through a vast pine forest with stunning views over Strath Fillan every so often, all we wanted was the path to the glen floor, the undulating path sapped the rest of our strength, even the descent was hard, eventually we passed under the Oban railway line, then popped out onto the A82. After crossing the busy road the way carried us to Kirkton Farm and the Priory and grave yard of St Fillans, a couple more fields and we reached refreshments at Auchtertyre Farm. They sold some stuff like Kendal Mintcake but better, it was advertised as 100% energy slab. Sufficiently energized and full of sugar we continued, down the farm lane to join the River Cononish, the river guided us passed the Kings Field, site of the Battle of Dalrigh, a significant point in Scotish history, we left the river to follow narrow paths through Tyndrum Community Woodland, we stepped into Pine Trees Leisure Park totally exhausted, I begged and got an upgrade to an executive camping pod, it was bliss, toilet, shower, microwave, tea and coffee facilities, all the comforts of home.
view route map.
Waiting for the boat, thinking we would have had ample time for breakfast in the Ardlui Hotel.
Back on the West Highland Way looking to Ben Vorlich carrying a little snow.
The ruined croft of Ardleish with views to Stac na Nughinn and Little Hill.
From the grassy shoulder of Cnap Mor, Sue drinks in the views down Loch Lomond.
From the boggy ground on Cnap Mor views to the snow capped tops of Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig.
A once thriving community of Blarstainge, there are many ruins like this across Scotland.
The River Falloch.
The Falls of Falloch
Almost at the summit of the pass, Derrydaroch marks the point we cross the river.
The views up here are stunning, in the foreground the remains of the Calladonion Pine Forest that once blanketed the Highlands, under snow Stob Binnein.
The head of the pass is marked by a tight squeeze through this cattle creep.
An alpine scene, Stob Binnein seen from the military road above Keilator.
On forest paths with tantalizing glimpsed over Strath Fillan.
Sue soaks up the views, wishing we'd descended to Crianlarich.
As seen from the approach to St Fillan's, Ben More the high one on the left, Stob Binnein with Cruch Ardrain on the right.
The small grave yard at St Fillan's.....
.....and the remains of the Priory.
If you believe a place can record the atmosphere of the past, this is the place to visit the King's Field, there's definitely an aura here. To cut a long story short, in 1306 Robert the Bruce was defeated at Methuen by the English, the remnants of his army retreated into Perthshire to avoid the English, a long standing feud with the MacDougalls of Lorn resulted in a trap being set, the skirmish that followed saw Bruce escape with his life, it marked the start of his wanderings with Campbell of Argyll, his famed encounter with a spider and his return to victory in 1314 at Bannochburn. No ghosts just a wonderful atmosphere.
Ben More and Stob Binnein with tomorrows weather creeping over their summits.
Our home for the night, with all the comforts of home.
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