Castle Tioram and The Silver Walk

22 10 2012

June 2009

During June 2009’s two-week Munroing trip with Richard, we decided to have a day off and accompany my parents, who were staying at the holiday flat with us, on our annual trip round Ardgour & Moidart – what we fondly call ‘The Acharacle Cafe Trip’ as there is a superb cafe at the small village of Acharacle on the way round. After filling our faces in said cafe, we always call at Castle Tioram – for those who’ve never been, it’s a pretty and reasonably unvisited castle (compared to the likes of Eilean Donan) on a nice sandy peninsula of a sea loch. Certainly you never meet coaches down there!

I’ve always wanted to get up above Castle Tioram for my photos as I’ve seen that Michael MacGregor’s superb calendar shots are obviously taken from up there. I didn’t know of any paths in the area but my father said there was an old fisherman’s route which goes to the next village. We went looking for it and found ‘The Silver Walk’. I think it follows an old route (possibly the one my father meant) but has been ‘done up’ – you can follow the path midway up the cliffs and either up the hill above the castle or around to Ardmolich – a walk of about 3.5 miles. Richard and I decided on the latter – unfortunately the path was too rough for my mother who’s had a hip replacement so she and Dad stayed behind and they agreed to pick us up at the other end.

From the road to Tioram

Castle Tioram

We set off and, within about a quarter of a mile and about 2 photos, I ran out of film! I ran back to the car and quickly changed my film and ran back after Richard to catch him up… The cliff part of the walk is extremely scenic indeed and gives fantastic views of the castle from differing angles and foregrounds.

Silver Walk Flora

The Sound of Tioram is Beautiful…

After that, you continue at sea-level along the loch shore on a well-made path and then leave the loch to go inland through a miniature pretty glen.

Very soon you descend out of this glen to the shore of another loch – at this point you’ve done about 2 miles.

This loch shore isn’t anything like as pretty as the other loch so we started to find the walk less interesting. We did however bump into a large group of Canadian teenagers waiting on a rock for the rest of their group. In complete contrast to our most of our teenage ‘yoofs’, they were very pleasant and chatty – made a lovely change from the usual abuse and sniping you get generally from kids their age here, but then you usually only encounter them in the towns!

We continued the walk and bumped into the two adults that the kids were obviously waiting for – they were equally pleasant. They’d had a small adventure in that they’d followed the wrong path and ended up on top of a nearby hill of about 500 feet. The path only went up and back the same way so the whole group had descended a very steep, rough, craggy, overgrown, pathless side of the mountain to get back to The Silver Walk again. Apparently the teens found it very exciting but the adults weren’t so sure (I wouldn’t have been either!)

Very soon after this you’re into the forest for about the last mile, at which point the walk gets decidedly boring apart from one viewpoint from where you look right along a sea loch to the Isle of Eigg.

The walk is a great little saunter for a day-off but it’s probably better to go up the hill after the cliff walk and back over the top to Castle Tioram – we’re going to do it that way next time.

On one visit, we’d just completed a walk around the castle and got back to the car just in time to miss the most horrendous thunderstorm and torrential rain – it made the castle look very atmospheric though!

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18 responses

4 03 2013
discovernorth

Hi guys, was looking to camp along or just off the silver walk. Do you know uf this is a good/bad idea? Is there anywhere to camp? Thanks

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5 03 2013
mountaincoward

There would be camping spots along the Sound just below the track for a small tent. Not sure what you’d do for water supply though until you got near to where the path turns inland as obviously you’re looking at sea-water in the sound. I think that, in Scotland, they prefer you to camp out of sight of houses but that should be possible as there aren’t many houses down there, but it’s something to bear in mind.

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27 10 2012
Paul Shorrock

Great post, Carol. Chris and I did the ‘Silver Walk’ about 5 years ago – I just checked my pics and they’re nowhere near as good as yours but I might post ’em on my blog in a couple of weeks time.

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28 10 2012
mountaincoward

Thanks Paul… we’ve usually been lucky with the weather there and got good, clear, sunny conditions – apart from that the day of the thunderstorm – and that was only as we were leaving…

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25 10 2012
Scotlands Mountains

Been here quite a few times but didn`t know about the walk Carol.I usually just sit and look at the castle 🙂
The cafe in Acharacle is indeed superb.!
I had a girlfriend from Acharacle when I was a teenager.Can`t even remember her name it was that long ago 🙂

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28 10 2012
mountaincoward

Wonder if she’s one of the ladies who works in the tea-room now? 😉

That walk is a great short walk – at least the first half is. It becomes a bit less interesting as it goes round to the next valley (and you’d need a lift back or reverse the route) but there’s always the branch off back up over the hill which looks very interesting instead. The path at the top of the hill must be the superb viewpoint for the castle that calendar photographers use.

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23 10 2012
lanceleuven

Wow. Astonishingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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23 10 2012
mountaincoward

That whole immediate area of Scotland is particularly beautiful – and peaceful 🙂

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23 10 2012
chrissiedixie

Lovely photos Carol. And I always like a good thunderstorm – when viewed from the safety of a car or such-like!

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23 10 2012
mountaincoward

Yeah – definitely great viewed from a car – hate being out in the hills in one though! 😮

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23 10 2012
chrissiedixie

I’ve lost count of the number of times Geoff and I have been sat hanging on to each other in our little tent over in the States, while some horrendous storm has been rolling all around…there’s not a thing you can do either!

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23 10 2012
mountaincoward

Now, thunderstorms in tents, I do NOT like!

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23 10 2012
fedupofuserids

Its a fab castle – its certainly got a romantic feel it that your pics capture well 🙂 Although for safety reasons its doorway was boarded up on my last visit. My parents a few years ago rented a holiday cottage on one of the islands – it was one of the worst places for deer ticks they have ever experienced !!!.

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23 10 2012
mountaincoward

I can imagine the delight of the deer ticks on that quiet, uninhabited island – what a feast having 2 people turn up to feed on! 😉 Bet they went crazy!

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23 10 2012
Across the Minch

With Richard Branson’s sister’s private island hotel next door – Shuna

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23 10 2012
mountaincoward

Didn’t know about that – I knew the estate land on the way down to it was fenced off and out of bounds – is that part of their estate? I’d have to look up which bit was Shuna I think.

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22 10 2012
bob

That,s a fantastic area Carol.Very quiet compared to the usual honeypot areas.Spent a couple of long weekends Kayaking that whole coastline years ago in spring.Loads of great beaches and sheltered inlets.

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23 10 2012
mountaincoward

That would be a great area to kayak! Have you kayaked on Loch Shiel? I walked from Polloch to Glenfinnan along the loch shore one evening after my parents dropped me off – that was really beautiful.

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