HOW I LOVE TO WALK THE WALK

Scottish Field - - YOUR LETTERS -

Like many who grew up in a ma­jor city, the charms and at­trac­tions of coastal and ru­ral life sur­faced much later for me. But hav­ing be­come a fairly fre­quent vis­i­tor over the past 17 years to what was my wife’s fam­ily croft in Tubeg, near Sk­er­ray in Suther­land, one par­tic­u­lar walk has emerged as a per­sonal favourite.

The walk from the hill­side croft, Caber­feidh, to Sk­er­ray Har­bour is barely two miles and cer­tainly more at­trac­tive in the down­ward di­rec­tion than grap­pling with the steep in­cline on the re­turn leg.

I’ve made the trip by bike and on foot in all types of weather, and find be­ing ac­com­pa­nied is key to en­joy­ing the jour­ney. I am usu­ally joined by my 11-year-old son Cole and our Ger­man Shep­herd dog Crow­ley (pic­tured right at our croft), and of­ten by var­i­ous birds, sheep and cat­tle, which make for won­der­ful, if usu­ally tem­po­rary, travel com­pan­ions.

Clean air, whin bushes, farm fields, cat­tle grids and a small wa­ter out­let give way to a flat road at the foot of two size­able hills that mark the fi­nal stretch to­wards the har­bour area and stony beach.

The sur­round­ing area is blessed with some of the finest sandy beaches imag­in­able at Tor­ris­dale Sands, Cold­backie and Farr beaches, but the rugged na­ture of the har­bour area – and the views across to the is­lands of Roan and Neave – adds to the ap­peal of this sin­gu­larly pleas­ant walk.

Per­haps the most com­pelling fea­ture of this walk is the as­sault on the senses, be that the si­lence con­trast­ing with the sound of the waves and wildlife; the bit­ing winds con­trast­ing with the still­ness or the smell of the sea. A spec­tac­u­lar and sat­is­fy­ing walk to­wards the coast­line of Scot­land. Gary Brewer, Glen­farg, Perthshire

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