Car­radale cracker On the hill of the

The Herald - The Herald Magazine - - Outdoors - Cnoc nan Gab­har, Ar­gyll Easy hill walk 3.5 miles/6km 1.5-2 hours

Lo­ca­tion: Grade: Dis­tance: Time:

IHAVE many fond mem­o­ries of the Ar­gyll vil­lage of Car­radale. That was the base of our Sea Scout sum­mer camps, away back in the 1960s when we’d sail down the Firth of Clyde to Campbeltow­n. As Sea Scouts our fo­cus was mostly on water sports – sail­ing and ca­noe­ing – but ris­ing above the vil­lage, be­yond the an­cient trees, lay the lo­cal high point, Cnoc nam Gab­har, the rock of the goat, al­though it’s sign­posted lo­cally as Hill of the Deer.

I re­call be­ing hauled up the hill as part of a lit­tle ex­pe­di­tion for some Scout badge, but it was nice to visit it again with more en­thu­si­asm and see how Forestry Scot­land has turned the route into a lovely wee hill­walk.

We parked at the Port na Storm car park, which you’ll find by turn­ing left just be­fore you en­ter the vil­lage of Car­radale.

Hop­ing the name of the car park wasn’t a fore­cast for the weather we set off with wa­ter­proofs on be­cause of a thin west coast driz­zle that had drips com­ing off ev­ery branch on the trees. It wasn’t cold though and as we climbed the weather slowly im­proved.

As I men­tioned this walk is marked on lo­cal maps as Hill of the Deer and is way­marked with red-topped sign­posts. We passed through a gate and fol­lowed a broad forest track as it climbed fairly gen­tly above the ap­proach road to Car­radale.

We soon passed a track that fell away to our left. This led down to the ex­cel­lent Car­radale Net­work Cen­tre and cafe and would be an al­ter­na­tive start point, al­though the park­ing isn’t as spa­cious as the Port na Storm car park. How­ever, it you wanted a brew and some great cake af­ter your walk, this is the place. Check for re­open­ing de­tails first, though.

Shortly af­ter this junc­tion we left the main path and started


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