Diabaig, Scotland

I must be a sucker for punishment because we went for another scary drive today. This time we took the road from Torridon to Lower Diabaig. Like the Bealach na Bà it’s also steep, narrow, and with hair-pin bends but marginally less scary and without the snow.

It starts off with a drive around the north bank of Loch Torridon which is lovely.

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It goes through a particularly lovely forest of Scots pines and then the road starts to climb.

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Some hair-pin bends.

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And a lochan at the top.

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The road winds around one of the lochans before reaching Upper Diabaig. This bit was the scariest for me. It’s two-way, single-track again but fortunately we didn’t meet any vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

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The road down to Lower Diabaig is very steep but also very pretty.

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Diabaig is a very small and remote community of about 30 residents.

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There’s a wonderful restaurant there called the Gille Brighde which means oystercatcher in Gaelic. They make wonderful meals using fresh, local ingredients – as far as is possible – and even had a few vegan options. I highly recommend this place which is right on the bay and in what was once the school house.

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There’s lots of interesting things to photograph in Diabaig.

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Just up the hill is the start of the walk to Craig. This is a 5 mile return trip along the coast. At Craig there’s a bothy which was formerly the most remote youth hostel in all of Scotland.  When the hostel was closed several years ago it became a mountain bothy which anyone can sleep or just rest in. It apparently has a toilet, a log burner, and even some beds left over from its hostel days. There’s no road there so it can only be reached on foot or by helicopter if you happen to get stranded there. I wanted to check it out but it was a bit too far for the time we had. We did however walk a little way along the start of the walk to Craig and it’s wonderful. The path is great and there are views in every direction.

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I think this would be a fun adventure for families with children: walk to the bothy, spend the night there, then walk back. If you don’t want to walk back you can continue on and walk all the way to Red Point. The whole walk from Lower Diabaig all the way to Red Point is about 7 miles but if you drive from one place to the other it’s more than 44 miles.

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This next photo is looking down towards Lower Diabaig. Notice all the sheep in the middle of the road.

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After our walk we had to do the scary drive back to Loch Torridon. There’s only one road in and out of Diabaig. This is how I felt about that.

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But the views back over the pass to Loch Torridon are AMAZING and worth soiling your underpants for!

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The pine forest:

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We had a little walk around the shores of Loch Torridon.

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The tide was out and there was so much seaweed. I’ve never seen so much. It made me wonder why I haven’t seen it served in any local restaurants since many of them serve local foods. Seaweed is so nutritious and Loch Torridon has an abundance of it.

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There were also lots of mussels.

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The little village at Loch Torridon is so cute and the general store there sells vegan chocolate, soya milk, vegan chocolate cake, and delicious craft ales. In fact, I’m drinking one right now that we bought from there and it’s one of the nicest ales I’ve ever had. It’s got heather flowers in it which give it a slightly blackcurrant flavour.

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Apparently this is the oldest style of ale still made in the world and has been brewed in Scotland for 4,000 years. It is brewed to a 16th-century recipe. Did I say it’s the nicest ale I’ve ever had? There’s not much of it left. It must be time for dinner.