The Cape Wrath Trail is a long-distance hiking route in Scotland. It links Fort William with Cape Wrath, the farthest northwest point of the British mainland. Renowned as one of the toughest long-distance walks in the UK, it is not waymarked, has no single recognised route, and there is frequently no actual path underfoot. Due to its informal nature, the length of this trail varies. Most thru-hikes are around 230 miles in length.
My hike of the Cape Wrath Trail took place between June the 3rd and June the 22nd 2015, and consisted of eighteen days of walking and two rest days. My route was 241 miles in length and was based on the itinerary laid out in the popular Cicerone guide by Iain Harper, with a few small modifications. I used the new Harvey Cape Wrath Trail maps for navigation.
The CWT is one of the finest foot journeys of its kind in the UK and takes the hiker through some magnificent wild locations. Its tough and frequently trackless nature makes the route I took potentially tricky in poor weather, requiring good navigational skills, a high level of fitness, and the ability to cope with hazards such as the crossing of swift-flowing rivers. But it’s also truly magnificent. In this series of blog posts I will tell the story of my CWT adventure.
|The beautiful and mysterious Loch Stack|
|Probably one of the most scenic roads in the UK|
|‘But I don’t want it to end!’|
|The beautiful Loch Inchard|
|Looks like the Mediterranean!|
|Amazing views everywhere|
|Looking back to Kinlochbervie|
|My first view of Sandwood Bay|
As it began to rain, I spent some time looking for the best place to camp. Sandwood Bay is undoubtably the best wild-camping location on the entire CWT, with a huge variety of flat grassy pitches. I selected a sheltered spot amongst the dunes and topped up my water supply from the nearby freshwater loch.
|A typical Cape Wrath scene|
|The kitchen area|
|The most colourful bothy in Scotland?|
|The end of the CWT|
|The rock of Cape Wrath: big, scary, but also beautiful. Rather like the trail itself.|
“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”