Discovery Walks

Find Your AdventureSummer Gold - Thursday 5th August

Summer Gold - Thursday 5th August

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Duration:
Half Day
Intended Level:
Half Day
Walk Grade:
Half Day
Group Size:
2-8
In Stock:
Places Remaining:
8
This activity is sold out online, but please call us directly to check late availability.
Date:
August 5, 2021
Start Time:
7:00 pm
Summary
A scenic sunset walk to Castle Dounie. A delightful walk from Crinan Harbour through woodland and forest up to the amazing viewpoint of Castle Dounie, the remains of an Iron Age Fort. Your guide will take you to the best spot to watch the sunset over Jura and the Inner Hebrides.
Suitability
Although the walk is mainly on tracks and paths a reasonable degree of fitness is required as there are some steep uneven sections, particularly near the beginning and end of the walk, and on Creag Mhor. There are some big drops so care should be taken. Part of the walk is undertaken as the evening moves from dusk into night. Our summer sunset walks differ from those in autumn and winter in that we have less distance to cover after sunset in the dark, otherwise it gets very late. However, please DO bring a head torch (or torch) as the steep path through the woodland can be tricky without.
Highlights
  • Stunning scenery and an Iron Age Fort
  • Spectacular views over the Sound of Jura
  • West Coast Sunsets are superb, this is a fantastic spot to see them
  • A lovely way to spend an evening and enjoy nature and amazing vistas
  • Your guide will ensure you can enjoy the view and safely return in the dark
  • We can’t promise a sunset or stars every time BUT you will have a wee nighttime adventure.
Booking Terms

Booking essential.

Walk Grades

Grade 1 - Easy

Relaxed walks on mainly flat or graded paths and tracks within easy access of a road/parking with little or no steep ground. These walks are designed to take in a specific tourist site or experience - perhaps to visit a ruined Scottish castle, wildlife centre or ancient carved stones - and are suitable for a wide range of abilities, typically never more than 3 miles or 2 hours of walking.

Grade 2 - Leisurely

Leisurely walking on paths and tracks with occasional steep or uneven sections or steps. Designed to offer an immersive and relaxing experience connecting with nature and the outdoors these walks help promote wellbeing and may include walks around lochs, along beaches, through woodland and glens, to visit a specific historic or geological site, to learn about foraging for wild plants or to reach viewpoint. These are suitable for a wide range of abilities and are typically 3 to 6 miles with up to 5 hours of walking and 300m of ascent and descent.

Grade 3 - Moderate

Expect a full day of walking using a mixture of paths, tracks and over mixed terrain. There are likely to be some steep or uneven sections or steps. These walks are suited to those used to being active and may include easier hill summits, coastal walks, sections of long distance trails such as the Kintyre Way, visiting sites off the beaten track and sunset walks. Walks are typically 6 to 8 miles with 4 to 6 hours of walking and no more than 600m of ascent and descent.

Grade 4 - Hard

An active day of walking using a mixture of paths, tracks and over mixed terrain which is likely to have steep rough sections. These walks are suited to those used to being active and may include hill summits, coastal sections with a lot of ascent and descent, remoter areas, longer sections of trails such as the Kintyre Way, visiting sites off the beaten track, trig point hunters and Wainwright baggers. Walks are typically 7 to 12 miles with 5 to 8 hours of walking and up to 800m of ascent and descent.

Grade 5 - Challenging

A full day of walking over varied ground, which may incorporate a mixture of tracks and paths but is likely to include rugged steep pathless terrain, requiring advanced skills, good fitness and stamina. Walks at this level are usually either long distance, which may or may not incorporate good paths, or in remote and mountainous areas. Typical walks include the easier Munros and Corbetts, the higher Lakeland and Welsh fells, challenges such as the Yorkshire Three Peaks and long distance backpacks such as the Coast to Coast or Pennine Way. Distances vary but are typically 10-25 miles with ascents of up to 1600m. A full days walking may take anything from 6 to12 hours.

Grade 6 - Severe

A full day of walking over varied ground, which may incorporate a mixture of tracks and paths, rugged steep and rough pathless terrain, exposed ridges and non-technical scrambles requiring advanced skills, good fitness and stamina. Walks at this level are usually either long distance, which may or may not incorporate good paths, or in remote and mountainous areas. Typical walks include the harder or more remote Munros and Corbetts, routes such as Striding Edge in the Lake District, high level or remote long distance backpacks or ultra long distance events. Distances vary but are often over 15 miles with ascents often exceeding 1000m. An example is the Patterdale Round which takes in 17 Wainwrights, is 30 miles and has over 3000m of ascent. A full days walking may take anything from 8 to16 or more hours.

Heather's Highlight

The views from Castle Dounie and over to Jura are truly lovely; I can spend hours just enjoying the view until every ray of sun has disappeared.

Detailed Description

The 4 mile walk starts from Crinan Harbour carpark heading along the shoreline before ascending via a steep path through woodland to meet forestry tracks above. The route then wends its way to the summit of Castle Dounie, with glimpses of the sea and the possibility of seeing wildlife on the way. The iron age fort commands a superb view over the Sound of Jura towards Jura, the Inner Hebrides and the famous Corryvreckan, the third largest whirlpool in the world. If very lucky, pods of dolphin or whales, or even basking sharks, might be spotted far below. We then explore the airy ridge of Creag Mhor before dropping down to relax and watch the sunset from the coast, an experience that heartens the soul. Wending our way back by last light we listen for owls as we descend through the darkening woods and the eery call of oystercatchers by the shore. The walk usually takes 3.5 hours.

What's Included:
All guided walks include the following:
  • Your friendly qualified guide for the duration of your walk
  • Group Safety Equipment
  • Emergency First Aid Kit
  • Walk joining information
  • Kit List
  • Friendly advice
Specific to this walk:
Guided circular walk to Castle Dounie and the adjoining ridge of Creag Mhor before relaxing to watch the sunset from this spectacular bit of coast
Itinerary
  1. Meet at the lovely Crinan Harbour where you will meet your guide at the car park
  2. Initially we follow the shore front that overlooks Eilean da Mheinn (Harbour Island) and Loch Crinan
  3. Entering woods of birch and ash keep your eyes open for red squirrels or deer
  4. Shortly we will start the long steep climb up to the tracks above, we take it slowly with plenty of rests
  5. Following paths and tracks we reach the ruined fort of Castle Dounie
  6. Explore the airy ridge of Creag Mhor for some stunning views
  7. Your guide will lead you to a prime spot to enjoy the sunset, light and feeling of freedom such open vistas create
  8. As the sun disappears over the horizon we will start our descent catching the last of the light before descending into the woods
  9. Don your headtorch for the final descent back through the woods to Crinan Harbour and the end of your wee nighttime adventure.
Additional Information:
Make this a private booking

All our activities can be booked for private groups as bespoke experiences.

Prices and terms & conditions for bespoke experiences apply.

Women only option

All our activities can be booked for women only groups either as bespoke experiences or where advertised.

Dog friendly

Yes, we welcome well behaved dogs on the majority of our walks (and you may well meet our trusty team member and Collie, Rowan).

Historic Environment Scotland are now allowing dogs on the sites we visit, as long as they are kept on a short lead and in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (last updated by HES, March 2021).

Children friendly

Yes. Please see the activity description for the skill level and walk grade. We recommend you contact us to ensure the level is appropriate or if your child is under 12 years old. All children under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult (see terms)

Additional information:

As the walk finishes as dark falls you will need a torch (a head torch keeps hands free). You will need sturdy walking shoes with good grips, a waterproof coat, warm layers and a snack and drink. Insect repellent is also a must in summer! Full information on what to wear and bring can be found on the Heathery Heights Kit List. It can get chilly in the evening waiting to catch the last light!

Crinan Harbour lies a 15 minute drive north of Lochgilphead (a slow 7 miles).

Please meet at the car park at Crinan Harbour at the time designated on the date you have booked.

Times and our itinerary change slightly throughout the year to tie in with sunset and the best spots to see it from (16.30 mid-winter to 22.30 mid-summer).

(Toilets can be found above Crinan Basin a 3 min drive away)

Public Transport (not available in evenings)

Price:
£ 20.00 GBP

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