Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My Top Ten Viewpoints: 4 - 2

My Top Ten Viewpoints: 10 - 8
My Top Ten Viewpoints: 7 - 5

Now we are warming up!

4: Castle Tioram

First time I went to Tioram, I loved it. A romantic ruin (it was burned by the clan chief as he believed the 1715 Jacobite rising he was honour-bound to take part in was doomed to failure and he didn't want his house to fall into government hands) on an tidal island, Castle Tioram is lovely, more picturesque than the famous Eilean Donan Castle, yet tucked out the way and very little known. But I was frustrated at sea level, thinking that I wasn't quite seeing the whole picture. Back home I looked at a map, and it occured to me that the steep hill behind the castle might provide a better viewpoint. On returning, I walked past the castle, up into a tangle of rhodedendrons - following a vaguely clear route through this jungle, someone had been here before - before finally popping up out the vegetation to a fine viewpoint. Not just the castle was in view, but as an unexpected bonus, so were the islands of Rum and Eigg: and in the foreground purple rhodedendrons completed the picture. I could not have been more pleased with a speculative search for a view.

alternative pic: Kissimul Castle

This is the other candidate for most picturesque castle in Scotland. The best viewpoint is from just below the summit of Sheaval. I can't completely decide, but think Tioram shades it.

3.5: North Torridon from Liathach

This probably shouldn't be in this list... I've seen this view, but my camera wasn't working the day I walked up Liathach, so this picture is reproduced courtesy of Douglas Wilcox. You breast the ridge from the standard ascent route and the view north over the individualistic hills of North Torridon takes your breath away! You'd think you were in the wild mountains around Narvik rather than in couthy auld Scotia, especially in winter. I would like to return, and take this picture for myself.

3: Buchaille Etive Mor from Beinn a'Chrulaiste

Everyone knows the Buachaille, everyone's seen the classic view from Blackrock Cottage or the River Etive:

Buachaille from River Etive:

But what you may not have seen is the best view of the lot, that from Beinn a'Chrulaiste. Beinn a'Chrulaiste is an unassuming pudding bowl when compared to the Buachaille opposite: and yet it provides the best perch from which to contemplate the Buachaille. Boswell, I said in my book, to the Buachaille's Johnson.

Mist clears whilst ascending Beinn a'Chrulaiste:

The view from the Black Corries is good: but that from just to the southwest of Beinn a'Chrulaiste's summit is even better.

2: Loch Lomond from Duncryne

Duncryne, known locally as the Dumpling, is the best viewpoint in the Lowlands. Perhaps that's cheating though, as the view is of the Highlands. It's small, steep bump sits above the village of Gartocharn, and was a favourite of the outdoor writer Tom Weir. And yet it remains a local hill, with few visitors. The lack of information and short ascent probably put most tourists off. However, as a quick shot of scenery, it can't be topped. Arrive on the abrupt summit and POW! Loch Lomond hits you in the eye, laid out below, islands and hills and water just the perfect size to take in in one glance. You'll feel like hugging yourself if you go up on a clear day.

Well that's the countdown nearly done. Have I covered your favourite viewpoint yet? Curious as to my number one? All will be revealed in a few days...

My Top Ten Viewpoints: 1


blueskyscotland said...

Beinn A`Chrulaiste is a little gem of a viewpoint indeed.We spent a December evening up there a few years ago while treated to a dazzling display at sunset.Not sure if html link will work here but here goes...


If not it`s on page 7 of my Flickr account via our blogroll :)

Robert Craig said...

An amazing moment captured in that photo.