Walk: The Mannie of Bhraggie

[On the east coast around here it's hard to escape the Duke of Sutherland's gaze, even today]

The 100 foot high, all-seeing Duke of Sutherland dominates the skyline above Golspie and the A9, and is as unsettling as the more southerly Fyrish Monument is graceful. Its subject, George Leveson-Gower, is a highly controversial figure - who instigated land reform which led to the displacement of thousands of residents from their homes during the Clearances. Attempts to remove, damage and destroy the statue continue almost two hundred years after its creation. The slopes below Ben Bhraggie and its monument are criss-crossed by some of the best mountain bike trails in the Highlands, but footpaths also snake up the hill from the bottom - first through woodland, then onto open moorland. Tracks heading round the "back" of the hill enable a longer, gentler return to base.

[Golspie beyond one of the mountain bike track features on Ben Bhraggie]

Name: Walk: The Mannie of Bhraggie ★☆☆
Length: 9 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 400 metres
Main summits: Ben Bhraggie (397 metres)
Points of interest: Duke of Sutherland Monument ("The Mannie")
Start / finish: Street parking on Fountain Road, Golspie, G.R.: NC 831001 / reservoir listed stress - or car park (with charge) further uphill off Argo Terrace.

Route: Car park - Ben Bhraggie summit and Monument - track northwest then east to Ben Bhraggie Wood - houses at Golspie Tower - car park
Terrain: Narrow paths shared with mountain bikes (give way to bikes), forestry tracks and good hill path on ascent. Moorland track then forestry tracks and path for descent.
Wildlife today: Roe deer in Ben Bhraggie Wood, numerous bees on moorland ascent.
Weather today: Mainly cloudy with a heavy shower near start, brightening up a little later. Breezy in the open, temperature in low teens.
Anything else? Car park has a charge, but free parking available close by on Argo Terrace.

Name: Highland Wildcat Trails ★☆☆
Description: Renowned mountain bike trails including the longest descent in the UK at 1300 feet.
Location: Car park (with charge) off Argo Terrace, Golspie, G.R.: NC 830003 / addicted stunt crispier - or street parking further downhill on Fountain Road.
Cost: Free
Open: Always

Routes: 1 km  7 km  8 km  14 km. Map here.
Terrain: see website
Bike hire: None nearby

[Good tracks provide a gentle way back from the summit]


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

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