Walk: Faraid Head - Scotland or Sahara?

Highland | Durness | Short walk | ★★★

[View back across Balnakeil Bay from the north end]

Paths radiate off in different directions from the 17th century ruins of Balnakeil Church. While west takes you to the beautiful Kyle of Durness, the route north across Balnakeil Bay takes you to another world. The rocky prominence of Faraid Head is almost entirely covered with huge sand dunes, drifting across roads and dwarfing walkers and the odd military vehicle passing below them. The northern tip is part of an MOD firing range (Cape Wrath the target), so gunfire may add another unusual dimension to exploration of the headland. It evidently doesn't bother the puffins and other seabirds nesting here during late spring and early summer. If the sand is dry and the wind is up, expect to find grains of sand in unexpected places for the rest of your holiday. And leave time for Balnakeil Bay itself - this stunning beach stretches nearly two miles at low tide.

[Sea stacks at Faraid Head]

📌 Walk: Faraid Head - Scotland or Sahara? ★★★
Start / finish at car park at Balnakeil Church, at minor road end 1 mi northwest of Durness, G.R.: NC 391687 ///songbird.guides.width

▶ 7 km / 4 mi | ▲ 110 m | ⌚ Short | Easy
Features: Balnakeil Bay; Faraid Head
Terrain: Beaches, faint paths and tracks, often covered by drifting sand.

Route & map

Car park - Balnakeil Bay - Faraid Head military base via main access track - Geodh' a' Lochaidh via east coast - start via outward track


Route credit: Walkhighlands

On our visit

Wildlife: Seabirds and hundreds of migrating geese overhead.
Weather: Sunny after overnight rain, but very windy with temperatures in single figures.

Also on this walk

📌 Balnakeil Bay ★★★★
Off minor road at Balnakeil Church, G.R.: NC 392692 ///renews.skies.hasten

[The west side of Faraid Head has a long stretch of beautiful beaches]

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