Walk: Takin' a lichen to Castle Dounie

Argyll & Bute | Crinan | Half day walk | ★★★

[Castle Dounie]

Acres of dark forest cloak the hills above Crinan. South of the village the landscape seems devoid of all human activity apart from forestry operations; the lichen covering every bough with a rich tapestry of fur is a sign of exceptionally clean air. This region hasn't always been uninhabited though: go back a few thousand years though and the north top of Creag Mhòr was the site of an iron-age hill fort, now called Castle Dounie. Views from the rocky remains are fantastic, taking in Islay, Jura, Scarba and large swathes of coastal Argyll. It may have been our imagination, but we even thought we could hear the savage roar of the Corryvreckan Whirlpool, out of sight about 7 miles away. Let us know if you experience the same thing.

[Trees covered in lichen]

📌 Walk: Takin' a lichen to Castle Dounie ★★★
▶ 7 km / 4 miles | ▲ 260 metres
Summits: Creag Mhòr north top (175 metres) | Features: Crinan; Castle Dounie
Start / finish: Car park at Crinan Harbour, G.R.: NR 784942 ///stew.glad.users

Route: Car park & Crinan Harbour - coast path to G.R.: NR 779942 - track junction at G.R. NR 775939 - Castle Dounie by direct route - return to track junction by northern loop - start by outward route. Route mostly waymarked in green and on map here (no. 6).
Terrain: Clear paths and tracks; a bit muddy lower down with some steep sections. The section nearest Crinan may (just) be submerged at high tide.
Wildlife today: Several grey herons; small birds and ducks
Weather today: Sun coming out after a cloudy start; light winds, about 5°C but ground partly frozen.  

>> Crinan ★★★

[Crinan Harbour]

Route map

Route credit: Forestry and Land Scotland

More photos

[Heron at the start]

[Bay at Crinan Harbour]

[View back to Crinan from the short tidal section]

[Coast path]

[Eilean dà Mhèinn in the bay]

[Sea views on the ascent]

[Paths are generally good, though with some wet spots]

[Approaching Castle Dounie]

[View north from Castle Dounie]

[Looking northeast]

[Looking west]

[Looking southwest]

[Empty landscape]

[Return track]

[View over the Sound of Jura from the return track]


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