Braigh-na-Leitre – A week in Strathconon

by backpackingbongos

The single track road twisted through the narrow glen, mountains towering above on either side.  A final turn and Loch Beannacharain came into view at the precise moment that Explosions in the sky had risen to its final crescendo on the stereo.  It was one of life’s moments of perfect timing that put a huge grin on my face.  I had enjoyed a fantastic day on the hills lower down the glen and I was returning to our remote retreat in the furthest reaches of this scenic area.

18 miles at the end of a single track lane I passed the ‘No unauthorised vehicles’ sign and carried on down towards Scardroy lodge.  The sign by the Scottish rights of way society caught my eye as I passed by.  Our cottage was on the track to Achnashellach, a very long walk to the west.  Keen backpackers could continue to the west coast at Attadale via the Bealach Bhearnais though wild uninhabited country.

A mile and a half from the end of the public road was our cottage for the week, Braigh-na-Leitre.  Always warm and inviting after descending from the hills with peat stained trousers and wet feet.

I often felt privileged to be able to step out of the door and already be deep in the mountains.  Out the back door and we were immediately on the hill.  With hands in pockets and dog at my side I could amble with no real objective, enjoying just being in the hills.

For me one of the joys of wild camping is sitting in my tent whilst eating and drinking, enjoying the moment and staring vacantly at the view.  For a week the table in the conservatory was my tent porch and meal times were mesmerising with the changing light on the hill across the glen.  Most evenings great herds of deer would descend to the river.  This probably accounts for the rather numerous deer ticks in the vicinity!

Anyway, as there is a risk of this becoming a ‘What I did on my holiday’ post I will stop typing and leave you with a few photos of the surroundings within a couple of minutes walk of the front door.  I did manage some memorable days on the hills with four Corbetts and two Grahams climbed.  I will write my usual trip reports on them soon.


31 Comments to “Braigh-na-Leitre – A week in Strathconon”

  1. Looks alright. Maybe you should move to Scotland now you’re all grown up…

    • It was not too shabby to be honest Pete. I would love to move to Scotland now that I am an adult, but those little things like jobs and stuff get in the way.
      One day, one day……………..

  2. Beautiful! I have a picture of Strathconon on my blog somewhere; it’s one of the places I plan to visit!

  3. Now that really does look idyllic!

  4. Great pictures. Really make me want to go exploring.. I love Scotland.

  5. James, what a fantastic place to have a house !

  6. Looks a fantastic place to stay. I totally agree with you about watching the interplay of light on the hills.It’s what I go to Scotland for

    • There is something about the quality of light in the far north that you don’t get anywhere else Ian. Lovely it is.

  7. Well jealous mate, stonking place for a week’s holiday. Loads of hills round that way I’ve not done so really looking forward to the upcoming reports

    • A bit of a treat to be honest, beats being in a small damp tent. A new area for me and some of the views blew me away.

  8. Eventually got to visit Strathconon back in January and enjoyed a great weekend there.
    Camped in the van just down the road from your cottage on the shore of Loch Beannacharain.
    A lovely area with loads of walking routes and plenty of good tracks.
    Look forward to seeing what walks filled your week.

    • I popped in and read those fine routes before we went. Now that your website allows comments I must drop in and leave my appreciation on what is a great blog you have.
      The car park on the shore of the loch was nearly always empty, so I can imagine it is a great place for a campervan. The entire glen was so quiet.

  9. A great area. I spent a couple of nights at Bhearnais bothy a few years ago but went over to Achnashellac rather than east towards where you were based. I think you had better weather because you’ve captured some great views.
    Cheers, Alen McF.

    • Bhearnais is a great place to spend the night, although I have never slept in a bothy with so many mice. The little buggers kept me awake all night. The weather was generally pretty good, a bit of rain but I was able to see the hills which can be a bonus in the Highlands1!

  10. Did Reuben pick up many ticks ? I would like to take our Lhasa Apsos Max somewhere like that but his long hair makes it a little tricky to check him over for ticks easily. He picked a couple up near Windermere a couple of years ago. Having said that if we are walking through bracken I can easily stow him in our spare rucksack.

    • Hi, sorry to jump in here James. Mike, did you know that dogs can get Lyme disease from ticks? Our lab was very poorly with the disease a couple of summers ago after a trip to Scotland. (The necessary antibiotics were expensive too!) However, it is preventable if you treat your dog with Frontline once every 4 weeks. The dog might still pick up a few ticks, but the Frontline kills them before they get chance to transmit the disease. Now we know this, our dogs are treated regularly and it doesn’t worry us any more. Cheers, Chrissie

    • Reuben only picked up one as far as I could tell, I found a fresh one on his ear which came out easily. I frontlined him a couple of days before we went which appeared to work. I found a dead tick in his bed, so it must kill them as usually they are pretty indestructable.

  11. Stunning Location, totally away from it all with great walks literally on your doorstep, what bliss. I’m sure you had a brilliant week up there. How you getting with the G3, results are looking good. I’m getting there with mine slowly but surely.

    • Thanks Phil. Enjoying using the G3, still taking huge amounts of photos and discarding many. Getting some good shots with it though. Mostly using aperture priority mode now for outdoor stuff.

  12. Yep, we Frontline ours about every 2 months at home, but if we were in the hills, definitely every month.
    Shame you can’t get Frontline for humans.

    • Frontline for humans would be awesome. I don’t recommend you try it though. It does make me wonder if it is good for animals seeing as it is a strong chemical?

  13. pretty in pink – not a bad place to spend a birthday, that.

  14. Very nice indeed! That looks fantastic – a great place to just relax and wander. I’m looking forward to the accounts of the hill trips too.

    • The surrounding hills gave some great days out Nick. No Munros in the vicinity that that probably is a good thing as the glen was pretty much deserted. I nicked a route from your blog one day.

    • It would have been lovely to have had you along for the ride Mr Rich. Not enough room for all the Baldwin clan though!

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