Conaglen

Several years ago, I walked from Callop at Glenfinnan through to a little cottage called Corrlarach in Conaglen. It was a long and arduous walk, and I had always intended to walk the other half of the glen from Loch Linnhe-side. Well, today was the day when I cycled that way, starting from the Corran Ferry, and as a result I linked Glenfinnan Back to home!

Corran Ferry

The Corran Ferry plies the Corran Narrows between Nether Lochaber and Ardgour, taking about 4 minutes to cross between the two. There really should be a bridge here, but there isn't and I kind of like ferries - I just don't like paying to take my car across on them. Fortunately, pedestrians and bikes are free on the Corran! Once across, I headed north up Loch Linnhe, fighting my way through a huge volume of kids and a film crew filming a snippet for a new Morrisons Advert, and then getting the road to myself.

It is a lovely route to cycle on a sunny day, there is hardly a gradient to be found, and all the way the blue waters of Loch Linnhe are on your right with the massive bulk of Ben Nevis rearing up beyond. Before too long I had reached the tidal mud flats of Inverscaddle Bay and after crossing the little river I turned left onto the road up the glen.

Conaglen

To start with the road is just that, complete with Tarmac as it starts the gentle climb up the glen. After passing a few houses, the last of which has a fantastic view up Glen Scaddle across a small pond, the tarmac ends and a rough track takes over. The roughness is soon gone however, and it is a pleasant cycle through deciduous woodland, with the little Cona River on the left. There are some beautiful falls with the sunny glen as a backdrop, and then the climbing starts in earnest. My destintaion may have only been at the 100m contour, but there were several hard uphill slogs as the track rose and fell. Eventually, however, I reached the cottage - now used as an occasional bunkhouse as far as I can tell.
On close inspection, the cottage appears to be a genuine old blackhouse, the walls are battered (ie much wider at base than the top) and the gables are built of timber, suggesting that the thatch roof once sloped down in all directions. I relaxed on the grassy slopes in the warm sunshine for a while, before heading back the way I had come, happy that I had forged another link in my ever-expanding web of walks and cyclerides.