Scottish Trail Running – Mangersta Stacks

The weather in the Western Isles is very changeable. Sometimes, leaving the house is a gamble. Will it stop raining by the time I get to the place I want to visit?

In the video above you can see when that gamble fails. It was raining when we left the house and the weather was even worse by the time we got to Mangersta. So we had to do it all again the next day.

Mangersta is a beautiful spot on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. Check out the video to see the cliffs and beach.

Outdoor Swim Review: Carron Valley – Oct 2021 (Iain)

Check out the video to see what a swim in Carron Valley Reservoir is like.

Ease of Access: https://goo.gl/maps/vkcjfRm5cx6dYWt7A Park at the gate next to the loch. Its 10m to the waterside. 

Water quality: Warm and shallow at the edge of the loch but it can noticeably drop in temperature the further out you get. 

Swim Quality: Excellent. Lots of things to sight against. Water is choppy but that makes it more fun!

Other People: A couple of folk out walking and the odd car/cyclist going by. 

Would I go back: Yes. It’s my default swim location. 

Rugged Run – Ben Cleuch (Iain)

Ten years ago, I met my wife on a walk up Ben Cleuch so when I recently suggested we head there for a walk I expected here to say “Oh, that’s where we met” instead she said “Where? I’ve never heard of it.”

Our initial meeting can’t have been very memorable!

The walk starts in Tilicoutry. There is plenty of parking near to the start. When I last did the walk I went up via a path in Tilicoutry Glen but a sign at the start of the walk said that route was closed due to damage to the path.

There is a suggested diversion so we took that instead of the route through the glen. The route was easy to follow as it was well signposted.

There was allot of climbing. The walk start at an eelvation of 60m and keeps going up until you are at 700m. Only the last section on the summit is relatively flat. 

We could have gone back down the way we came but instead we decided to do a circular route. This would come down via the damaged path. I was hopeful it wasn’t too damaged but I was slightly concerned when we didn’t meet anyone coming up via that way.

Thankfully the damage to the path was just a missing section of wooden walkway. It was very easy to get past.

Ben Cleuch is a nice walk. Its not too challenging (other than the steepness.) There was nice views across central Scotland from the top.

Check out the video to get a feel for the route.

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2867789784493628438

Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Nice route but a bit dull. I think I’d enjoy it more in winter with a bit of snow on the ground.

Parking

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There was plenty of spaces to park near the start.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None

Nearest cafe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are cafe’s and shops in Tilicoutry

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

Yes as long as they like hills.

Elevation

721m

Rugged Run – The Postman’s Path on the Isle of Harris (Iain)

The postman’s path connects the small town of Tarbert with the even smaller town of Rhenigidale on the south-east edge of the Isle of Harris.

Until 1989, the only way for the outside world to reach Rhenigidale was by boat, or by this path. Goods and post were taken in and out via this route. Which meant a very long walk for the postman. Thankfully Amazon did not exist back then or he’d never have been able to carry all the post over the hill.

The route is a 13 mile circular path starting in Rhenigidale. TwinbikeAndrew thought it was going to be 10km!

There is parking in Rhengidale and the path is very obvious. Just make sure when you get to the Scalpay side that you take the path on the West side of the Loch. The East side also has a path but it ends after about a mile.

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2874326492451568174

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Spectacular Views on a nice day

Parking

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a car park at the start of the run.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None

Nearest cafe

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Nothing nearby but there are a couple of places in Tarbert.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

Yes as long as your dog likes hills!

Elevation

740M of elevation.

Rugged Run – Ben Cruachan (Iain)

I’ve never had a desire to climb all the Munro’s. I’d rather just climb the good one’s again rather than do one of the less interesting ones. Why spend a day going to climb the 282nd most interesting Munro when you could go and climb one of the top 100 or even the top 10 most interesting?

Climbing a hill just to tick it off a list seems a bit pointless.

Which is why, I’ve only every climbed about 20 Munro’s but I’ve done them all multiple times and they are all some of the most interesting (to me) one’s!

This was my fourth time up Ben Cruachan. The last time I was there was a few years ago, it was the hottest day of the year and of the ten people I was with who started the walk. Only 4 got to the top. The rest conked out in the heat on the way up.

This time the forecast was for it to be even hotter than that day but when we got to the hill it was very cloudy and overcast. Check out the video to see how we got on….

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2871762937338348116

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favorite munro’s but its a hard slog. Do it on a nice day so the views at the top are good.

Parking

Rating: 2 out of 5.

There is a small car park at the start but if its full you will have to park 1km away from the start.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

There are no faciliteis at the start of the walk.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There are a few cafe’s nearby but I didn’t stop at any of them.

Run Surface

70% trail, 30% firetrack road. The trail is a mix of rough paths and rocky routes.

Dog Friendly

yes

Elevation

1100 m

Toddman 2021 Film (Iain)

Every year Andrew Todd and I race each other in an epic contest known around the world as Toddman!

The TV rights are available if sky sports are interested? No? How about Channel 4? No? GB news ? No? Really? Not even wanted by a channel no one watches! How about Onlyfans ? Last year Andrew cheated to win. This year, did history repeat itself ?

If you read last weeks blog then you will know the answer…

Rugged Run – The Falls of Clyde(Iain)

Can a good walk be spoiled by a terrible journey to it?

The Falls of Clyde should be a good walk. It ticks all the boxes of things I like. Its is very scenic, it has unique sights (the village) and there are options to make it a short or long route BUT I hated driving to it.

I hated it because the roads were awful, I got lost and I spent twice as much time in my car than my Sat nav claimed it would take.

By the time I started the walk I was in a foul mood so I did a short route out and back route rather than a full loop. Check out the maps below to see the options.

I enjoyed the walk. It was long enough for me. The route is very well signposted so I won’t bother putting directions here. Just follow the signs to the falls.

MAPS

Short Route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2859444495775347268

Long Route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2852569720978813142

Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Nice walk but it is not a nice drive to get to (from my house)

Parking

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is a big car park.

Facilities

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are toilets, cafes and plenty of shops nearby.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a cafe in New Lanark visitors centra.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

yes

Elevation

300 m