Sunday 17 September 2023

Fort William Sojourn (6)

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Tome!

This blog was due to report om FRIDAY'S trip to the Isle of Skye. Readers may be  able to match a tune to the above ditty!

Unfortunately, fatigue (fbb is all mountained-out!) and a more difficult time with the internet were compounded by the departure arrangements for this morning.

0515 cases outside the room
0600 brekkies
0645 depart

An early night would be sensible, so fbb eschewed the card-school at the bar, the drinking games and the evening entertainment (??) and realised that he had insufficient energy to publish the intended blog.

The original plan c/o Lochs and Glens was to travel south via the A82, cross Loch Linnhe via the Corran Ferry and travel to Mallaig via the Ardgour Peninsula, part of the world that was new to fbb.

But the Corran Ferry has been busted for months with no sign of imminent return.

So the coach ran direct to Mallaig!

Here is a pre-prepared blog about one bus service that was scheduled to operate via and on the Corran Ferry.

Remote Or Is It Remote?

Ardnamurchan, Moidart, Morvern and Ardgour must include some of the remotest places in the UK, yet, amazingly, there is a network of buses serving the area. One of the trips out from Fort William is planned to go to this area. 

There are THREE obvious ways in, two from Fort William - the third we will meet later. The main road access is off the A830 to Mallaig.
The left turn is clearly marked just after the obligatory hotel in the middle of nowhere. There isn't much more at Lochailort.
Of course all the toad signs are bi-lingual!
The alternative access is south from Fort William on the A82 ...
...  then by ferry. The lavish ferry terminal had got a shelter, a bus stop ...
... some sample fares, operating times and ...
--- a ferry.
This is the way that Sheil Buses service 507 goes.
Its main targets, c/o Sheil Buses web site, are ...
... the head of Loch Sunart ...
... and Lochaline which the potential passenger can easily spot on the above map. Well you can on this one!
The 507 follows the road to Lpchaline (actually pretty much the only road!) something of a metropolis in these parts!
Just past the shop, restaurant and filling station (metropolis indeed) is the sign to the third access point, the ferry from Fishnish on the Island of Mull.
This has the feel of a local link ...
... not at all as grand as the main ferry from Oban. That is a proper "sail"!
The Lochaline to Fishnish route takes its customers a few miles from Tobermory ...
... famous for its multi-coloured waterside dwellings.
Here viewers of a certain age might expect to find Miss Houlie (striped), Evie McCredie (blue) and, of course, Archie The Professor (pink)! His castle sits above the town, renamed Balamory for the cameras.
The series was competed in 2005 - that's eighteen years ago! Crumbs!

For motorists and white-van-man the route via Corran and Lochaline is probably significantly quicker than the big boat from Oban.

Here the bus timetable.
As with so many of these very rural routes, the timetable is very much orientated round school requirement, in this case Ardnamurchan High.
The through "unschool" service to and from the mainland at Fort William runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.
But did you spot that extension by request (letter R) from and to Drimmin about half an hour beyond Lochaline?

fbb reckons his readers might like to visit Drimmin Slipway.
It is the end of the road! Drimmin Slip ...
... once provided water access to Drimmin House and its estate just a tad further on along a private track.
The estate is now home to self catering properties - although it's a long way (to Lochaline) for a pint of milk!

Nevertheless, Sheil Buses 507 will trundle along the narrowest of roads on a Tuesday or Thursday and take you to Fort William to stock up at Morrisons ...
... and bring you back in the afternoon.

One sadness for an enthusiastic omnibological visitor to Fort William is that he (e.g. fbb) cannot even get to Lochaline and back without an overnight stay. 

A couple of the trips out by Lochs and Glens are similar to those enjoyed on last years's holiday. so it would have been ace to get to Lochaline and back. But it cannot be done.

But are there other possibilities?


Another bus route via the Corran Ferry - currently NOT running that way - will feature in tomorrow's emergency and curtailed blog; all due to late arrival back in Seaton later today.

1 comment:

  1. The place is Drimnin, not Drimmin. I believe there is(was ?) an unadvertised ferry to Tobermory which is very difficult to travel on as it is based on the Morvern side of the sound of Mull. A few years ago I saw a Wildcat from this road on what was then one of their last strongholds, but the biggest surprise was that the rubbish lorry was in Drimnin on bin day.
    About 1980 Lochaline had two ferries, the then new one to Fishnish while the Outer Isles Steamer called at the old (and now disused) pier on the Sound of Mull which was then the centre of the village. My only attempt to board the ferry back to Oban at the old pier was thwarted by that bain of scottish travel planners the dreaded local holiday. In this case no ferries across the sound and I only just got back to Craignure thanks to a Forestry Land Rover. Happy days.