Cape Wrath Trail Demographics


My last day on the Cape Wrath Trail was fairly foul.  Given the wind, I doubted that the ferry would be operating and this was confirmed by the proprietor of the Ozone Cafe.  As a result, ten of us headed for capacious and wonderfully situated Kervaig bothy.  Of the ten, four were middle-aged Englishmen and six were foreign women.  I guess that young Brits of both sexes were out bagging summits or stuck at work but where were was everybody else?

Four of the women were from Poland.  They had limited time available for their holiday and so started up the Cape Wrath Trail from Inchnadamph, an excellent choice as they took in one of the Cape Wrath Trail’s highlights, the Glencoul/Glendhu area.  Three of us, two Englishmen and a young, German woman, had hiked the entire Cape Wrath Trail from Fort William.

The other two Englishmen were on a bothy bagging trip.  When I had dropped in at Strathchailleach bothy to see the murals, they immediately offered to brew tea for me.  Cheers, Phil and Mike!

The final member of the Kervaig crew was a woman from Canada who had hiked the 470 mile, Scottish National Trail.  She had done what I ought to have done – spent the winter getting fit for her trip.  In my defence, I had shingles, not just lassitude.  Her conscientious preparation shows that fitness isn’t the issue preventing British women from enjoying the Cape Wrath Trail.  Navigation might be more of a problem.  Not once did I see Mary make a navigational error, and I said so, but she lacked confidence in her own judgement.  After 470 Scottish miles!

She hated the canal section of the SNT and that trail also misses out the two best bits of the CWT.  Of course, this is just my opinion but I think the Glenfinnan to Barrisdale section is amazing.  Also, I can’t get enough of the remote country north and east of Ben More Assynt.  I’ve been three times since spotting the empty, brown bit in my father’s three inch to the mile road atlas forty five years ago and still feel as if I know very little about the area.  The SNT does visit Maol Bhuidhe bothy after descending past the Falls of Glomach and so will be challenging enough for many.  However, if the CWT isn’t enough for you, consider starting in Kintyre.

Two final points.  The atmosphere in the bothy was friendly and cheerful because of the people who gathered there.  It seems good sorts head for Cape Wrath.  And lastly, the women really enjoyed seeing the puffins at Kervaig.  Luckily, it was only men who noticed the bonxies.


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