In February 2019, Alex Roddie hiked the Cape Wrath Trail – but it wasn’t the wintry multi-week journey he’d been looking for.

The trail is long, but space on the page is limited, and we can only ever publish a glimpse of any trip in our print magazine. In this photo gallery we hope to offer a deeper look at the triumphs and trials of hiking a long-distance trail in a very strange winter – or is it simply the new normal?

To read Alex’s feature, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the May 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors. You can now order single copies online with free postage to anywhere in the UK.


By Alex and James Roddie

Ardnamurchan to Glenfinnan

The start: Ardnamurchan Lighthouse. It felt like an exposed and lonely place on the edge of the Atlantic – and I could hardly imagine standing beside the other lighthouse at the end of my adventure, when I reached Cape Wrath.
© Alex Roddie

A typical scene from the coastal stretch in Ardnamurchan. I’m about to get clobbered by another downpour.
© Alex Roddie

A moment of Ardnamurchan magic.
© Alex Roddie

I found some real winter on the Munros above Corryhully Bothy, Glenfinnan, but it didn’t last long.
© Alex Roddie

Glorious.
© Alex Roddie

Glenfinnan to Torridon

My brother James joined me for a few days of the walk through Knoydart, after the big thaw.
© James Roddie Photography

The Allt a’ Chaorainn was the first real river crossing. Some estate workers advised us to cross before the usual crossing.
© James Roddie Photography

Arriving at A’ Chuil bothy after dark. It felt very mild.
© James Roddie Photography

A quiet moment in the bothy after dinner, reflecting on the day’s events and writing up my journal.
© James Roddie Photography

Ready to set off into Knoydart.
© James Roddie Photography

In the forestry plantations of Glen Dessary.
© James Roddie Photography

The Finiskaig River on the way to Sourlies can be another serious crossing, but the water levels weren’t too high. James had returned to Glenfinnan by this point, leaving me to proceed alone.
© Alex Roddie

A sublime camp on the beach at Barrisdale Bay.
© Alex Roddie

Walking beneath Liathach. By the time I arrived in Torridon, I’d had several days of abysmal weather – but it still wasn’t very wintry.
© Alex Roddie

Torridon to Inverlael

Drying out gear in Torridon campsite.
© Alex Roddie

Wild pine forests beneath Beinn Eighe. In Torridon I met up with TGO’s Gear Editor Chris Townsend.
© Alex Roddie

Chris Townsend crossing a stream on the way around the northern side of Beinn Eighe.
© Alex Roddie

Wild camp with Chris above the Allt Toll a’ Ghiuthais.
© Alex Roddie

A magnificent view of Beinn Eighe – but where’s the snow?
© Alex Roddie

Entering Fisherfield, with a view ahead to Lochan Fada. This is a magnificent section of the CWT – beautifully wild and remote.
© Alex Roddie

A starry wild camp beneath Bealach na Croise. I’d tried to walk all the way to Shenavall bothy from Beinn Eighe, but stopping for supplies in Kinlochewe slowed me down and I didn’t quite make it.
© Alex Roddie

Looking back to An Teallach.
© Alex Roddie

Inverlael to Assynt

Glen Douchary: a place of open views and surprisingly diverse pockets of wildness. There’s also a nasty bulldozed hill track nearby.
© Alex Roddie

A night at the Schoolhouse bothy.
© Alex Roddie

Bealach Trallgil: one of the last high points on the route, and still holding on to a little snow.
© Alex Roddie

Magnificent weather on the way up to Bealach na h-Uidhe.
© Alex Roddie

One of the best wild camps on the trail.
© Alex Roddie

Increasingly summery weather; when this photo was taken, climbing up above Loch Glencoul, the temperature was almost 20ºC. In February!
© Alex Roddie

The final stage to Cape Wrath

An abandoned croft near Kinlochbervie. The weather remained fine for the final 9-10 days of my walk.
© Alex Roddie

A remarkable sight: the skull of a rare and endangered Northern Bottlenose Whale, standing like a monolith on the beach at Sandwood Bay.
© Alex Roddie

Sandwood Bay. A fine place to camp, and one of the highlights of the CWT.
© Alex Roddie

The geology of Cape Wrath.
© Alex Roddie

One more mile due north to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath (the lighthouse is hidden beneath high ground from this vantage point).
© Alex Roddie

299 miles from Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath – job done!
© Alex Roddie


Return to the Cape Wrath Trail home page

DISCOVER AND ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Subscribe to The Great Outdoors Magazine today and pay just £15 for your first 6 issues – Saving 47%