A lovely, circular walk around the tiny hamlet of Milovaig in Glendale. The perfect evening stroll. 2 miles. 1 hour.
Starts directly from your Cottage, if you stay in Milovaig, alternatively start from the Pier.
From the Pier, turn right. As you turn the corner, you will see a beautiful wild-flower meadow on your left, containing a green-painted shed. The meadow is filled with Heath Spotted Orchids, Tufted Vetches and other beautiful plants. Continue to follow the road as it begins to ascend steeply upwards on a left-hand bend.
About half-way up, on the right, you will pass the junction with the hill road. 15 yards past the hill road, the ground starts to level slightly on your left. Leave the road at this point and climb to the top of the hill that is now between you and the Loch.
The views are spectacular, covering the whole of Loch Pooltiel and the Minch out to the Hebrides beyond. At your feet, look out for the sticky-leaved, carnivorous butterwort. This is also a good vantage point from which to watch the sun setting over the Western Isles.
The distinctive spruce-clad, tin-roofed home beneath you at this point is typical of the work of popular local architects Rural Design.
Return to the road and continue to follow it up-hill. Despite its commanding position, you are still walking though Lower Milovaig at this point.
Continue along the road, passing the telephone box, and, as you go past a large green shed on the right-hand side of the road, you enter Upper Milovaig. The expanse of moorland on your right, extending from the Neist Road back to the sea constitutes part of the common grazings for the township of Milovaig.
The road begins to descend now until a deserted Croft House is reached on your left and a wide burn flows under the road. Leave the road at this point and follow the burn back down to the bottom road.
The burn flows underneath the lower road and into a series of pretty pools. Approach the pools carefully, and you will be rewarded with sightings of trout, eels, grey wagtails and maybe even an otter.
You can detour, to follow the burn down to the shore, where it flows into Loch Pooltiel, or return along the road back towards the Pier. As you walk back towards the Pier, you pass a small burn on your left, which marks your return from Upper Milovaig back into Lower Milovaig.
You will pass a croft house on your left with a greenhouse to the side and a polytunnel behind. This is the place to buy delicious free-range eggs from the honesty box at the gate and also order prize-winning locally grown vegetables, salads and herbs from Glendale Croft Produce.
Keep an eye out for seals on the skerries in Loch Pooltiel and the beautiful displays of wild-flowers beside the road. According to legend, it is upon these skerries that the body of Diel, a viking prince, was laid by Mermaids after he drowned in a ship-wreck. The Loch was named after him, ‘The Pool of Diel’ or, in Gaelic, ‘Pooltiel’.
There was a female/juvenile reed bunting feeding amongst bladder wrack on the inner shore at Meanish, late morning. There was a flock of 30 mixed migrants at Meanish, late morning, comprising goldfinches, twite and linnets. A skylark flew north over Meanish and out over the sea to Harris, late morning.
There was a pod of around 8 common dolphins far out in the Minch off Lower Milovaig, late afternoon.
Two adult and three juvenile whooper swans came in from the north and landed on Loch Pooltiel, early afternoon.