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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Route IV: Branch A. Beauly to Strathglass, Glen Strathfarar, Glen Cannich, Glen Affrick, and thence to Kintail


Roads; Falls of Kilmorack; Old Church; Manse; The Drhuim; Isle of Aigas, 1.—Approach to Strathglass; Eskadale; Erchless Castle; Clan Chisholm; their late Chief, 2.—Beaufort; Fort Lovat; The Fentons; Grahams; Bissets; Sieges under Edward I. and Cromwell; Accommodations of the Eighteenth Century, 3.—Belladrum; Glenconvinth; Ferries, 4.—Strathglass; Ancient Pine Forests; Lead Mine; Cross Roads to Urquhart; Bridge of fnvercannich; Bridge and Chapel of Fasnakyle; Dun Finn, 5.—Geusachan; Termination of the Road; State of the Country in 1745, 6.—Passes to the West Coast; Tracks, or Footpaths; Mountains on the Boundary between Inverness and Ross shires, 7.—Glenstrathfarar; Loch Miulie; Loch Monar; Great Deer Hunt, 8.—Scournalapich, and other Mountains and Valleys, on the route to Attadale, on Loch Carron; MacRaes of Kintail, 9.--Glen Cannich, 10.—The Chisholm's Pass; Falls of the Glass; Knockfin, 11.—Loch Benneveian, 12.—Loch Affrick; Resting houses of Culivie and Annamulloch, 13. Mam Soul; Glaciers, 14.—Strath Affrick; Glen Greenivic; the Beallach; Crowe of Kintail; Falls of Glomak; Characters of the Scenery, 15.

1. WE proceed to give in this route a short account of the upper portion of the river Beauly, including the valleys of Strathglass, Glen Cannich, and Glenstrathfarar, and the passes through them to the west coast, all of them being very interesting.

Returning to Lovat or Beauly Bridge, a road, as formerly mentioned, has been carried westward along the north bank of the Beauly, through the parish of Kilmorack, (the burying-ground of St. Marion), to the summit of the first-mentioned strath, which is about twenty-five miles distant. Another road nearly parallel to it, already referred to, runs on the opposite side of the river, through the parish of Kiltarlity ; both uniting at the bridge of Fasnakyle, in Strathglass.

The lower falls of Kilmorack are situate about two miles west from Beauly, immediately beneath the parish church. They are less remarkable for their height, than for breadth and quantity of water, and, fox the beautiful accompaniments of lofty rocks, smooth green banks, and hanging woods which encircle them. The river, dashing from between two lofty precipices, where it is confined to an extremely narrow channel, suddenly expands into an open semicircular basin, through which it slowly glides, and is then precipitated over its lower edge in a series of small cataracts. These falls are not sufficiently high or powerful to prevent salmon from getting up the river ; but the rocks next the shore being accessible, the fish are often caught by men who stand watching them, with hooks or spears fixed to long rods, and with which the salmon are seized when in the act of springing over the cascades. It is obvious that the sport is a dangerous one; and many a stalwart Highlander has met his death by it. Below the falls, the stream flows on through a rich plain, overtopping which Beaufort is beheld to great advantage; and close by, on the further bank, the visitor will perceive the ruins of the old church and the deserted manse of Kiltarlity, with the small adjoining burying-ground, which, as being the resting place of their forefathers, is still resorted to by the parishioners. On the Kilmorack side, the same objects of human mortality and affection are still more picturesquely situated; the church and manse stand on a green bank a little above the road, but the burying-ground has been perched on the brink of the precipice overhanging the river.

Part of the same bank has been enclosed for the clergyman's garden, at the corner of which a summer house looks down into the deep gulf, where the torrent chafes and foams in its narrowed bed. Beyond the garden, the river forms some other cascades over shelving masses of red sandstone and conglomerate, and comes sullenly on, threading its way through a set of high precipitous cliffs clothed with the bright foliage of the birch-tree, and a thousand trailing shrubs; its channel cut below, by the force of the stream, into small fantastic caves and boiling caldrons. The next group of waterfalls occurs about three miles up the river, at the top of a most romantic ride called "The Drhuim," which signifies a narrow pass. This is the most sweetly Highland and beautiful part of the course of the Beauly: on either hand the mountain acclivities are rather steep and rocky, and the valley between them is not a quarter of a mile broad; but woods of birch and fir encompass the whole scene, especially on the north side; and the edges of the river are fringed all along with rows of oak, weeping birches, and alders. In one part, half up the strath, near the cottage of Teanassie (the burn of which will reward its being explored), the waters plunge through a rocky passage encircling high pyramids of stone, standing up in the midst of the stream, gigantic witnesses of its ceaseless and consuming power. Immediately below, the turmoil ceases, and the quieted element reposes in smooth dark linns; while the rocks at the same time recede and give place to soft daisied banks and sweet patches of corn land. On the southern shore, on a high conical mound rising above a perpendicular sheet of rock, is Dun Fion, a vitrified structure, which was laid open some years ago for the inspection of the curious by order of Lord Lovat. He has also formed a drive along the whole of his side of the river, which thus comprehends, as a part of his policies, this interesting piece of scenery. At the further end of the Drhuim, the road begins to ascend towards the interior of the country, and here the river is seen pouring down on each side of a high rounded hill, covered with oak and birch, at the lower extremity of which it forms the second set of small but beautiful cataracts. This wooded hill is the Island of Aigas—for the river parts into two, and encircles it—noted as having been the temporary retreat to which Simon, Lord Lovat, conducted the dowager Lady Lovat (whom he had forced to become his wife), when letters of fire and sword were issued against him and the principal families of his clan by King William, in 1697. Eilan Aigas is now more appropriately occupied by a beautiful villa, which is approached by a rustic bridge from the east side, and which was recently the summer retreat of Sir Robert Peel and his family.

2. On ascending the high ground opposite this island, another valley, of a very different character from that we have just passed, opens to view. Its surface is broad and flat, and has greatly the appearance of being the dried-up bed of an old inland lake; and along it the Beauly winds—a broad and sluggish stream, quite different in aspect from the impetuous torrent it appeared below. We are now approaching the confines of Strathglass, and the country assumes a wilder and rougher aspect. Under the brow of the wooded hill on the right, is the house of Aigas—a property lately added to the other possessions in this neighbourhood of the Chisholm of Chisholm, and on the opposite side of the valley rises the elegant mansion of Eskadale (Thomas Fraser, Esq.): to the westward, the small hamlet of Wester Eskadale, behind which, though half concealed by the birch-trees, appear the white walls and pinnacles of a handsome Roman Catholic chapel, erected by Lord Lovat. Five miles on, the traveller arrives at Erchless, or Easter Glass Castle, a stately old tower modernized, surrounded by well-dressed grounds, the residence of "The Chisholm," whose estates lie on the north side of the Beauly, and in Strathglass, and extend over hundreds of hills to the westward.

We have already alluded to Sir Robert Chisholm as being king's constable of Urquhart Castle, on Loch Ness (see page 130), early in the fourteenth century. He appears to have been the founder of the family's greatness in the north, and by his alliance with the Lauders of Quarrelwood, in Moray, to have obtained extensive possessions in that county, in addition to his Inverness-shire estates. Under the titles of "Chisholm of Comar," "The Chisholm," or "Chisholm of Chisholm," the successive chiefs continued to rule over a respectable clan till the first rebellion of last century, when Laird Roderick, by joining the Stuarts' cause, was attainted, and his property forfeited to the crown, though he himself was subsequently pardoned. After passing through various hands, it was ultimately bought back (less a good many slices sold or picked of by friendly neighbours) for behoof of the family in the year 1774. The change of system in the management of Highland properties caused several large and heart-rending migrations of the clan to Canada. Hard by the castle is the picturesque "last resting-place" of the late chief, Alexander William Chisholm of Chisholm, for several years M. P. for the county of Inverness, and whose many virtues and ardent attachment to his kinsmen, and to the civil and religious institutions of his country, which he defended in many arduous struggles, will be long and fondly remembered.

3. Before proceeding up this valley, it is necessary to return to the spot where we parted from the post-road, between Inverness and Beauly, on the height above the Lovat Bridge, and bring on the description of the parish of Kiltarlity, on the south side of the country. A few hundred yards on from the main post-road, we pass, on the right, the porter's lodge at the entrance to the extensive and wooded policies of Beaufort Castle, which stands on the site of the old fortress of Beaufort, or Dunie, which, with its subsidiary fortalice, Lovat, is noticed in Scottish story as early as the era of Alexander I. Persons of the name of Fenton and Graham, who seem to have been numerous in the adjoining country, were governors or constables of these castles, even after the Bissets' lands, on which they stood, were given to the Frasers.

The Bissets themselves were an extremely powerful family, denizened in the north during the sway of Malcolm III. and William the Lion, and whose greatness seems to have reached its acme under the sovereignty of Alexander II. They possessed the Aird, a great part of Stratherrick, and Abertarff on Loch Ness; but their head being implicated in the murder of Patrick, Earl of Athole, in 1242, and subsequently in the rebellion of Donald, Lord of the Isles, the estate was forfeited, and of new granted to the Frasers, who originally appear in Caithness (then a part of Inverness-shire) so far back as 1296, from the counties of Peebles and Tweeddale.

In the year 1303, Beaufort sustained a regular siege by Edward I., whose army battered it with catapult, from trenches still visible on the opposite side of the river: it was also seized by Oliver Cromwell, and the citadel blown up; and, lastly, it was burnt and entirely razed to the ground by the royal troops, after the battle of Culloden. The accommodations of the fortress seem not to have been great; for Simon, Lord Lovat, is related, on the authority of Ferguson the astronomer, as having "received company and dined with them in the same room in which he slept. His lady's sole apartment was her bedchamber, and the only provision for lodging the domestics and the numerous herd of retainers, was a quantity of straw on the four lower rooms of the tower: sometimes above 400 persons were kennelled here."

4. Proceeding onwards, the road immediately winds in front of the pleasure-grounds of Belladrum (J. Stewart, Esq.), one of the most elegant and costly mansions and demesnes in the Highlands. The estate of Belladrum stretches southward up a pastoral dell called Glenconvinth, through which a new road leads across the hills into Glen Urquhart, on the side of Loch Ness. Glenconvinth takes its name from a nunnery, the foundations of which, in. the centre of the valley, are still visible.

Crossing now over a long dreary ridge, we at length regain the course of the Beauly, as the island of Aigas, the fertile plains of Eskadale, and the distant woods of Struy and Erchless, suddenly burst on our sight. At Eskadale there is a ferry across the river, which affords a convenient means to the visitor of the Falls of Kilmorack and scenery of the Drhuim, to vary the homeward route to Inverness. The road passes from Eskadale towards Strathglass, past the hamlet and chapel before noticed.

5. Both sides of this valley may now be described together. Its course is nearly south-west, and almost rectilineal. It is throughout pastoral; traversed by a sluggish river, the overflowings of which give rise to the most luxuriant pastures, although at the same time they render the grounds rather too wet for cultivation. The sides of the glen are all along fringed with beautiful woods of birch, over which, in ancient days, large pine forests stretched up to the summit of the hills. Successive burnings—the necessities of the proprietors—the general introduction of sheep and cattle into the country (some will have it a change of climate), have entirely swept these away, and a few solitary trees, clinging to the precipices, or trunks dug up from the peat-mosses, are all that now remain to attest their former abundance. Strathglass was, at one period, a great storehouse for timber, and it contributed, in no small degree, to the scanty commerce which this country carried on. The Protector Cromwell used an immense quantity of the pine from the Struy estate in the construction of his fortifications at Inverness.
Near Little Struy, half a mile from the bridge, a lead mine, situate in a thick vein of heavy spar, traversing gneiss, was some years ago opened by Lord Lovat; but for the present it has been abandoned. The geologist will observe how powerful the denuding agents once were in Strathglass, and will have noticed, from Eilan Aigas upwards, the effects of undoubted glacial action in rounding, polishing, and scratching the ledges of the hard gneiss rocks of which the country is composed.

From Mid Crochiel a bridle road leads across the hills into Urquhart. Another path, farther up the glen, conducts from Geusachan to the same district, and another strikes farther west into Glen Moriston, while the new district road between Strathglass and  Corrymony long projected, will, we trust, be speedily formed, so as to enable the traveller to return from this excursion, if he pleases, by Glen Urquhart.

On the north side of Strathglass, about seven miles above Struy, a wild torrent comes pouring down from a glen on the right, called Glen Cannich, along the banks of which are seen two groups of black huts, styled Easter and Wester Invercannich. This stream is crossed by a strong massive bridge, from the farther end of which a branch road slants up the acclivity of the neighbouring hill, and, bringing us to a considerable elevation, ushers us on the upland glen, which we will presently describe.

Nearly opposite Invercannich, seven and a half miles from Struy, is the old clachan or chapel of Fasnakyle ; the area of the sacred enclosure, with a small space around it, being occupied by the graves of the inhabitants of the glen. A little further on is the wide moor of Comar, the house of Fasnakyle, and a neat Roman Catholic chapel, embowered among weeping birches. At the bridge of FasnakyIe, the two Strathglass roads unite. Here the river GIass flows through a rocky channel, from a wooded glen, lying to the westward, which leads up by the Chisholm's Pass to Lochs Beneveian and Affrick, the main road deviating towards the south. The high bold crag, rising betwixt the two, and forming a conspicuous object through the greater part of Strathglass, is called Knockfin, or Fingal's Fort. It is surrounded on the summit by two enormously thick walls of stone, but it is not vitrified.

6. Through flourishing plantations and highly cultivated grounds, we now reach Geusachan, the beautiful residence of Fraser of Culbockie, the representative of a family which suffered much at the rebellion of 174.5, and in the flames of their dwelling-house lost many of their most valuable papers.

A mile or so beyond Geusachan the public road stops on the brow of a hill, just as the traveller expects it is to usher him on Glen Affrick—one of the great openings to the west—to which we are immediately to direct attention, after a short traditionary narrative.

The districts of Strathglass and Urquhart, being easily accessible from the extensive tracts of moor ground lying to the west of them, and which were too remote to be under the command even of the ancient chieftains of the country, were formerly much infested by depredators, who occasionaIIy took possession of these wilds ; and by the more distant, but equally unsettled clans who resided on the western coasts of Inverness and Ross shires. An excessive population, which had outgrown its means of subsistence, and totally regardless of the industrious and peaceable occupations of civilized life, was always ready for desperate enterprises; and the chiefs were obliged, if not to encourage, at least to connive at such, to prevent their retainers from quarrelling among themselves. Hence our late venerable and learned friend, Mr. Grant of Corrymony, author of an erudite, but now scarce, work, on the origin and descent of the Gael, used to relate that his father, when speaking about the rebellion of 1745, always insisted that a rising in the Highlands was absolutely necessary, to give employment to the numerous bands of lawless and idle young men who infested every property. Besides, he added, Sir Ludovick Grant, our chief, plainly told the gentlemen of his name, resident in the Braes of Urquhart and Glen 1Toriston, that it was not in his power to protect them from the attacks of the neighbouring clans, such as the Frasers, Macdonells, and Camerons, who were favourable to the cause of Prince Charles Stuart; and that they must just consult their own safety, and take whichever side they considered best. Whether these gentlemen understood the meaning of this sly and shrewd advice we cannot say; but, in the circumstances in which they were placed, we cannot wonder that they joined the cause which, in the Highlands at least, appeared the strongest and most legitimate.

At the period just alluded to, cow's flesh formed almost the exclusive food of both gentry and peasantry, and hence much disease prevailed from the want of vegetables. Corn was scarce, and the reaping of such as arrived at maturity was uncertain, as well from robbery and bad husbandry as inclement seasons. Hence, like the patriarchs of old, the head of every considerable family had occasionally to send forth his sons and servants to the Low Countries to buy corn for food. Old Corrymony had every season to do so; and a goodly band of young fellows would he despatch, with leathern bags on their backs and money in their hands, to purchase meal at the Earl of Moray's granaries, in Petty. Such an expedition, however, was too important to be disregarded by the neighbourhood; and it so happened that the kind old laird seldom sent out his household accoutred with their sacks, but intelligence was some way or other communicated to the famished Camerons of Lochaber, who instantly crossed the hills in great strength, under cloud of night, and waylaid the Grants on their return from the low grounds. Sometimes without, but oftener only after a struggle, the caterans would succeed in relieving the Urquhart men of their treasure, which they instantly carried away to their own hungry families on the banks of Loch Arkaig; where, perhaps, the luxury of meal was not again experienced till the following year, when another successful foray might bring it them.

PASSES FROM STRATHGLASS TO THE WEST COAST.

7. We now proceed to describe the routes from Strathglass through the great passes or openings between the mountains leading to the west coast. They are three in number: 1st, by Glenstrathfarar and Loch Monar; 2d, by Glen Cannich; and 3d, by the Chisholm's Pass and Strath Affrick, through the Beallach to the Crowe of KintaiI. The last is the highest and grandest, and, on the whole, the best adapted for a public road, as being the shortest, and communicating most directly with well-inhabited districts; and in fact it was marked out by the Parliamentary Commissioners as one of their first lines of road, though it has not hitherto been carried beyond the top of Strathglass. At present there are but mere tracts or foot-paths through these wilds, without drains or bridges, but sufficiently marked for the pedestrian, though rendered extremely rough by the constant tread of the little country garrons, and the droves of cattle which for ages have been passing along from coast to coast, and whose footsteps have scooped out the earth between the rocks and stones on the surface, which has thus been converted into a sort of broken causeway. The whole of the mountains through which we have to pass, composing the irregular boundary between Inverness and Ross shires, are grouped into enormous chains and clusters, set on a high table-land or base, to which the lesser chains, on the confines of Loch Duich, Strathglass, and Glen Urquhart, appear only as buttresses, and which attain an elevation in some places equal, and in general but little inferior, to Ben Nevis and the Grampians. They contain multitudes of lakes at a very high level, which communicate with one another by rapid streams, the descent from these great central masses of rock to either coast being also for the most part abrupt and steep. Guides may be hired at the inn at Struy Bridge, or at the little village of Invercannich, to direct one's course, and carry his wallet and provisions, the charge being from 5s. to 7s. a-day.

1. GLENSTRATHFARAR, BRANCHING OFF FROM STRATHGLASS AT STRUY.

8. Of old, the whole district from Inverness to this point was known under the name of Strathfarar; the Firth of Beauly was called by the Romans, latinising most probably the native names, Ęstuarius-Varrar, and the valley at present denominated Glenstrathfarar, shows itself, by its designation, to be the narrowest part of the great strath. Glenstrathfarar runs nearly due west along the base of the mountain Benevachart, on the estate of Struy, for a distance of about ten miles, and is confessedly one of the most picturesque valleys in the Highlands. In geological phrase, it is formed of a succession of small circular valleys, opening into one another, and in consequence it presents a variety of landscape, generally bold and rocky, but beautifully wooded, and interspersed with soft, low meadow grounds. At its further end the glen terminates in the basin of Loch Miulie, in which is a small island whither Lord Lovat retreated after the disaster at Culloden, and from the summit of one of the adjacent mountains, encompassed by a few faithful adherents, he beheld the flames of the conflagration which consumed his own and his clansmen's houses.

Three miles beyond is Monar House (Captain White), at the lower end of Loch Monar, and thus far the road is adapted for carriages; but beyond, it is a mere tract, and the traveller should, if possible, make his way to the head of the lake, which is seven miles long, by boat. There he will find a shepherd's cot, at which, as it is twenty-five miles distant from Struy, he should rest for the night. The shores of Loch Monar are wild, but picturesque, and at the eastern end, where the water is hemmed in by a narrow tortuous strait, the remnants of an ancient pine-forest are seen, of which, farther on, stumps and fallen trees only appear, though these are met with in the mosses all the way to Kintail. According to the historical manuscript of a Highland clergyman of the seventeenth century, a great hunt took place here in the year 1655. It is thus described:-

"The law here is strict against loyalists, so that the Earl of Seaforth entered his person prisoner in the Sconce at Inverness, as also the Lord Macdonald, and had their respective lodgings within the citadel. Seaforth procured a furlough this year, putting himself under bail to Governor Miles Man, and went to visit his friends the length of Kintail; and resolving to keep a hunting by the way in the forest of Monar, he prevailed with the Master and Tutor of Lovat to go along with him. The tutor pitched his tent on the north side of the river, and Struy his tent upon the south. Next day we got sight of six or seven hundred deer, and sport of hunting fitter for kings than country gentlemen. The four days we tarried there, what is it that could cheer and renovate men's spirits but was gone about? Jumping, archery, shooting, throwing the bar, the stone, and all manner of manly exercises imaginable. And for entertainment, our baggage was well furnished of beef, mutton, fowls, fishes, fat venison—a very princely camp—and all manner of liquors. The fifth day we convoyed Seaforth over the mountain in sight of Kintail, and returned home with the Master of Lovat—a very pretty train of gallant gentlemen. Masters Hill and 'Ian, two Englishmen who were in company, declared that in all their travels they never had such brave divertisement; and if they should relate it in England, it would be concluded mere rant, and incredible!"

9. Scuir-na-Lapich, a beautifully-peaked mountain belonging to Lord Lovat, lies on the south side of Loch Monar, and between it and Glen Cannich; and to the west of it an enormous shapeless mass, called Ryuchan, flat at top, and seared in front by innumerable streams and gullies, the first and highest mountain on the Lochalsh property, and from the summit of which both seas are visible. The peaks of Crechil come next, and most splendid grassy shoulders descend from them, stretching off and uniting with the rich pastures of the west coast. It will take seven hours' hard walking to reach Attadale, on Loch Carron, from Loch Monar, and that over the most rugged ground, but without any considerable ascents, the path passing at no great distance from Lochs Ged, Cruashi, and Calivie, and from one great pastoral valley to another by gentle undulations, till, after crossing Luip-Y-Guilig, an open hollow, where the hill paths from Monar, Strathconon, Loch Carron, and Loch Long unite, it descends into the rocky and picturesque Strathan of Attadale, where brushwood, cultivation, and the cottages of the MacRaas, a pure, swarthy, dark-eyed, and tall Celtic race, greet the weary traveller. From Loch Monar the scenery is rather wide and open, but the straths and hill sides are beautifully green, and the forms and tints of many of the mountain groups and single peaks are exceedingly interesting. In Glenstrathfarar, the tourist can refresh himself at several farm-houses, and perhaps he might get quarters for a night at one or other of the shooting-lodges there, but for the last twenty miles there is no bothie at all to be seen.

2. GLEN CANNICH.

10. Glen Cannich, or the Glen of the Cotton Grass, which abounds throughout its pastures, strikes off from Strathglass at the clachan or village of Invercannich, seven and a half miles above Struy, and after a short rocky ascent, it turns westward, and stretches out for twenty miles before the eye, as a broad mossy valley, abounding in most valuable pasture, but covered to a great extent by a succession of uninteresting lakes or tarns, of which Loch Longard (called in maps Loch Moyley, and which is six or seven miles in length) is the most considerable. At the farther end of this lake, which is about half way across, is a shepherd's cottage, where the traveller will be made welcome, but no other is to be seen till he reaches Killellan, on Loch Long, about fifteen miles distant. Glen Cannich is of a lower level than Strath Affrick, to which it is nearly parallel, except that it trends more to the north, and it is higher than Glenstrathfarar. Its west end is called Glasletter, significant of its rich green pastures, and here the estates of the Chisholm and Lochalsh meet. From the edges of the plain the mountain acclivities rise up on all sides in long unbroken and beautiful slopes, clothed with the richest herbage, and thousands of choice Cheviot sheep are reared upon them. A good road could easily be made along this glen ; but the overflowings of the lochs in winter would have to be guarded against, whilst higher up it would be much exposed to deep snow wreaths, and the rough shores of Loch Long, at the west end, could only he surmounted at a great expense. Instead of going so far as Killellan, we would advise the traveller, soon after passing Loch Edrum, where the waters first Shear towards the west coast, to ford the Elcaig  river, and, ascending to the south-west, visit the Falls of Glomak, and thence proceed, as after described, to Shielhouse by the Crowe of Kintail.

3. THE CHISHOLM'S PASS, AND STRATH AFFRICK.

11. Between the bridges of Invercannich and Fasnakyle, the tourist will find an excellent road striking off to the right, which was made for the conveyance of wool from the Chisholm's sheep farms in the interior, and which terminates at the nearer end of Loch Benneveian, four or five miles distant. It ascends rapidly, and then becomes level, and it commands fine views of the strath it has left, and of the river above whose course it conducts, on which are a series of beautiful cascades, from ten to thirty feet high, occurring in the course of a rapid upwards of a mile long. The opening through which this road leads is called THE CHISHOLM's PASS. The scenery is somewhat similar to the celebrated birken bowers of Killiecrankie and the Trosachs, but on a much ampler and grander scale; and to the beauty of the birch, and of many large native ashes and elms, the intermixture of tall, fantastic pines, here superadds the sober and imposing majesty of the Rothiemurchus and Mar forests. In ascending the shelving opening, a prolonged vista in one general mantle of foliage ascending high on either side, forms a woodland picture of incomparable beauty, threaded by the rocky channel of the river. The path is prolonged westward from the termination of the good road through the Chisholm's Pass, and is daily becoming more passable for horses as well as foot passengers.

12. After resting at the shepherd's cot at Achagait, on a fine green haugh at the exit of the Glass from its parent lake, the tourist must proceed by land, if not so fortunate as to find the Loch Benneveian boat at the east end. This sheet of water is five miles long, and about a mile broad in the centre, and wider at the lower than the upper end. The surrounding mountains are high, bold, and massive—quite bare on the north side, but the sloping declivities on the south are closely and extensively covered with pine forest, of which a fine circular screen also encloses the head of the lake. Beyond it the gigantic mountain masses of Loch Affrick rise in most graceful majesty, and present long, slightly-curving summits and lines subsiding very gently in the distance, the broad and remote peaks of Kintail filling up the centre, the whole composing an exquisite landscape of severe but most engaging grandeur. The character of the scene is realized in Thomson's "Castle of Indolence."

"Full in the passage of the Vale, above,
A sable, silent, solemn forest stood;
Where nought but shadowy forms were seen to move,
As Idless fancied in her dreaming mood:
And up the hills, on either side, a wood
Of blackening pines, aye waving to and fro,
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood;
And where the valley winded out, below,
The murmuring stream was heard, and scarcely heard, to flow."

13. A narrow rocky barrier, covered with pine and birch separates Loch Benneveian from Loch Affrick; and launched again upon the latter, the tourist will perceive every feature as he advances more gigantic and imposing than those he has already explored. The hoary pine forests still continue, but in more broken masses ; but with groups and single trees now only crowning a zone of low eminences, which line both shores. Loch Affrick terminates below in a lengthened stripe, widening for a space in the centre, partially bordered with meadow ground, and overhung by birch and pine trees, and thus affording the most admirable foregrounds, comprising a most romantic shooting-lodge of the Chisholm's ; while the distant vista retains the same finely outlined character. As we advance, the mountains, which previously appeared in depressed perspective, increasing in size, press close at hand, especially on the north, in all their lofty majesty; and the pine-clad shores bestow an indescribable sense of lonely and sombre solitude on the scenery. This lake is also about five miles long, and a mile across where widest. The foot-path on the northern shore glides along the beetling crags of Scour-na-Lapich and Mam Soul, and at length ushers us on a fine meadow plain at the farther end of the loch, where the shepherd's house at Culivie, neatly fitted up, will be heartily welcomed by the traveller as his night's quarters.

The water of Affrick separates this house from Annamulloch (a ford, where a set of reivers from Mull are said by tradition to have been drowned) from another shepherd's cottage, which is similarly fitted up, either for sportsmen or travellers,—that is, having the "ben" room boxed round, with snug boarded-up beds in the side, which are farther provided with the luxuries of English blankets and sheets ; and the occupants, to their other civilities, will obligingly assist in procuring the use of the boats on the lochs, especially if a message is sent beforehand that they are wanted.

14. Should the tourist have time, we would recommend his ascending Mam Soul before proceeding farther, if the weather is fine, as the view is remarkably grand, both seas being visible from the summit ; and, if a botanist, he will find on the upper shoulders a most interesting intermixture of east and west coast plants ;—'while in some of the greater corries he is almost sure of being gratified with a sight of a herd of red deer. The nearest approach in Britain to perpetual glaciers, likewise occurs in the snow and icy patches on this mountain; but the story is quite fabulous, that a green little lake on the northern shoulder is frozen the whole year over.

15. An eight or nine hours' walk from Culivie, or Annamulloch, will land our pilgrim at Shielhouse, in Kintail—the foot-path being quite distinct the whole way, keeping on the north side of the Aifrick Water, along an open level valley, at the further end of which a sudden cleft in the terminating range of rocky hills, called the Beallach (literally the Pass), lets us "drop down," with cautious footsteps, to the Crowe of Kintail. A single bothie at Aultbae, at which a bowl of milk may be had, is to be met with in the hill, about four miles west from Loch Affrick, where an opening in the mountains leading southwards conducts to Cluany, in Glen Moriston. At the head of Strath Affrick, a glen, or hollow, running at nearly right angles to the north, and containing three small lochs, brings us, at about four miles' distance, to the Falls of Glomak, on the river of that name, from which a different route from that by the Beallach conducts to Shielhouse. For a description of those remarkable falls, the highest in the Highlands, and the approaches to them, and of the scenery generally in this day's route, we refer our readers to Route i., Branch F. page 198.

Throughout this last day's walk, the whole country has been treeless; but the green pastures redeem the loss by their brilliant lively hue, very different from the brown sombre colour of the east-coast moors. A few alders and birches reappear in Kintail, as we attain the level of Loch Duich, but they seem dwindled down to mere twigs; and an impression of solemn admiration and awe steals over the mind, as the stupendous peaks and frontlets of Kintail first burst on the view.


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