Lismore North Circuit
A pleasant circular route around the northern end of the lovely Isle of Lismore along the high ground forming the “spine” of the island. Lismore is farming land with many fences and walls. All such obstacles on this route can be crossed by means of gates, stiles or broken sections (older walls), it is not necessary to climb any of them. Livestock will be encountered so best to keep dogs on leads for some parts of the route.
- Distance: 12.7 km / 8 miles
- Ascent: 250 m / 800 feet
- Terrain: Quiet road, paths (unsurfaced), tracks,
- Start / finish: Heritage Centre (café, toilets, parking available)
The island’s Heritage Centre makes a convenient starting point for the walk but the ferry terminal at Point could also be used especially if making a day trip on the passenger ferry from Port Appin.
From the Heritage Centre walk up the road for about 750m to reach the houses at Clachan where the route starts at a gate on the left hand side after the first house. Keep left on the grassy track around the edge of the fields. A convenient marker post for Castle Coeffin keeps you right. The grass path becomes a more obvious track across the fields before descending to the coast. As you zig zag down through the trees you will spot the remains of Castle Coeffin on its promontory.
After exploring the area, return back up the zig zags to reach a gap in the wall on your left. Go through the gap (this point is also marked with a wee hut and TV aerial) on to a grassy path. Follow this path in a north easterly direction. Although the path is feint in places, navigation is not difficult. If you lose the path keep going in the right general direction aiming towards a hillock with a trig point. If you keep to the highest ground you won’t go far wrong. All walls/fences can be crossed with resorting to climbing them. It’s about 1.3 km from the gap in the wall to the trig point.
As you approach the trig point, leave the grass path and aim towards the top of the hill. From this 82m high vantage point there are excellent views on a clear day and you can even spot Ben Nevis on the horizon.
Leave the trig point by going down grassy slopes aiming towards the houses at Fennachrochan to the north east. As you descend you should be able to rejoin the grass path and skirt south east of a wee bump. Cross the next wall and start to go back up hill slightly. Aim for the left of the farm ahead of you to join the road/track at Fennachrochan.
Go right on the track and follow it around the coast for 900m to reach the Port Ramsay road. Turn left down to Port Ramsay then pass in front of the row of white houses with the coast to your left. After the houses the track you are on turns inland. Before reaching the house at Park, leave the track heading northwards across grassland. Keep to the high ground following grass paths in a roughly north east direction.
Approximately 1km after leaving the track you will reach a small cairn on a hillock. At 51m this is the high point of the northern end of the island.
Descending from here direct to the ferry terminal is probably not a good idea as it entails barb wire fences and some steep ground. Instead turn south east and then south on to a grassy path that takes you behind a house and provides easy access to the public road.
The remainder of the walk is now on the quiet single track road down the east coast of the island. Although it is 5km it is pleasant enough walking with little traffic. At the church at Clachan, a collection of medieval grave slabs are now on display with interpretive boards.