Mark Walks LEJOG Day 60 – Inverness to Alness

Hullo. How are you? I hope you are having a good day. I’m Mark and I’m walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats…

After a brisk walk through early morning Inverness, I climbed up onto the Kessock Bridge to cross the stunning Beauly Firth.

From the noise of the A9, I was suddenly in the tranquility of the forest surrounding Ord Hill. Today’s walk was just over 25 miles, making it the longest walk of the entire trip. It walk comprised of the first two stages of the John O’Groats Trail, a new walking route stretching from Inverness to John O’Groats. Those who developed the trail suggest completing it in 14 stages, but I have combined a few stages to reduce it to 11 days walking.

Having walked around Ord Hill, I took to country lanes towards Munlochy in the glorious sunshine and increasingly temperature.

At Munlochy, the walk winds through Hill o’ Hirdie Wood, with its pleasant paths and welcome tree cover providing a nice break from the sun.

At the northern edge of the wood is a Clootie Well, which can be found all over Celtic Britain. These wells are purported to have healing powers for those who leave a small tribute, which creates an odd moment in the woods where suddenly every tree is covered with bits of cloth tied to the branches by those seeking relief.

The trail then follows minor roads and tracks to Culbokie, which is the end of Stage 1 of the John O’Groats Trail and where the hiker is presented with amazing views over Cromarty Firth and the curved road bridge that spans it.

Despite the traffic, I always enjoy walking across long bridges – the feeling of being high above the water and the views the walker can soak in that the driver can only glimpse have always made these type of long crossings enjoyable to me.

I crossed the railway line and joined a quiet country lane at Ardullie, which I followed for a few miles towards Alness.

The walk along this lane gives a great view of the Foulis estate and the hills beyond.

The road then passed through Evanton and I took the chance to pop into the village shop for some supplies and a well deserved (in my opinion) ice cream.

The final stretch of the walk was along the B817, which I had expected to be road walking but was actually quite pleasant walking on the adjacent footpaths running all the way to Alness.

After 25 miles, I arrived into a bustling Alness, with locals and large numbers of cyclists all enjoying the unseasonable weather.

The Day 60 Vlog

Fundraising for MacMillan Cancer Support

As I walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, I am hoping to raise £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support, who do such a wonderful job of supporting families through the most difficult times. If you are able to spare any amount and would like to donate to MacMillan, please do so through my Just Giving Page.






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