Glendrian Caves, Ardnamurchan – A.K.A The Bat Cave!

Posted by True Highlands in Kit and Caboodle | 0 comments

Many moons ago I promised you a blog on the walk to the Glendrian Caves – aka – the Bat Cave! So called as it was full of bats – or at least bat poo! Not sure it is inhabited now, but I still like the name…

Well having done the walk today, I am none the wiser to tell you exactly how to get there. But I can give you a rough idea and some visual aids.

Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point on the British mainland. It is a stunning wilderness, with much to discover and see. Head for Kilchoan and follow signs for Sanna. This is one of the most stunning beaches you’ll come across. Having driven through an inactive volcano, (seriously!) you reach the car park at Sanna.

Now I must point out that you need to take some supplies with you and be properly dressed for the weather. Sturdy, waterproof walking boots at the least and wellies you can walk in for hours at best. A waterproof and thin layers of clothes are good as you can get pretty hot on a sunny day. But if there’s a biting wind or you get wet, you need to be prepared. Food and plenty of water, plastic bags for loo roll in case you feel the call of nature (you may be shocked to hear there are no toilets en-route….) sun cream and midge repellent. We suggest Smidge. Oh, and a torch – Don’t want to get all that way and not go in!  We would also suggest a plastic bag so that on your way back you can pick up a few of the plastic bottles that get washed up on the shore. You should have room in your rucksack after scoffing your food!

From Sanna car park head off along the path towards the cluster of houses. You come to a fork and you take the left side. You then drop down to the small wooden bridge by the white house. Over you go and veer right.

It is at this early stage that it becomes a little random. Underfoot, in places can be very boggy and you also have the cattle/sheep issue. In any event, we headed upwards towards the cairns you can see and dropped down the other side. Now you’re on your own. It is a case of looking ahead and judging for yourself how you feel about either scrambling up and down or going low and potentially getting wet feet. It is most definitely not for those who are unsure on their feet or the very young. We had two 8 year olds who are used to outdoors and a bit of climbing. They were absolutely fine.

As you pick your way across the heather and rocks, you get some superb views of Eigg, Muck, Rùm and Skye. Sailing boats make an appearance, as did dragonflies, frogs and numerous birds and butterflies. Otter tracks on the beach got the dogs excited and some sunbathing seals were quite close to shore. There is also the abandoned village of Plocaig quite soon into the walk.

On the last bit of the walk, we took the high ground and dropped down, but on the way out, we scrambled across the rocky shore which was much easier if truth be told. This does require a low tide though. Definitely worth checking the tides before you set off.

You can pick up some of the tracks made by the cattle and sheep – but remember they aren’t necessarily heading the same way as you! Dog leads a must.

The cave itself is accessible with a torch. It is long and thin and there are a couple of bits to squeeze through, that the claustrophobic amongst you may wish to avoid. It is approx. 100 to 150 ft in and is completely natural. All the work of the sea – not man made. The geology is also fascinating, but that’s for another day!  Some people take candles and leave them there so do take a lighter or matches and even a couple of night lights.

Coming back we stayed low and crossed boggy bits – but that that stage we weren’t too fussed about wet feet with the car park in sight!

The walk there took us 2.5 hours but this was taking it very slow, stopping to explore, a beach stop and taking a longer route than necessary. Coming back was about 1.5 hours. We stopped at the cave for exploring and picnic for around an hour.

Polcaig abandonded village on the way back with car park in the distance

So, if you love to explore, don’t mind a bit of uneven ground and want stunning views, geology and a bat cave – get your camera charged and head off! Mobile signal is patchy so let someone know where you’re going if you decide to do this alone.

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