Glen Quoich Coffin Road
Start location: Glen Quoich bridge (NH 014 040)
End location: A87, bridge over Allt Mhalagain (NG 972 139)
Geographical area: Skye and Lochalsh, Lochaber
Path Type: Coffin Road, Drove Road
Path distance: 31.8km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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Newsflash: on 10th November 2018, a landslip near Loch Quoich dam closed the only road to Kinloch Hourn, thus affecting access to this old coffin road, the Old Road to Knoydart via Barrisdale Bay and the Drove Road from Glenelg to Kinloch Hourn. In December 2018, Mountaineering Scotland reported that although a temporary bypass for ATVs is in place, it includes a potentially dangerous burn crossing, so is not advised. Pedestrian access to Kinloch Hourn along the Loch Quoich road is unlikely to be restored until late May 2019.
From the west end of the Glen Quoich bridge go north by a private road alongside the loch to Alltbeithe. There turn northwest and follow another track for 2km, then continue along the path up Wester Glen Quoich. After being joined by the path from Kinloch Hourn that uses the path of the Bealach Coire Sgoireadail, climb northwest to the Bealach Duibh Leac (721m), the pass between Creag nan Damh and Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais. In misty conditions it may be difficult to find the true bealach (look for marker post) as there is no path up the last part of Wester Glen Quoich, however it is important to do so as the only reasonable descent northwest is from the lowest point of the bealach. Descend from the pass down a steep slope where the zigzags of the path are now rather indistinct. Lower down, after crossing the Allt Coire Toiteil, a good stalkers’ path leads down to the A87 in Glen Shiel, about 2km from Achnagart and 7km from Shiel Bridge.
OS Landranger 33 (Loch Alsch, Glen Shiel and Loch Hourn)
Cairns in Wester Glen Quoich testify to the use of this track as a coffin route. There is also a wide slap in the stone dyke that marks the county boundary at the Bealach, which was to allow droves through.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart, in his wanderings in 1746, escaped through a cordon of Hanoverian soldiers just south of Kinloch Hourn and, after hiding in Coire Sgoireadail, crossed the Bealach Duibh Leac in darkness to reach Glen Shiel where he found refuge at Achnagart.
This route is marked on Roy’s map of 1755.