|OS explorer 373 Iona, Staffa, and the Ross of Mull 1:25000
Distance: 3 miles Time: Approx 2hours
Leave your car in the public car park at Kintra and follow
the road up the hill the same way as you came in. At the top of the hill the
road bears sharp right, at this point you turn left leaving the main road and follow the track
south east through a metal farm gate.
You are on a grassy hillock with good views
to the west and north west of the Isle of Iona, Treshnish Isles, and Staffa. To the south
is the desolate moorland of Creich. Walking a short distance you follow a wall
between two houses east down a grassy slope. At the bottom of the slope turn
right through a gate. On your left you can see the stone track running east to
Braighcreich a deserted, peaceful but well preserved township.
Go through the
gate follow the track and the first ruins are on your right 50 metres up the
hill. Consisting of 4 separate buildings using the local red granite stone lying around for construction whilst also
clearing the ground for agriculture ( this applied to most of the croft houses at
this end of the Ross Of Mull.) On one of the window openings there lies a grinding stone.
Continuing along the track on either side of you there is
much evidence of cultivation, typical of small open field townships organized around
divided into rough areas of land known as runrigs or rigs shared out between
townsfolk and sometimes the landowner), a communal system of farming, labour
intensive, cultivating lazy beds often with hand tools, which formed the basis
Lazy beds were cultivation ridges where the soil between
the ridges was turned into ridges. This area has many small rigs of land divided
by stone and earth boundary walls with lazy beds
within. The best preserved house ruin appears to the left of you on a hill just before
the dry stone dyke and gate. This ruin probably was a double cottage for two
families and from here you have a fine view west down the valley towards Creich
Now continue east through the gate in the centre of the
At the centre of the township at the side of the track are
three stones locally known as 'Father, Son, and Holy Ghost'; the belief was that
outdoor rituals were held here and was most likely to be the township meeting place.
Another few hundred yards walk and you arrive at the last
ruin Gortain-a-ghibain set below Beinn Chladan which lies to the south east of
the valley. This ruin has the open fireplace intact and is used by
sheep as shelter.
On looking west from here down the valley, you can see the
newer township of Creich distinctively set against Braighcreich a township from
the past. On this walk you might see, The Duke of Argylls Irish mountain hare, introduced by one
of the dukes and a different species from its cousins on mainland Scotland!
In the bogland to the south and east you will see meadow
pipits and skylarks. Birds of prey include buzzard, hen harrier, merlin and
kestrel. Ravens are also seen. Some of the bog plants that can be seen were used by the
town people as medicine.
At the end of your walk return by the same route or head
east onto the moor beside the fence and join the track to Camus and Market Bay.
Approximately 1 mile further on. Please note both walks combined turn this trip
into quite a hike and you might need to arrange to be picked up at Camus road
These walks are described in another walking section.