A circular walk from Achaban to Pottie and Fidden
This low-level circular walk of around 10k (6 miles) from the door of Achaban House covers a variety of natural environments with a good chance of spotting wildlife, especially birds
Setting out from Achaban House, go left along the road; passing three buildings of interest which are built of the local red granite. At the corner of the Kintra road is a ruin which was once the local smiddy and an important gathering place for the community. Just behind it is Creich Hall, a lively community centre, once the local school and now the place for local socialising. Across the road is picturesque St Ernan’s Church, built in 1899. It has the most attractive setting on the shore of Loch Pottie (Gaelic; Poit na h-I and pronounced P’tee with the emphasis on the second syllable). The local herd of free-range Highland cows are often seen near the church and on the edge of the loch.
Turning right at the sign for Pottie which is also the name for a groups of houses at the side of the loch. The track is good underfoot with grassy edges where a range of wild flowers bloom, changing with the seasons. There are several gates on this route, be sure to leave them shut or open as you find them.
After the first two gates, the landscape changes to an upland environment of a boulder moor with dense scrubby native woodland with oak, hazel, birch and rowan as well as swathes of willow on the wetter areas. The large yellow ringed dragonfly has been spotted her and also hen harrier. This part of the walk has wonderful views of the Burg and the Ben More mountain range to the east and then as the path turns to the west, distant views of the sea and the Fidden shore come into view.
After passing the village of Pottie with a few scattered houses, the path can be quite a bit wetter, although still easily walkable. The landscape feels a bit more remote and in the hills this a good place to spot deer. Cross the burn that flows from Loch Poit na h-I to the sea and watch out again for hen harriers which have been spotted here as well as peregrine falcon attracted by flocks of lapwings. The views to the coast open up, with Knockvologun and Erraid to the south and Fidden to the west. The path passes several abandoned ruined black houses where the people who lived there until the late 1960’s are still remembered in living memory.
The route is now back on tarmac road; for a longer walk take the left to Erraid. Go right for Fidden - on this part of the walk greylag geese, redpoll, curlew, skylark, greenshank, linnet and snipe were reported in the late summer.
The beautiful beach at Fidden is worth a stroll before heading back along the road for the 20 minute walk to reach Fionnphort, with the outcrops of red granite providing a fascinating landscape. The sunsets over Fidden can be very dramatic, with the granite glowing very red in the evening light. On reachin Fionnphort it is a further 20 minute walk to reach Achaban along the main road. Or alternatively stop at the Keel Row pub, the Ferry shop or the Creel Seafood Bar for some refreshments! (Note only the Ferry Shop is open all the year round)