3rd of June, 2011 – First explore of Lochan na h-Achlaise

I often drive across Rannoch Moor on my travels north and south and on either side of the road crossing it is a water system of shallow lochs that I have thought about paddling on and exploring but at the back of my mind, it didn’t seem worth the drive on the off-chance it proved worthwhile.

Finally I did get a chance to have a first look at doing this and though not entirely successful I now know enough to have a longer look in future and hopefully link up two or three of the individual lochs and lochans that sit together.

I accessed the Lochan na h-Achlaise parking at a small rough layby by the bridge at NN 315 486. This is not ideal and in fact that that decision was based on the intent to paddle down the river running beneath the river to access Loch Ba. Unloading, loading and crossing the road there is not the best with all the traffic but also the river is a narrow and choked at various points (see photo) for one of the less obstructive barriers so does not give easy access to Loch Ba anyway.

Lochan na h-Achlaise itself at first glance is as I’d though a great spot with views in to the hills of Black Mount and has interest in all the little isles which have the few trees in the area – the deer can access anything else too easily. I did not venture too far in unfortunately but aim to next time with an intended link up of Loch Buidhe, Lochan na Stainge then Loch Ba all going well. If doing this I will park closer to Loch Ba itself or at a larger off road laybe at the south end of Lochan na h-Achlaise.

The water is generally shallow at the edges and has numerous boulders rising out the peat, some showing more clearly than others – easy to avoid if taking the time to savour the surroundings though.


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