Tour of Cape Wrath
It is April 1st 2023 and we are headed off on one of the first trips of the new season to Scotlands most north-westerly point, the stunning Cape Wrath.
The name “Cape Wrath” is of Viking Origin from Old Norse. The viking name means “Turning Point’ and the Cape was used as a landmark to help the Vikings navigate.
We left Beauly just outside Inverness at 6am and headed north over the Cromarty Bridge on the A9, we then swung a left after Evanton and headed up over Struy Hill towards Ardgay, Bonar Bridge and then passing through Lairg to go up round the East side of Loch Shin. We then traveled almost a further 50 miles on mainly single track roads through Highland Wilderness to reach the harbour at Kinlochbervie.
Some of the hills and mountains we drove through are totally unique through millions of years of erosion and geological events, these hills and mountains are amongst the oldest in the world and provide a stunning backdrop. We also drove close to the impact site of The Lairg Meteor Strike which struck the area some 1.2 Billion years ago, scentists also believe this was a bigger impact than the meteor which wiped out the dinosaurs.
The Roads were quiet when we went up, mainly due to leaving early, but still not at peak of the season, so a quieter time of the year on Highland roads. Getting back was a little busier but still fairly quiet with no hold-ups.
On our trip to Scotland’s most north westerly point we had beautiful sunny weather and visibility for miles, allowing us to take in breathtaking rugged scenery and stunning views for most of the journey.
Cape Wrath itself is a difficult place to reach, there is no public transport to Cape Wrath and driving right to the Cape is also not possible.
We opted to get a boat round the Cape, however, the only other way to get there by using transport of any kind, is crossing the Kyle of Durness using the passenger ferry and then getting the Cape Wrath Minibus to take you. You can walk to Cape Wrath but this involves a lengthy walk over hills, moorland and through an M.O.D firing range.
The cape is also a designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest )and a Special Protection Zone for many birds that call Cape Wrath their home.
North Coast Sea Tours
Once we reached Kinlochbervie Harbour we met Tony Macrae who runs North Coast Sea Tours, Tony then took us on a full day tour around Cape Wrath and some of our guests had the opportunity of fishing for Cod, Ling and Haddock. Some of our guests were out enjoying the sea fishing whilst others were there to take in the stunning views and spot the diverse wildlife in the area.
Whale Spotting of Cape Wrath and The West Coast
Some of us were hoping to spot “Killer Whales” (Orca), with there being regular sightings off the North Coast in the days leading up to our trip. The Killer Whales were not to be, but, we did get a surprise that we didn’t even imagine before the trip.
We had the wonderful chance to see Porbeagle Sharks up close to the boat. Porbeagle Sharks are a cousin of the Great White Shark and they were lured in by the smell of the fishing bait, which was the bonus of having the fishermen on board with us.
We got a very clear view of a 6ft long Porbeagle Shark in the clear turquoise waters off Cape Wrath. There were other sightings but not as clear as this one. Unfortunately we could not get the opportunity to get the phones or cameras out quick enough.
The area was filled with various sea birds including Guillemots, Fulmars, Cormorants, Razorbills and what looked like 2 Sea White tailed sea Eagles soaring above the Cape when we were steaming back for Kinlochbervie.
Regular sightings of Dolphins, Seals and various Whale species are often spotted off the Coast here. I
In one ferry trip from Ullapool to Stornoway last year there were over 350 animals such as Whales, Dolphins and Porpoise spotted in a 3.5 hour crossing. So plenty of Whale and Dolphin activity in the waters off the coast of the West and Northern Highlands.
North Coast NC500 Fishing Trips’s
North Coast Sea Tours also run fishing day trips off the West Coast of Scotland from Lochinver or Kinlochbervie. Their contact details are in the link below. Rods and tacked are also available to hire from North Coast Sea Tours.
North Coast Sea Tours run charterers right down the West Coast taking in some popular locations such as Handa Island, Cape Wrath, Isle of Skye, The Summer Isles and many other popular spots on the West Coast of Scotland.
Hiking to Cape Wrath
If you are interested in visiting Cape Wrath on a Hike, the Walk Highlands website has a great hike starting at Sandwood Bay.
Sandwood Bay is beautiful with white sandy beaches and turquoise water, surrounded by rugged rock formations along the Coast, we also passed this on the boat tour but our camera phones didn’t do the bay justice. You will also need to add on a bit extra time as you will need to walk to Sandwood Bay. The Walk Highlands website has a great route right along the Coast for both routes.
Tours of Cape Wrath and other destinations on the NC500
We provide tours all over Scotland and being based and local to the Highlands we are experts in the area. CONTACT US today to discuss your personal bespoke tour luxury requirements with Venture Highland Tours.