By Peter Grant
Published: Sep 21, 2015More by Peter
Loch an Eilein is often regarded as one of Britain’s most beautiful walking spots.
The second in our series of Top Cairngorms Walking Routes. Wilderness Guide, Peter Grant describes another of his favourites. From the shores of Loch an Eilein to the summit of Creag Dhubh.
Loch an Eilein and Creag Dhubh Walking Route:
One of the great things about the Loch an Eilein route is its sheer accessibility. If you’re staying in Aviemore, you can walk straight out of your accommodation and cross the Spey by the Old Bridge Inn. Follow the Ski Road to Inverdruie, where you’re into the woods and off. Alternatively, you can park at Loch an Eilein, and feel right up close to the lochs and hills from the start of your walk. Starting from here you’ll cover 14km and climb 680m.
The summit of Creag Dhubh is the northern end of the great horseshoe of mountains that forms Glen Einich. Although there are good views of the Cairngorm plateau, much of the interest lies near the summit. This takes you through beautiful mature pine woods and alongside delightful lochs. The overgrown castle in Loch an Eilein once the lair of the Wolf of Badenoch provides a hint of more turbulent times. Near the loch outlet there’s a kiln where the lime stone was collected from a rockface looking over the loch.
On the return from Creag Dhubh, descend down the ridge north from Cadha Mor towards Strathspey. Here you pass through a shelf of twisted, stunted pines, sculpted by the mountain winds.