Glen Torridon is amongst Scotland's most spectacular and beautiful glens. At its lower end it meets the sea at the village of Torridon, and from here a single track road leads some eight miles along the north shore of Upper Loch Torridon, Loch Shieldaig and Loch Torridon. It ends at the pier in Lower Diabaig.
The road to Lower Diabaig from Torridon is one of the most enjoyable and attractive in Scotland. After passing through Torridon itself, it climbs as it passes the car park provided for those climbing Beinn Alligin. It then passes above the villages of Inveralligin and Alligin Shuas before climbing inland steeply to cross the Bealach na Gaoithe, beyond which you pass, probably without noticing them, the few buildings comprising Upper Diabaig.
Lower Diabaig itself is one of those idyllic spots which make any visit to Scotland so worthwhile. On the face of it, it is difficult to see why this should be. It comprises a number of houses strung out along the road as it descends steeply, via a hairpin bend, to a pier on the shore of Loch Diabaig, an offshoot of Loch Torridon.
There are no shops or tourist facilities here, and the only visible commerce is the fish farm run from a white building not far from the pier. And yet, even in the less than ideal light shown in the images on this page, Lower Diabaig has an allure that means you know you will return.
The setting is partly responsible. To the south and west of Loch Diabaig is a patch of exceptionally rough and rocky terrain (even by Torridon's standards) which frame the loch and its harbour. To the north and north west the setting is more pastoral, but the land still rises very steeply.
But the details you see in Lower Diabaig also add to the attraction. The red telephone box next to the white building adds a "Local Hero" feel, while the large abandoned fishing vessel at the west end of the shingle beach is an obvious focal point. And the pier is fascinating, and still used by occasional small fishing boats.
Although the public road finishes at Lower Diabaig, a track continues along the coast to Craig, two miles to the north west, and home to one of the Scottish Youth Hostels Association's more remote hostels. From here the coastal track continues another five miles until it picks up the public road at Redpoint, which then continues via Badachro to Gairloch. The irony is that although Lower Diabaig and Redpoint are only some seven miles apart on foot, the shortest road distance between them, via Kinlochewe and Loch Maree, is 45 miles.
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