Beach camping in Morar: Scotland without a car.

Beach camping in Morar: Scotland without a car.

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Planning expeditions to the hills and captivating destinations becomes a meticulous task when a car isn't at your disposal, particularly in Scotland with its weather and equally unpredictable transportation schedules. In this account, I'll narrate my expedition to Arisaig, where I engage in the captivating experience of beach camping in Morar's glistening sands while indulging in the mesmerizing art of stargazing.

Getting the Train

Heading north on the train from Glasgow to Morar on the world-famous Fort William and Mallaig line is a pleasure. Leisurely taking in some remote hills and lochs, the train being the only means of access over Rannoch Moor. My anticipation always builds as I journey west from Fort William, past the famous Harry Potter viaduct I'm soon looking out to the coast where Bonnie Prince Charlie beached with his 7 brave men of Moidart. The horizon then extends its invitation, revealing the isles of Eigg and Rum floating magnificently - Eigg looking like a huge battleship watching out for other kingly usurpers!

Beach camping in Morar

I was on the last train of the day, and the sun seemed to be taking its time on its journey to America. However, as I step off the train at Morar, dusk has settled. Time to dig out my trusty Black Diamond Storm 500 Rechargeable head torch. Having camped on the Arisaig and Morar beaches before, I knew exactly where to head. Before long, I had pitched my MSR Hubba Hubba tent under the increasingly dark sky.

Camping in Morar in my hastily pitched MSR Hubba Hubba.
Camping in Morar in my hastily pitched MSR Hubba Hubba.

Soon, I beheld one of the best views of the Milky Way I have ever witnessed. The sky had that weighty feel it sometimes carries when the vastness of the universe and the billions of stars are suspended overhead. It's as if they might tumble to Earth while I lie on my back, taking it all in. Occasionally, a meteor would almost break the spell. With such dark skies, it is a great place to see shooting stars! All too soon, contented tiredness overwhelmed me, and I crawled into my cosy down sleeping bag, quickly drifting off to sleep.

My view of the milky way while camping in Morar.
My view of the milky way while camping in Morar.

Waking up to a glorious sunny morning I was rewarded with turquoise water and silver sands - the default coastal setting almost all the way from Arisaig to Morar. I realised I was camped near Camusdaroch Beach where, for those who are old enough to remember, Local Hero was filmed.

Waking up in Morar

First things first - a dip to wake me up and then a hearty cooked breakfast. Normally I try to cook as fresh as possible, but for ease, I fired up my personal stove to cook a quick wayfarer breakfast. Away from the busy summer period, this part of Scotland can be delightfully quiet for camping on the beach. Pitch wisely though to avoid the midges - try to catch any breeze that's going. And never forget your smidge, camping in Morar can be !

Morning view of the silver sands from my Morar campsite!
Morning view of the silver sands from my Morar campsite!

I walked for a few miles exploring the coast, finding some coral amongst the sand and not too many jellyfish. All in all, this is an area that can compete with any!

Other things to do while camping in Morar.

  • Boating: Explore Britain's deepest freshwater, Loch Morar, by renting a kayak or paddleboard. Enjoy the scenery and keep an eye out for Morag, the legendary loch monster.
  • Fishing: Catch salmon and trout in Loch Morar. Fish from the shore or a boat with the required permit.
  • Hiking: Discover varied hiking trails around Loch Morar, from easy to challenging, offering lush forests and lake views. Wear proper boots and bring your water bottle!
  • Wildlife Spotting: Witness diverse wildlife at Loch Morar, including deer, otters, and golden eagles (and Morag). Best times are early morning and dusk.
  • Sport: Play the most westerly golf course on the British mainland- Traigh Golf Course.

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