Liathach at dawn, Glen Torridon
Torridon is a 16,100-acre estate, boasting some of the oldest rocks in the world, and some of the most beautiful landscape in the Scottish Highlands. This is heaven for walkers, geologists, and anyone who enjoys nature.


The Torridon estate was devastated by the Highland Clearances, particularly when it was under the ownership of Colonel McBarnet, who purchased the estate in 1831 and proceeded to evict tenant farmers, moving many to Annat, and restricting crofters to a single cow. Thankfully, better was to come when Duncan Darroch bought the estate, cleared off the sheep, and introduced deer.

Darroch fenced off crofting land so that deer could not eat the crops, and encouraged tenants to graze their cattle on the hillsides. The estate was later sold to the Earl of Lovelace, but when the 4th Earl died in 1964 the estate was given to the government in lieu of death duties. It was transferred to the National Trust for Scotland 3 years later, and NTS look after it today.

What to See

Queen Victoria wrote in her diary that 'hardly anyone ever comes here', after one of her several visits to Torridon. People come here now, for the Torridon estate draws walkers in their thousands at almost every season, and once you see the wonderfully rugged landscape you know why it is so popular.

Liathach from Annat
Liathach from Annat
There is a countryside centre at Torridon with maps and details of the most popular walks, but don't even think about trying one of the longer walks without a good OS map. If you don't want the challenge of a mountain walk, the National Trust for Scotland has low-level walking routes which allow you to simply enjoy the scenery. There are downloadable versions of the walking routes on the NTS website.

The Torridon area is one of the most beautiful and rugged scenic areas I've ever visited in Scotland. The picturesque outlines of Liathach and Beinn Alligin towering over the blue waters of the loch below is a sight that you won't soon forget. In my opinion, the best place to see Torridon in all its splendour is from the road between Applecross and Shieldaig, but second best is a terrific viewpoint on the A896 just west of Annat, which gives a beautiful panoramic vista across Loch Torridon to the mountains beyond.

Glen Torridon itself is an exceptional example of a hummocky moraine, formed by glaciers during the last Ice age over 12,000 years ago. The retreating glaciers left behind a layer of gravel and sand 4 miles deep and left the surface of the landscape littered with large boulders. This area is a haven for rare plants, including lichen and moss, and even more unusual birds, such as golden eagles. The red sandstone that makes up most of Torridon was laid down over 2500 million years ago, which makes it amongst the oldest rocks in the world.

The Two Corries walk

There are walks up into Beinn Eighe nature reserve from the middle of the glen, but the most popular walk by far is the Two Corries trek from the parking area at Coire Dubh (NG957568). From there a trail loops around behind Liathach and Beinn Alligin and emerges at the parking area at Coire Mhic Nobuil, behind Torridon House. The walk is rugged but not beyond the capability of any reasonably fit person and takes in a series of waterfalls and mountain vistas that are simply stunning. The Two Corries Walk is 8 miles one-way and should take 4 hours in each direction. You can opt to simply retrace your steps or walk back along the A896 to make it into a circular route.

If you don't fancy all that exertion, I can highly recommend a relatively flat circular route through the Coulin Estate, in the middle of the glen. You'll have to leave your vehicle on the A896 because cars are not permitted into the estate. A trail runs along the side of Loch Clair, then loops around Loch Coulin and runs back up the banks of both lochs. It is a beautiful route, especially when the colours are turning gold in the Autumn.


Even if you don't stop in Torridon, simply driving up the glen is a fantastic experience - if the weather cooperates. Make no bones about it; Torridon is exquisitely beautiful, but when the weather moves in, as if often does, it can be grey, wet and windy. Sometimes the transformation from beautiful sunshine to a driving rain and fog can take place in a matter of minutes. Always take good waterproof outerwear and boots, even if you think the weather will be good!