566 Route 75. AULTBEA.
about 8500 is nearly doubled. The view of the herring-fleet enter¬
ing or leaving the harbour, and the operations of cleaning and pack¬
ing the fish are characteristic. About 174 M. to the S. of the town
is the Auld Man 0' Wick, a square tower of the castle of Old Wick.
A mail-cart (fare 2s. 6d.) runs daily to (11 M.) the site of John 0' Groat's
House (hotel), via (71/2 M.) Keiss (inn) and (17 M.) Huna (hotel). John
o' Groat, according to the legend, was a Dutchman, who built an octagonal
house, with eight doors and containing an eight-sided table, in order to
[irevent disputes as to precedence in his family. — About l'/i M. to the E.
is "Duncansby Head (210 ft.), with fine cliff-scenery and sea-view. — From
.lohn 0' Groat's House a good road leads to the W. to (20 M.) Thurso
(p. 565), via (7 M.) Mey (Berriedale Arms), whence a mail-cart starts for
Thurso daily at 11 a.m., (12 M.) Dunnet (hotel), and (15 M.) Castletown.
Steamers ply from Wick to Aberdeen and Leith, twice a week, and to
Kirkwall, once a week in summer. Mail-gig daily to (21 M.) Thurso (fare
Is. 6d.; see p. 565); light railway to (I31/2 M.) Lybster (see p. 565).
75. From Gairloch to Ullapool, Loch Inver, Durness,
206 M. Coast Road practicable all the way for carriages, which may be
hired at the principal hotels en route, but not for motor-cars (comp. p. xxvi).
There is no public conveyance all the way, but Mail Carts ply over certain
stages: e.g. Gairloch to (14 M.) Aultbea; Scourie to (7 M.) Laxford Bridge;
Laxford Bridge to (13 M.) Durness; Tongue to (46 M.) Thurso. The tourist
may also avail himself of the steamers from Oban (Glasgow), calling weekly
at Gairloch, Poolewe, Aultbea, Ullapool, and Loch Inver (on the northward
journey only), to Stornoway, and thence proceed to Thurso direct (weekly
steamer) or via Stromness (weekly). During the season steamers also call
occasionally at Inverpolly, Badcall, Loch Inchard, and Loch Eribol (see
MacBrayne's Monthly Sailing Bills). Sailing or rowing-boats may be hired
at various points. — Dnndonnell, Ullapool, Loch Inver, etc., are convenient
starting-places for excursions into the interior of Ross and Sutherland; and
at various points mail-cart routes diverge to the E. and S.E., connecting
with R. 72 at Garve (p. 563), Lairg (p. 564), etc. It should be noted that
after the beginning of August, when deer-stalking begins, the liberty of
traversing the moors and ascending the mountains is much curtailed.
Anglers will find numerous good streams in this district, about which in¬
formation is supplied at the hotels.
Feom Gaikloch to Ullapool, 42M. Gairloch, see p. 546. The
road leads to the N.E., via, (3 M.) Loch Tollie, whence there is a fine
*View of Loch Maree (p. 546), to (7 M.) Poolewe (Poolewe Hotel),
at the head of Loch Ewe. 14 M. Aultbea (hotel) lies opposite the
well-cultivated Ewe Island. — 17 M. Sand, on Gruinard Bay.
Boats may be hired here, either for the whole journey to Ullapool,
round Cailleach Head, or up Little Loch Broom to Dnndonnell (see below);
fare for either about. 23s., time 3-5 hrs.
The road beyond Sand skirts the coast, crossing (21 M.) the
Gruinard by a bridge, then ascends inland to the right beyond Mun-
gasdale. A little farther on, fine view of Little Loch Broom, between
Sailmor (2508 ft.) on the S. and Ben Goleach (2082 ft.) on the N.
At the head of the loch lies (34 M.) Dundonnell (hotel).
To the S. lies the mountainous Dundonnell Forest, culminating in Challich
(An reattach; 3483 ft.). — The road to (34 M.) Garve (p. 563) ascends tbe
picturesque course of the Strathbeg River, which enters tbe loch at Dun¬
donnell, and joins the road from Ullapool at (15 M.) Braemore (p. 567).