North east Scotland.^

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Owen
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North east Scotland.^

Post by Owen »

Just day dreaming of next summer. Looking at the map, Inverness to Wick or Wick to Duncansby Head. Looks like lots of cliffs and no landing sections, anyone paddled this area? How was it for camping? There are a couple of "Danger Area's" marked on the map(south of Wick and Dornoch Firth), any idea how regularly these are in use?

OGB
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by OGB »

I guess you're referring to the air weapons range at Tain (Dornoch Firth). Best avoided during the week unless you want a serious scaring - it's in use by the local Tornado aircraft between 0800 and 2300 each day. At weekends there can be some activity as the EOD teams get rid of unexploded ordnance, but this shouldn't affect "passing traffic". Wouldn't chance coming ashore, though...
As you say, the coast from Inverness northwards to Wick isn't exactly flush with sandy beaches but there are some pleasant spots, some with hostelries attendant. If you want more detail nearer the time of your trip, please PM me and I can be more specific.

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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by DaveSt »

Don't know about the Wick area, but the area South of Dornoch, is the Tain bombing range. It can be fairly active! I'd steer well clear of it personally.

If you're coming in to the Moray Firth (my home patch), there's also a danger area around Fort George, on the South side of the Firth. This is around various shooting ranges. If the red flags are flying, you'd be advised to stay mid-channel, or follow the (more interesting) North coast. Goes without saying, that if it's foggy, you won't see the flags unless really close! The sound of gunfire gives a clue... hopefully. East of the range, is the former oil rig construction yard of Ardersier. Can't see wild camping being a problem, as long as you can land safely.

...Dave...

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Mark R
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by Mark R »

I paddled from JoG down to Brora, then crossed to Tarbet Ness - absolutely outstanding section of coast; amazing cliffs, waterfalls, stacks, castles, incredible bird populations.

Loads of camping options, only place you'd need to perhaps think ahead is the coast around Sarclet Haven, a stretch where landing options are limited; I had originally hoped to land at Whaligoe but building swell and weather forced me into Sarclet - looking at Whaligoe the next morning (through intersecting waterfalls and exploding waves), I still have no idea how practical it is.
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naefearjustbeer
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by naefearjustbeer »

The danger area at Wick is the back end of a rifle range and is very rarely used Mostly used at weekends by the TA and Army cadets. I would go so far as saying if you were paddling close to the rocks that you would not be seen or be able to see if the range is in use and you would be in absolutely no danger. The range at Tain gets used dailly from what I have been told. Lots of low flying jets on the go any time I have been anywhere near Tain or Dornoch.

There are large sections of coast on the east coast of Caithness where you cannot land but there are some fantastic caves stacks arches etc. There are lots of places you can land and pitch camp discretely. I live in Caithness and have paddled sections of the East coast on occasion and it is very enjoyable.

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naefearjustbeer
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by naefearjustbeer »

Whaligoe is probably not a good place to try and land with a kayak. Sarclet can have dumping surf onto a bouldery beach depending on Swell direction.
Duncansby head and Noss head can be a bit exciting sometimes.

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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by Owen »

Thanks for your help, sounds like a place worth further research.

Mark,
I take it by doing the crossing from Brora to Tarbert Ness you were far enough out to be clear of the bombing range?

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Mark R
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by Mark R »

Owen wrote:I take it by doing the crossing from Brora to Tarbert Ness you were far enough out to be clear of the bombing range?
No idea, first I've heard of it. I can tell you however that I did it in torrential rain wearing only a Helly thermal, and that the last mile or so took forever...there are surprisingly strong tides flowing all over the place thereabouts.
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OGB
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by OGB »

Mark R wrote:
Owen wrote:I take it by doing the crossing from Brora to Tarbert Ness you were far enough out to be clear of the bombing range?
Yes, you'd be well clear of the bit where the hardware actually hits the ground although the official range boundary extends from the shoreline at Tain way out beyond Tarbat Ness to the east. A direct line Brora-Tarbat will take you right through the middle of it. The jets run in on a heading of 253T from Tarbat at 150ft above the waves, so a bit hard on the ears if you're close to that line since they'll be doing 550mph with the "heaters" in, probably. It might be worth giving the Range Safety Officer a call if you intend to come close to shore 'cos if he thinks you're in danger he might send someone out to help you on your way. Tain Range admin are on 01862 892185. They don't work Sundays.

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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by Owen »

Thanks OGB,

The range has it's own website http://www.raf.mod.uk/raftain/rangeactivity/

The easyest option might be to cross that section on a weekend. The RAF it seems only work monday to midday friday. So if you want to invade you know when to come.

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Barbara Sandford
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by Barbara Sandford »

We "discovered" this section of coast last year after reading comments on this forum on how good it was and we definitely weren't disappointed. The coast between Helmsdale all the way up to Duncansby Head has provided us with some fantastic days out and we'll keep going back as there's a lot more to discover. As others have said landings can be few and far between so it's sensible to wait for good conditions and, anyway, you'll want to be able to fully explore the almost endless number of caves, geos, stacks and arches. Remember to take a good headtorch!

Here's a selection of what you've got in store...

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Inside Wife Geo

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Entrance to Wife Geo

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Stacks of Duncansby

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The Knee

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A cave somewhere south of Sarclet

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The Needle (South of Berriedale)

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Just north of Berriedale

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Caves to the south of Wick

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and that is just a very small taste!

Happy planning....

Barbara

tommfuller
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by tommfuller »

Some amazing photos!

The pedant in me feels the need to point out that these areas are not considered to be North East Scotland.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Mark R
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by Mark R »

Image

Thanks for sharing the wonderful pics. I paddled one morning after torrential rain, and there were epic brown waterfalls everywhere...but I still recall the waterfall in the pic above, photographed here the next day after the waters were running clear again...

Image

The photo probably doesn't do it justice, but I heard the thundering some distance off, and couldn't paddle right up to it on account of the force of the spray.
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ian johnston
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by ian johnston »

Great photos!

This is only just north of my local patch, and I've only scratched the surface here - so much more to see! As Barbara notes, the right conditions are the key, and they don't happen that often.

Ian

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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by Owen »

Barbara,

Wow, thanks for the photo's thay've really wetted the appetite.

Tom,

What is it about cardinal points that's confusing you?

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Jim
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by Jim »

Owen wrote:Tom,

What is it about cardinal points that's confusing you?
I think he means that this is the East coast of North Scotland, rather than North East Scotland which is the bit with the oil and the fishing.

Kind of difficult with such an odd shaped country to assign each area to a cardinal point :-)

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naefearjustbeer
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by naefearjustbeer »

Well those pictures are a pretty good idea of what is in store for you. However some of those places are not easy to access with a big swells. So pick you window of calm weather for exploring.

As for North East Scotland. If you go as far North as you can and then head as far East as you can you end up in the North East corner of Caithness. If you go as far East as you can and then head North as far as you can (without heading back west a bit) You dont.

tommfuller
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by tommfuller »

Owen wrote:
Tom,

What is it about cardinal points that's confusing you?
It's an issue of grammar and historical usage, rather than navigation. North East Scotland, expanded, means the North of the East of Scotland.

If someone told you to indicate where East North Scotland was on a map, where would you put your pin?

Common usage or an argumentum ad populum:
http://www.google.co.uk/images?um=1&hl= ... =&gs_rfai=

Cheers,

Tom.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

As a former resident of Dingwall (south of the east of the north), we used to talk about "going down" to visit relatives in the NE (Elgin and Aberdeen).

Fantastic photos Barbara

Douglas

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Mark R
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Re: North east Scotland.

Post by Mark R »

Barbara Sandford wrote:Image
Wife Geo is VAST...the epic long spacious entrance tunnel you see behind, leading into a huge deep chasm open to the sky, with numerous passageways and tunnels leading off in different directions. Full of puffins too, if I recall rightly.

I think it is the largest and most impressive single erosional* coastal formation I've seen in the UK...any other contenders?



*As opposed to depositional - Chesil Beach etc
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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: North east Scotland.^

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

MarkR>
I think it is the largest and most impressive single erosional* coastal formation I've seen in the UK...any other contenders?
Impressive though Wife Geo is, my vote (despite coming from the "NE") would go for the much larger erosional system on the island of Dun in the St Kilda Archipelago. The island is about 1.5km long by about 0.25km wide and rises to 0.164km. It is completely riddled by caves, collapsed caves and arches

Image

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Douglas

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