Strathfarrar Estate: access arrangements

Posted by Estee Farrar on 10/05/2017
Loch Mullardoch in the Highlands of Scotland. Photo Shutterstock/Ian Good

Are you intending to visit Strathfarrar Estate in the Scottish Highlands? Read on to find out how to access this remote and beautiful area throughout the year, as vehicular access to the estate is subject to seasonal conditions.

Strathfarrar Estate contains four Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a’ Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill, as well as a couple of Corbetts, Beinn a' Bha'ach Ard and Sgorr na Dìollaid.

Who can access Strathfarrar Estate?

Responsible non-motorised access to the glen on foot, bicycle or horse is available at all times.

Walkers wishing to explore the remote hills around Strathfarrar Estate can gain vehicular access to the 17-mile private road which leads up the glen under arrangements negotiated by Mountaineering Scotland with the estates.

What you need to know about vehicular access

Vehicular access arrangements for Strathfarrar Estate are seasonal.  

1) Summer vehicle access arrangements (1 April - 31 October)

During summer vehicle access is available to everyone, though controlled by a gate keeper and subject to a number of conditions.

Access is permitted most days of the week between 9am and a closing time that changes by month. 

You do not need to advise Mountaineering Scotland if you wish to visit the glen during the summer access period. 

Check online when planning your visit to avoid disappointment and ensure you are aware of the details.

The glen is closed to vehicles all day Tuesday, and closed Wednesday until 1.30pm

DAILY OPENING TIMES (by month):

 April                

 9am - 6pm

 May                 

 9am - 7pm

 June                

 9am - 8pm

 July                

 9am - 8pm

 August            

 9am - 8pm

 September      

 9am - 7pm

 October           

 9am - 6pm

Last vehicle access is one hour before closing time. 

A maximum of 25 vehicles are permitted in the glen on a given day. 

Vehicles can be taken as far as the power station at NH183381.
 

2) Winter vehicle access arrangements (1 November - 31 March)

During winter vehicle access is only available to Mountaineering Scotland and BMC members.

Winter vehicle access is granted to current BMC members by obtaining a padlock code from the Mountaineering Scotland team in advance and your membership details will be required.  

  • A padlock system operates during winter months and the padlock combination number changes regularly. 

  • On the day of your visit, access through the gate is only permitted after 8am. Please ensure the padlock is closed and scrambled after every use (on your way in and out).  

  • To avoid inconvenience or disappointment, we recommend that you contact Mountaineering Scotland office between 10.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. Do not leave your call until the morning of your visit. 
  • To request the padlock code, please call the Mountaineering Scotland office on 01738 493942 or e-mail the office at info@mountaineering.scot.

Mountaineering Scotland needs to confirm  that BMC members requesting access have an active membership. This requires an email exchange that could take a day, so please plan ahead and give notice of your request to avoid disappointment. 

When you contact Mountaineering Scotland, the following details will be required, which will be shared with the estate. They may check vehicles have permission to be there:

  • your name and membership number
  • your walking plans for the day
  • date of your intended visit
  • registration number of your car
  • number of occupants
  • telephone contact number
     

3) Overnight in the glen

It is within your access rights to access the glen using non-motorised means (disabled transport excepted) at all times of day or nightincluding wild camping (away from road and buildings). Please camp responsibly under the guidance in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Your access rights do not, however, extend to your car.  
Overnight parking is not permitted in Strathfarrar at any time of the year.

If you wish to stay in the glen overnight you should either walk in, bike in, or arrange for someone to drop you off in the glen and then drive the vehicle out of the glen. Abuse of this arrangement could result in access to the glen for vehicles being revoked by the estate.

Access rules: respect them or lose them

Remember, access legislation in Scotland is different to England and Wales. Your access rights extend to most land and inshore water, but these rights only exist if exercised responsibly, as set out in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC). The SOAC does not extend to motorised vehicles.

There is no automatic right of vehicle access to Strathfarrar.   

Vehicular access to the area originally resulted from negotiations between Mountaineering Scotland and Strathfarrar Estate. This agreement relies on goodwill and respectful adherence to the access guidelines and voluntary access codes. 

The current agreement has recently been jeopardised by the actions of some irresponsible members who did not follow the established vehicle access arrangements as outlined on the Mountaineering Scotland website

The majority of people visiting the area follow the access rules outlined, however, there is a small minority who have chosen to disregard the arrangements.  Breaches of the guidelines have resulted in a tightening of the access arrangements and administrative problems for Mountaineering Scotland.

Please respect the rules to ensure future access.  Don’t set a bad example to others, don’t ruin access for all. It is essential to respect access conditions, as further non-compliance could result in loss of access to the estate. 

 


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