Beinn Eighe NNR – a pushchair friendly walk with stunning views

This is a gem of a buggy-friendly walk, one of my personal favourites to date. As we sat at the half-way point eating our picnic lunch and gazing up at awesome bulk of Beinn Eighe, I thought that this was the closest to a proper mountain that I had been in quite some time. My eldest and I munched our sandwiches and plotted (hypothetical) routes of ascent, and we all enjoyed the dragonflies buzzing around, and the sound of a mountain burn. It was idyllic. The caveat is that it was a gloriously sunny day; we might not have had such a good time in the rain!

Distance: 3 miles (5km) out and back from the Visitor Centre to the end of the accessible Viewpoint trail.

Parking: The Beinn Eighe NNR Visitor Centre is on the left of the A832 coming out of Kinlochewe. Look out closely for signs, it appears quite abruptly. It is the first NNR carpark on the way out of Kinlochewe. There is ample parking and a small exhibition at the centre. There are a couple of other car parks and walks within the nature reserve, with some further details on the Beinn Eighe NNR website.

Amenities: There are toilets behind the visitor centre.

Buggy/bike-friendly? This was a really buggy-friendly route, I think it would be manageable with a normal pram. The paths are wide and level. There are some mild gradients, particularly near to the Visitor Centre. If you are looking for a very level route (e.g. for a wheelchair), I think the section running south from Kinlochewe Village to the viewpoint was the flattest (and also the most beautiful). The path joins up to the road just after the campsite and petrol station.

Beinn Eighe Accessible Trail: The route

I think the National Nature Reserve are under-selling themselves. Someone has built a very high quality accessible path around the side of Beinn Eighe, but it wasn’t clear to me from the website, or even the maps at the Visitor Centre, how far the path extended. I was very pleasantly surprised! Essentially, you want to follow the Buzzard Trail, then the route to Kinlochewe village, and just before the village turn right onto a trail marked with a viewpoint symbol, which didn’t appear on any of the maps I saw. This last section has wonderful views of Beinn Eighe.

1. Facing the front of the Visitor Centre, go to the right, and follow the Buzzard Trail past various carved wooden benches into the woodland. Turn right at the first junction and left at the next: look out for the circular way-marks on the ground telling you which way to go.

2. The path meanders through woodland, passing a pond, and then crossing a stream. Just upstream on the far bank we found a den and a little beach area by the stream.

3. Continue through more open woodland, with views opening out to the left to the hills beyond Loch Maree. The path moves a bit close to the road here for my liking (you can hear it and sometimes see it). Don’t be dismayed – it’s worth it for what comes next!

4. Just before Kinlochewe village there is a turning to the right with a ‘viewpoint’ symbol on a marker post. Take this path. The trail now moves into open country with Beinn Eighe just peeking out above the hills in front of you.

5. Turn right at a junction, continuing to follow signs for the viewpoint. Continue to a wee bridge with a picnic bench on the other side. From here the path becomes rougher and narrower, and we sat for a while admiring the glorious views before returning whence we came.

Beinn Eighe Accessible Trail: What is the terrain like?

This is a very high quality path, wide and level, and mostly flat, though there are some slopes near the Visitor Centre end. The navigation is somewhat confusing, as this isn’t a way-marked walk in its own right, and doesn’t feature on the Visitor Centre maps or indeed on the OS map.

After the footbridge the walk comes to an obvious close for those with a pushchair as the terrain further on is much rougher, as picture below.

Things to look for

Look out for lots of mushrooms and toadstools, blackberries and raspberries, wildflowers, burns and dens. And of course, Beinn Eighe!

We loved this walk, and would highly recommend it. The only problem was that I was left longing to climb the mountain itself, which is a good few years off for our family!

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