Follow a rugged trail to one of Scotland's best known natural landmarks


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With a rough trail leading through remote terrain in a wild part of Scotland, this is not a hike for beginners despite its relatively short length.

The pay off for making the effort to do this walk is the chance to explore a little-travelled section of coastline, visit a legendary sea stack and - if you're lucky - spot dolphins and even whales. Begin by walking up the signposted path as it climbs away from the Stoer Head Lighthouse carpark.

As you gently climb up to and over Sithean Mor (the summit of which is marked by a trig point) the views get bigger and better with every step.

By the time you're on top you'll be able to enjoy a huge vista across the desolate Sutherland coast and the wild, untamed mountains of Assynt. From the summit, drop down towards the Old Man of Stoer to reach a large flat area directly across from it.

The sea stack is a spectacular sight, and reaching it is no mean feat! Those who wish to tackle its summit, expect a swim (for one person) followed by a tyrollean traverse for everyone else, and then 67 metres of tough rock climbing....suffice to to say it's a pretty tough challenge! Most hikers content themselves, understandably, with simply looking at the stack, and sitting on the flat ground above it trying to spot maritime wildlife.

Dolphins and porpoises live year-round in the waters surrounding the stack, and in summer they're joined by minke whales.

If you spot one of these majestic creatures, count yourself incredibly lucky! Walk back to the carpark via a stunning but occasionally vague grassy path which winds above cliffs.

We've drawn in the short detour to the Stoer Head Lighthouse, and doing this before you head home is highly recommended.