Travel Report: Corpach, Scotland.
The village of Corpach is yet another stunning spot in the Lochaber region of The Scottish Highlands. Situated at the entrance of The Caledonian Canal on the edge of Loch Linnhe, the natural beauty on offer here is every bit as lovely as in neighbouring Banavie and nearby Fort William. In fact, whenever I want to mix up my daily jogs down The Great Glen Way towards Gairlochy, I instead head out towards Corpach on a path from Banavie Railway Station running alongside The Caledonian Canal.
In my experience the path here is a strangely quiet one, even in fine weather. I might bump into a few dog walkers, or a family feeding the Caledonian ducks. Otherwise, there would be little going on and that’s the way I like it, thank you very much.
For a period, back in May 2019, I regularly bumped into this exceptionally friendly cat. He would literally come padding out of the trees for a stroke and a loop around my legs before disappearing back into the grass.
Whenever I come to Corpach, I always end up branching off the main path briefly for a stop at Loch Linnhe Beach and the dramatic form of The Corpach Shipwreck. Originally christened MV Dayspring, she was built in 1975 as a fishing vessel. For decades she roamed the coast of Scotland hauling in tonnes of mackerel and herring.
Later on, under new ownership, she became known as Golden Harvest. The ship made her final voyage in 2011 when she ran aground here after suffering a raiser chain failure. And she’s been here ever since! Consequently, this old boat has become a bit of a tourist attraction in its own right.
Get up close to the Corpach Shipwreck and you’ll see plenty of stay away warnings. This is due to the fact that people often try to climb onto it in an attempt to grab the perfect photo. The boat actually hit the news in June 2017 when its emergency beacon suddenly went off! As a result, coastguard helicopter and Oban lifeboat teams went out looking for the distressed ship!
The largely dark and rocky Loch Linnhe Beach won’t be winning any beauty awards. However, it’s still a highly photogenic spot thanks to its location by the loch, along with the backdrop of Ben Nevis and its surrounding hills. On this particular day the rainbow was a master of perfect timing. Hence I quickly scrambled for my camera in case it suddenly disappeared on me.
As a village, Corpach dates back to around 1600 and has been home to a naval repair base, as well as pulp, paper and saw mills. Today it has a range of accommodation options for those wanting a base from which to explore Lochaber. Corpach is also home to a crystal exhibition centre, Treasures of the Earth, as well as The Snowgoose Mountain Centre. My walk along the canal usually culminates in another sight, the pretty Corpach Sea Lock.
Corpach Sea Lock lies at the southern end of The Caledonian Canal, granting boats both entrance and indeed an exit onto Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil. Leisure boats aren’t actually allowed to berth here, because priority in the basin goes to freight vessels. For more info, head to scottishcanals.co.uk.
There are a couple of piers here too, from which locals and tourists alike can come and fish. One of the piers is a short boardwalk next to a pretty lighthouse.
The lighthouse, which is still operational, is a diminutive structure with a rectangular window and a conical roof. Dating back to 1819, it stands at just six metres and is one of three existing pepper pot lighthouses along The Caledonian Canal.
The stone pier presents the best photo opportunities. I took this shot from the boardwalk pier. It’s just a two minute walk from pier to pier and it’s from here that I turn on my heels and start making my way back to Banavie.
To delve further afield, you can also take a look at my travel articles from all around Scotland.
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.