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Vehicle access to Strathfarrar

Mountaineering Scotland members wishing to explore the hills around Strathfarrar can gain vehicular access to the 17-mile private road which leads up the glen under arrangements negotiated by Mountaineering Scotland with the estates. Responsible non-motorised access to the glen on foot, bicycle or horse is available at all times.

The Land Reform Scotland (2003) Act and Scottish Outdoor Access Code do not confer a right of vehicle access to the private road through Glen Strathfarrar. Mountaineering Scotland has negotiated an arrangement with Braulen Estate for vehicle access over the winter period (1st November 2017 to 23rd March 2018) which applies only to Mountaineering Scotland members.

The winter vehicle access arrangements include conditions which apply to hillwalkers and climbers, and it should be obvious to members from what follows that there are significant sensitivities around ongoing provision, due in the main to the behaviour of some individuals who have previously ignored conditions. The arrangement will therefore be subject to a review for continuity in 2018 following this winter season.

Members are asked to recognise that estate staff undertake extensive stalking during the winter vehicle access period. Hill walks taking in the four Munros on the north side of the glen, and climbs on the crags accessible from the parking location at the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel are unlikely to disrupt stalks, but members should be prepared to take advice from estate staff, in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and note that that may be asked to change their plans.

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.

Specific conditions upon which vehicle access is provided

This arrangement is only available to Mountaineering Scotland members who are hill walking or climbing, and does not extend to lower level walks in the glen, for which vehicle access is not available under this arrangement. The conditions include a requirement for members to park only in one of the three designated locations shown below.

Members are reminded that continuity of this arrangement relies on them not breaking the conditions stated on this website. Access by members' vehicles is monitored closely by us and the estate, and failure to follow the conditions will put the continuation of this arrangement at risk. We have worked closely with the estate to maintain these arrangements and in the event that their staff make a formal complaint about a member we will deal with the matter through the Mountaineering Scotland Complaints Policy, which may result in sanctions being applied.

Before you go

Mountaineering Scotland members should email us at info@mountaineering.scot or call us on 01738 493942.  To avoid inconvenience or disappointment, contact our office between 10.00am and 3pm, Monday to Thursday. Do not leave your call until the Friday morning or the day of your intended visit as we may not be able to obtain agreement to your visit by estate staff.

When you contact us, please provide the following details:

  • Your name, Mountaineering Scotland membership number and telephone number
  • Specific date of your intended visit and hillwalking or climbing objective for the day – note that a date “week commencing … “ is not acceptable to the estate
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Names and number of other occupants of your vehicle, their Mountaineering Scotland membership numbers and telephone numbers

We will pass this information, excluding your membership number, to estate staff.

If you have to change the date of your visit, you must advise us of the change before you go, in order that we can inform estate staff. Similarly, if you change your vehicle or the members of your party change, please let us know.

When we have provided you with the code, do not pass the code to any third party, as doing so without us being able to confirm vehicle details to the estate will jeopardise continuity of winter vehicle access.

Your visit to the glen

The blue padlock has a 4-digit code (see illustration). To operate the padlock:

·         Turn the dials to the correct combination, then

·         Press the black button located on the bottom of the padlock to release.

It is absolutely essential that you close and then scramble the padlock code digits on both your entry in to the glen and on exit.

The gatekeeper is not available to provide advice or assistance during the winter access period and you should not contact the gatehouse. You should also consider the potential implications of freezing conditions on the operation of the padlock and take any appropriate precautions.

The private road is tarmac but is not gritted or cleared of snow and there may be areas of rough surface or potholes which could damage your vehicle if you do not exercise appropriate care. A related condition of the provision of winter vehicle access is that the estate will not accept any liability for damage to people or property caused in any way whatsoever by road or other conditions. Be aware that estate staff and residents are not able to provide assistance to drivers and there is no mobile phone signal in the glen at the time of writing (October 2017). As with any other visitor to the glen you are asked to take litter home.

Parking

Winter vehicle access is conditional upon members parking in the following designated locations.

  • Mhullie Greens / Allt Coire Mhuillidh
  • Start of the Allt Toll a'Mhuic
  • Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel


David Gibson, 18 October 2017

During the summer season (end of March to end of October) vehicle access is available to everyone, though controlled by a gate-keeper and subject to a number of conditions. You do not need to advise Mountaineering Scotland if you wish to visit the glen during the summer access period.

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

  • Daily opening times are:

    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.

It is within your access rights to access the glen using non-motorised (disabled transport excepted) at all times of day or night, including 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, and, overnight parking is not permitted in Strathfarrar. 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.

Deer management takes place on the Strathfarrar estates and may have implications for your walking or climbing plans.