Glen Banchor to Cluny or Loch Dubh
A full- day’s walk through some of the settlements where the oiginal habitations lived in before Newtonmore was founded.
The Glen was heavily populated at the beginning of the 19th century, but gradually, as their small farms became uneconomic or as the land was let for sheep farming, the people moved into the new community of Newtonmore, which was growing in the area, or left the vicinity. The type of houses they lived in at the start of the 18th century can be seen at the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore. The final big exodus was in 1876 when five families from the townships of Westerton and Easterton had to leave because the land on which they lived and worked was let as a sheep farm.
You can use this route to climb to Loch Dubh, a picturesque but sombre lochan under dark cliffs 2 miles from the junction of Allt an Lochain Duibh and the River Calder, from where golden eagles are sometimes seen.
Alternatively, you can continue through the glen to Cluny on the Laggan Road, 6 miles from Newtonmore. You then have to decide whether to retrace your steps or walk along the road. Two cars can be useful!
These two routes are described in detail, with maps, in the Wildcat Trail Brochure, obtainable from the community-run Wildcat Centre on the Main Street or from the Post Office if the Centre is not open.