Cairn Lochan wasn’t all we saw, though that hike was long enough that it took an entire day by itself. But we had more than one day to spend in Scotland, and we wanted to do more hiking, both for the exercise and health benefits and to see what other natural sites and scenes exist in this part of the United Kingdom.
Our next hike included Eag a’Chait, another part of the Cairngorm National Park. This one isn’t as high as Cairn Lochan. The elevation of the mountain we hiked today is only about 1860 feet at the peak. Fortunately, this meant that today’s hike was considerably warmer than the Cairn Lochan hike. The summer sun was bright and warm, and we didn’t have to wear cold weather clothing as we had when we hiked Cairn Lochan.
Eag a’Chait is a gorge that contains a number of rocks and boulders left behind by a glacier thousands of years ago. The name translates into “notch of the wildcat,” so I assume there were wildcats here and maybe still are. We didn’t see any, though.
Even though we didn’t go as high on this hike as we did when we hiked Cairn Lochan, we still see some pretty spectacular views, with the bonus that these aren’t blocked by clouds because we aren’t high enough for the clouds to be a factor.
Another highlight of this part of the park, and of our hike today, was Loch Morlich. Loch Morlich is probably one of the most beautiful lakes in Scotland, and is a major attraction for visitors to Cairngorm National Park. Because the loch, or lake, isn’t at one of the higher elevations, in summer it’s a good place to cool off on a hot day, or after working up a sweat hiking in the area.
Getting to Loch Morlich is a relatively short walk, only a couple of hours at the most. There’s a trail around the lake that visitors can enjoy, as well as the lake itself. The beach, which is fairly popular with visitors, is about a kilometer long, and the sand is pristine despite the number of people who spend time here.
Aside from swimming, people can boat on the loch, or can just enjoy the scenery as they walk the trails or hike nearby. It’s definitely a beautiful spot, and we’re glad we made it part of the hiking piece of our trip.
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