The tenant farmer's house, Tusdale

The cleared village at Tusdale is a fascinating and poignant destination for this walk of about 9km return from Eynort. The starting point is at the end of the public road at NG378264, where there is usually space to park without causing an obstruction. Walk from there along the gated track that is the continuation of the road - not the one that leads to the shore - respecting the privacy of the house that you pass on the way. After passing through another couple of gates, you find yourself on a rough track, which soon turns right through a gateway and peters out.

Follow it through the gap and then follow the shore of the loch while gradually climbing towards the crags on the skyline. You should pass above the distinctively shaped Feolinn peninsula at about the point from which this photograph was taken.

Faolainn

On the peninsula are a fisherman's shed (on the left) and a ruined church (on the right). Continue at around this height above the loch, round the steeper, rock strewn slopes of Biod na Fionaich, until the slope lessens and a wonderful view opens up westwards along the coast. The entrance to Tusdale is marked by a magnificent waterfall where the Tusdale Burn plunges out of its hanging valley. Heading north from there takes you into the valley itself, where you will see the remains of a substantial settlement. Two miles from the closest road or current population, there are the ruins of dozens of buildings, abandoned since the clearances. The valley and its surrounds are also thick with evidence of long gone cultivation. The biggest ruin in the valley is the one pictured at the top of this article. It was the house of the tenant sheep farmer for whom the rest of the people were cleared. This was once a well-populated place. South-facing, well-sheltered and with a wide expanse of green and fertile ground, it is easy to see why. Today only a few sheep roam among the ruins. This is a peaceful and interesting place to sit and contemplate the meaning of your life.

Ruin of Macleod's church at Eynort

The return to the road can be made by the same route, but I'd recommend making it a round trip by heading back over the Bealach na Croiche (NG368259). There is something of a track to follow most of the way which was probably the access route to the old village. Today it is used by the shepherds' quads. It is boggy in places, but never gets too bad.

Following a steep fence down the hill will deliver you back to the gate near the ruins of the church that you passed close to your starting point. The larger of the buildings here at St Maelrubha's (or Kilmory) Church, seen in the photograph above, dates from 1732, when it was a church of the MacLeods of Talisker House. Inside the smaller and older of the buildings are two interesting carved panels. Outside there are several headstones from the twentieth century among the much older ones. It makes a good diversion at the end of your walk.

Approaching Tusdale