The North Coast Geotour

The North Coast Geotour will consist of 8 field days and has two more field days than the other geotours and is based in Durness. Transport via minibus will be available from Ullapool to Durness, all field localities and the return trip back to Ullapool. If Geotour participants wish to use their own transport that is also an option. The Geotour will again be led by Pete Harrison, the NW Highlands Geopark Geologist.

On arrival in Durness, there will then be 6 days fieldwork in the local area. Two days around Durness, two around Loch Eriboll, one further east to Tongue and a day to Cape Wrath via a ferry and minibus.

In Durness, there is hotel, self-catering, guesthouse & B & B and hostel type accommodation available as well as a campsite. Early booking is advisable as it lies on the NC 500. (More advice can be provided on request). If you wish to stay in a different area of the North Coast your own transport would be useful.

A packed lunch each day is advisable. There is a small supermarket. There are a few places to eat out or purchase carryout food in the evening.

Outline Itinerary

For those of you who have used the two main geology guides to the area, the suggested programme below uses locality numbers from those guides – An Excursion guide to the North-West Highlands of Scotland (NW) by Goodenough & Krabbendam ISBN 978-1-905267-53-8 and An excursion guide to the Moine geology of the northern highlands of Scotland(M) by Strachan, Alsop, Friend & Miller ISBN 978-1-905267-33-0. (It is not essential to purchase these as more information will be provided nearer the date).

On the field trip, all locations will be clearly explained by Pete Harrison, the NW Geopark Geologist and related to the level of expertise of all group members – so all welcome!

Day 1

Leave Ullapool at 9.30am with an introduction to the geology of the area using localities in Assynt, up to the Rock Stop. A packed lunch may be best, if the Rock Stop is open lunch can be taken there. Pm up to Durness with geological localities. Introductory meeting late afternoon/evening.

Day 2

Loch Eriboll.– Cambrian succession into the Moine Thrust Zone, Kempie (M 11 trans 3, An t-Sron NW 15.1), Moine Thrust Zone, Creagan Road (M 11 Trans 4) and head of the loch.

Day 3

Balnakeil Bay to look at the Durness Limestone with Bjorn and Sango in the Moine Thrust Zone. Durness Limestone Balnakeil (NW 14.1 – 14.10) and Moine Thrust Zone, Sango (NW 14.16 – 14.17)

Day 4

Faraid Head in the Moine Thrust Zone Moine Thrust Zone, Faraid (NW 14.11 – 14.13)

Day 5

Cape Wrath Day. A full day to the Cape Wrath lighthouse crossing on the ferry and using the minibus service on the other side of the Kyle of Durness.

Day 6

Loch Eriboll- Moine Thrust Zone, Light House Duplex (NW 15.3 – 15.7) and Arnaboll Thrust (NW 15.8 & 15.9 and M 11 Trans 2)

Day 7

Tongue – Unconformity at the base of the Moine and Moine structures, Strathan, Loch Vasgo and Port Vasgo (M 13.1) and Coldbackie ( M 13.4)

Day 8

Oldshoremore and back to Ullapool for late afternoon.

Dates and Costs (Fully Booked for 2024)

1st to 8th June 2024

The total cost for the eight days is £360 with a £12  early bird discount if booked before the end of April and a further £12 discount is available to all Friends Of The Geopark.  A £50 deposit is required when booking and the fee includes transport and tuition.

The cost includes all transport, tuition, notes etc and some insurance cover. It doesn’t include the return fee for the Cape Wrath minibus (£15) and ferry (£6.50).

It is recommended that accommodation be booked promptly as it can be in short supply at that time of the year. If sufficient participants wish, self catering could be booked to share. This can be discussed and coordinated on booking.

For more information or to book your place on the tour please contact Pete Harrison by email at pete@nwhgeopark.com.