Glen Strathfarrar Summer Opening

The summer timetable for vehicle access to Glen Strathfarrar commences at the end of March. It's very restrictive, but not quite as limited as the winter arrangement.

Glen Strathfarrar by bike - the freedom of the open road, 203 kb
Glen Strathfarrar by bike - the freedom of the open road
© Dan Bailey

Walkers and climbers heading to the Strathfarrar Munros and the north side of the Sgurr na Lapaich range, or anyone approaching the Loch Monar hills from the east (as per this UKH Route Card) have for many years had to work around the Edwardian anomaly of a limited access regime in the glen.

The 26km private road up the glen is barred by a locked gate at Struy. Vehicle access has typically been allowed for short day periods in summer, with the gate being operated by a gatekeeper. This year is no exception. Meanwhile in winter car access is by prior arrangement only. The landowner's concern about poaching means the gate is always locked by darkness, and overnight parking is not permitted anywhere up the glen. If your day plans are bigger than the permitted access window (and these are big, remote hills) then you're restricted to travel by bike or on foot.

This year's summer vehicle access arrangements have been agreed with the estate:

  • 31 Mar - Apr: 9am-6pm
  • May: 9am-7pm
  • Jun: 9am-8pm
  • Jul: 9am-8pm
  • Aug: 9am-8pm
  • Sep: 9am-7pm
  • Oct: 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, and the gate is closed all day Tuesday and Wednesday until 1.30pm. You do not need to advise MCofS if heading to the glen during the summer access period.

However from November 1 til late March the gate keeper is not in attendance, and arrangements become even more restrictive. During the winter season anyone wanting to drive up the glen should arrange access through the MCofS office in Perth (tel 01738 493942). The information you have to provide would not be out of place at a North Korean border checkpoint: the date of your visit; car registration; names of the occupants; and a telephone contact number. You will be given the combination number for a lock on the gate, and in case you're getting any bright ideas this will be changed regularly. This message will self destruct.

In accordance with our rights, access on foot and by bike is unrestricted 24 hours a day all year round, as is discreet wild camping. During the stalking season information is provided through the Hillphones service.

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