Lord of the ring road: see Iceland through the windscreen

A driving holiday around Iceland’s Golden Circle and south coast gives a widescreen view of its cinematic landscape


Julian Worker has written a number of travel books including

Travels through History : France

Travels through History – The Balkans: Journeys in the former Yugoslavia

Travels through History – Northern Ireland and Scotland

Just chillin’: welcome to Iceland’s wild, wild Westfjords

Iceland’s popularity with tourists doesn’t mean that solitude is hard to find. Head west to its fjords and splendid isolation and nature are close at hand

Walking to Kirkaig Falls, Assynt, Scotland

I did some slight re-arranging of items into my rucksack and set off hoping that the path wouldn’t be too wet. I walked along by the river Kirkaig that flows 4km to the sea from Fionn Loch (the white loch) through Lewisian gneiss. On the other side of the river was the Inverpolly National Nature reserve. This river is also significant because it forms the border between the counties of Sutherland, where I was, and Ross-shire. The path gradually rises through purple heather and green-brown ferns and Suilven begins to loom in the distance. Holly, aspen, rowan, birch, and multi-stemmed hazel occur at irregular intervals where there’s a little shelter. I met a few walkers having a rest who made conversation for a couple of minutes. A few grey wagtails flitted around and according to the local ornithologists there are a few dippers in the river. Some adders and slow worms live in this habitat but stay out of the visitor’s way. The walk is very quiet and the first time you hear the falls are more or less when you see them as they are out of sight behind a rocky outcrop. I was able to get close-up and take some pictures, but only after leaving my rucksack behind and climbing down a steep decline, which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone with dodgy knees or ankles. Overall the distance of the whole walk both ways is around 4.5 miles and will take about 3 hours in total depending on how long is spent admiring the surrounding scenery. The gain in height is 165 metres, but it’s a gentle incline all the way. There are some boggy areas, but almost all of them have stepping stones.

Iceland – for the cinema it’s all about location, location, location

Iceland – a beautiful country – find out why in this article