New Year’s Day Tour de Bookil run
After a very wet and windy Hogmanay, New Year’s Day 2017 turned out to be brighter, although chillier. My friend Nick and I decided to run the Tour de Bookil.
I was inspired to run-hike the so-called “Tour de Bookil” by Scottish ultra running’s love dream duo, Graham and Katie, aka Beardy and Blondie.
Last year, I asked Beardy and Blondie for a favourite running route in Scotland and they suggested the Tour de Bookil. I wrote about the route on the Tiso blog.
Graham told me: “The round trip is simply amazing. It follows a good track and is surrounded by big mountains with incredible views over the Etive glen and loch.” Katie added: “I love, love, love this route. It’s so special.”
With good weather forecast on New Year’s Day and because I was in the area for the Hogmanay celebrations, the Bookil route seemed like a great idea. It didn’t take much to persuade my friend Nick to come with me.
Great Glencoe run/walk
The Tour de Bookil route can be followed clockwise or anti-clockwise and circuits the Buachaille Etive Mor.
Because we were worried about a river crossing (water levels were high the day before) we headed from a car park on the A82 into Lairig Eilde and did the route anti-clockwise.
The path is easily found and well-laid. The river crossing called for a barefoot paddle so that we did not have icy cold and wet shoes and socks too early in the run. The water was very cold.
Heading south, the path climbs gently upwards for around three to four kilometres before a beautiful drop into Glen Etive. This path is very runnable.
Just before reaching the tarmac road, look for a left branch on the path. We missed the path and ended up on the Glen Etive road, after which we needed to join the off-road path again.
The path takes you back up another glen, Lairig Gartain. The ascent is steeper here and we slowed to a fast uphill march, running sections that were flatter.
From the high point on a shoulder of hill, the long descent heads back towards the valley of Glencoe and the A82.
Wet weather meant that there was a very soggy walk-run west along the side of the A82 to reach the car park.
The route is superb for running and walking and the views are consistently breath-taking.
See the Tour de Bookil route on Strava.