I found a map in my little hut, describing the Kyle of Tongue and all places of interests along the way. I didn´t find all of them, but it was still a beautiful and very scenic drive along the loch.
Driving towards Tongue (the village) I got my first glimpse of Castle Varrich, sitting on a high point and overlooking the bay.
The name Tongue also has Old Norse origins, but more obvious ones. It comes from “tunga” or tongue of land projecting into the loch. But although the Norse probably lived here between the 900s and 1200s, nothing certain has been found of their settlement. (Undiscovered Scotland)
And the first glimpse of Ben Loyal with its distinctive shape of the four rocky peaks.
View of Castle Varrich from the church. This small tower, perfectly located on the summit of a steep cliff dominating the Kyle of Tongue, might have been built by the Norse. The origins of the castle are unknown, but “some believe it could be the “Beruvik” mentioned in the Norse Orkneyinga Saga.” (Undiscovered Scotland)
It also might have been built by the Mackay family or the Bishops of Caithness in the 16th century.
The Mackay family definitely built the “House of Tongue”, situated nearby.
The little church north of Tongue is a perfect spot for a little break.
Driving out of Tongue and along the single track lane around the Kyle. Since the Kyle of Tongue bridge was built this road isn´t used a lot anymore. Before the bridge across the loch was built in 1971, a passenger ferry was in use.
While I´m on the lookout for remains of former crofting villages, that were abandoned during the Highland Clearances, Ben Loyal is showing the way.
When I arrived back at the Kyle of Tongue bridge and saw Castle Varrich from the other side and also enjoyed the view of Tongue village, I decided to not go back right now but continue towards the next village…