THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY
|Photos by Bill Wright||Page last updated: 2014-08-31|
|Ardintoul entered service on the 14th September 1983, with Channel 4 from August 1985. DSO was on the 14th and 28th July 2010.|
The only remarkable thing about this transmitter is the remoteness of its location, with no proper road within three miles. It lies on the southern shore of Loch Alsh in North West Scotland, just inland from the Isle of Skye. An unmetalled track leaves the Glenelg road near the ferry jetty and climbs into the clouds. It winds its way precariously around Glas Bheinn before descending abruptly to Ardintoul Point, where there are a few houses - some of them derelict - a fish farm, and the transmitter.
A coastal footpath runs from the ferry jetty along Kyle Rhea northwards, then along Lock Alsh to Ardintoul Point, a distance of about three and a half miles. I made a circular walk of it, taking the footpath to Ardintoul then returning along the track over the hills. The whole walk was about eight miles and took me four hours, but it would probably have been more sensible to have taken a picnic and made a full day of it. A very nice walk and I recommend it. The clockwise route is best, because otherwise it's hard to find the track behind Benera Farm. On the whole walk I met one person, which in my opinion is one too many, but still pretty good.
And the transmitter? Oh yes, that. It somehow manages to see Skriaig through the narrow gap in the hills at Kyle of Lochalsh, and it transmits across the loch to the dwellings spread out along the A87. It has the usual log-periodics and the usual khaki tardis. It is surrounded by vicious gorse intended to deter mad photographers, and scrap cars. There's a large pile of plastic tanks nearby that must be something to do with the fish farm, and lots of other strange things that didn't ring any bells with me. The whole area is pretty weird really, out there in the wilds.
It comes as an unpleasant surprise to find a vehicle scrap heap in such beautiful countryside, but the reason is the high cost of disposing of dead cars in north-west Scotland . It's astonishing to think that those cars have been driven, presumably as MOT failures, along that hair-raising track on the way to their graveyard!
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