James of the Glen's Birthplace. One and a half hours.
     James of the Glen was born in Glen Duror, in the 18th Century in the district of Appin and to a pastoral life of (potentially) total obscurity. No one would ever have heard of him if he had not had the misfortune to be hanged for a famous murder which he did not commit. His trial and execution was the most famous (but by no means the only) miscarriage of justice in Scottish legal history. He was, you see, of the Stewart clan, which was not a wise thing to be when the Campbells were in charge of everything (including being judge and jury) and when one of their number (Colin Campbell of Glen Ure otherwise known as "The Red Fox") had been shot dead while on a tax collecting jaunt in Appin. (We have a cavalier way of dealing with tax collectors here in Appin). Anyway, you can see the spot where James O.T.G. was hanged close by Ballachuilish bridge. You can also see the spot where he was born in a bothy in Glen Duror. It's a pleasant walk and the bothy makes a suitable end point where you can eat you sandwiches [PHOTO] and obtain brief respite from the midges and rain. (I jest. It's fine. No. Really.) In my book Sword Dance I had my hero and heroine visit a lonely bothy where they found a visitor's book with a story about a visiting couple who danced naked in the surrounding woods. This anecdote was taken directly from the old log-book of J.O.T.Gs bothy (now, sadly, removed). So the midges can't be all that bad, can they?
     Anyway. How to find the walk? Go to Duror. A little way North of the village shop you will find a side road running east and a signpost to "Auchindarroch". Go up that road past a caravan park and a small housing scheme (ex-forestry commission) to reach a gate and a small car park. Forestry paths lead from that point and the route to the bothy is marked by post bearing the symbol "JG". The area is heavily forected and there is quite a network of pathways so be careful to follow the directions. The steep slopes and crages of Beinn a Bheithir overlook from the left. [PHOTO] Having been to the cottage on several occasions I prefer some of the other walks in this forest which take you round in a circle and provide better views of the loch from high up on the hillside. At this time (June 1999) timber felling operation restrict access to the forest during weekdays.