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Assynt Festival can highlight mountains

Posted 8 August 2012
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Assynt Festival can highlight mountains
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Visitors to the Scottish Highlands may have their own particular favourite areas in the region. One area unlikely to be listed by many, due to its remoteness, is Assynt.

While the Loch Lomond and Trossachs area or the Cairngorms will focus on the scenery of these national parks and those heading to Fort William with backpacks and hiking boots plan to take on Ben Nevis, the north-west of Sutherland may seem like another world.

Further away from the big cities it may be, but the area will be seeking to draw some attention to itself between October 3rd and 10th with the first ever Assynt Festival.

It will feature a wide range of music, food, ceilidhs, a chance to learn more about the Scots Gaelic language and, of course, walks.

A key feature of the event will be an archaeological excavation of a Bronze Age site, known as the Burnt Mounds.

Festival steering group chairman Gordon Sleight noted that "all good festivals involve mud", with this one offering a chance to make some amazing discoveries.

He added: "There are lots of other fun events in the festival programme and we're looking forward to welcoming locals and visitors to come together and enjoy the riches of autumn in Assynt."

But while festival mud is what ends up all over wellingtons, it is walking boots that many visitors will be well advised to pack for the festival and any other time they visit Assynt.

Those discovering the area will find not just a sparsely populated and spectacular wilderness, but all sorts of mountain treats.

Anyone ticking off the Munros can add to the list with a climb of Conival and its neighbour Ben More Assynt, while Corbettes include the three Quinag peaks (Sail Ghorm, Sail Garbh and Spidean Coinich) as well as Cul Mor and Cul Beag.

However, the most notable mountain in the area is a Graham, only 2,399 ft in height but one of the most striking peaks in the British Isles.

A steep-sided monolith situated amid an area of low-lying ground, its almost sheer sides and visual impact were featured in the TV series Mountain, as Griff Rhys Jones climbed the mountain.  ADNFCR-2803-ID-801424427-ADNFCR