Dalnaha .


A Writer's Take - Stan Headley


They say it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.  And there is little doubt that the trail to Dalnaha cottage will fill the heart with hope and anticipation.  However, arrival at this sublime outpost contains its own joys and the balm of spiritual healing.

In this age of technology and materialism, the human soul is, for the majority, denied peace.  Our requirement for the tranquillity inherent in wilderness grows as the opportunity diminishes.  Life was designed to be simpler.  Our need for interaction between ourselves and nature, whilst being actively denied by those environmentalists who, in their hearts, should know better, is a real and living thing.

Fishing in the wild or trekking the moorland with gun and dog is a therapy not found in hands-off country pursuits.  You will never sleep so soundly or live so well than when indulging in a life nature intended for us.  We cannot deny our inheritance no matter how strenuously the 21st century plastic world would ask us.  Almost every physical and social ill we suffer stems from this profound imbalance.

Stan Headley

I well remember standing on the track leading to Altnabreac and looking southwards into the Flow Country.  It was a ‘road to Damascus’ moment for me.  My eyes were opened to a blinding truth – wilderness exists despite us, and while we chip away at its edges with every passing day, it ignores our existence.  As I looked over the miles of seeming emptiness it was as if I could hear the strong beating heart of our nation.  Don’t look for it on Princes Street or seek its pulse in Sauchiehall Street.  It has been obliterated by the bustle of humanity and traffic noise.  But in the sigh of the breeze through heather, the call of the stonechat, the imperative demand of the startled grouse, or the roar of the stag, it is there for the beleaguered soul.

To witness the dawn or dusk over the river; to drift the wide expanses of Loch More; to launch a boat on the Duck Loch; all these things are available to fly fishermen. In fact there is almost too much fishing to be tackled in one short week.  And, the quality of it all is unsurpassed.

There are vast distances to roam with rod or gun, mile upon mile of wilderness bearing no sign of the hand of man.

Dalnaha Cottage does bow to modern trends in its comfort and facilities, a quality that even the most ardent hunter/gatherer amongst us demand, and its setting in the midst of the Flow Country, on the shores of Loch More, is idyllic.  The good men of the region have worked with Mother Nature to create a paradise on Earth.

Come, stay, and, for a blessed time, heal all the hurts, the cuts and stresses that modern society inflicts.