Roy Bridge, Glen Spean near Glencaig self catering holiday cottage east of Fort William

Self  Catering Holiday Cottage, Spean Bridge, Fort William

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Glencaig Self Catering Holiday Cottage, Stronaba, Spean Bridge; near Fort William , Scotland Tel 01397 712310

Glen Spean from Meall  nan Luath

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The Parallel Roads, Glen Roy

Full detail of this land feature defies explanation in a couple of lines; and is beyond this casual blogger.

It is believed that between 13000 and 10000 years ago vast icy reservoirs flooded the Glen Roy valley. A mass of deep ice occupied the larger Glen Spean valley to the south. (The present River Roy being a tributary of the River Spean). The ice to the south effectively dammed and retained the loch and it is understood this water at one stage would have spilled seaward to the north over the present watershed to the Spey Valley. There are three stages of the retaining ice suddenly relenting over the period resulting in three distinct shore lines being cast on to the Glen Roy mountain side. Still plainly visible they are known as the Parallel Roads. Roy is simply a corruption of the Gaelic “Ruadh” meaning red. Glen Roy, its mountains, and upper  reaches are worthy of further exploration where fine vantage points can be reached to view this natural spectacle. Despite this a very cheap - in terms of effort - but excellent road side view is gained from a visitor car park. There is a sign board and cairn here offering clear graphics of the process as it unfolded.

The aptness  of “Red Valley” name is evident in the right light and bizarrely three of the glens four Corbetts are actually named “Carn Dearg” or Red Hill. (Dearg pronounced Jerrack also meaning red)
Charles Darwin, following a visit in 1838, famously misinterpreted the origins of the parallel roads committing to text that the lines were effectively old sea shores. He conceded many years later and shortly before his death that the Louis Agassiz theory was the more likely explanation.

  

Glen Roy cole to Loch Spey
The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy from Bohuntin Hill
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The Parallel Roads Glen Roy.
Croft in Street View.